Selecting IP Firms

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
ben1185
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:22 pm

Selecting IP Firms

Postby ben1185 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:45 am

Hey everyone,

I was just curious if anyone had any tips for determining whether a firm with an IP group is more focused on (1) Prosecution/Transactional work, (2) Litigation, or (3) Both.

Thanks for any help...

awesomepossum
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 12:49 am

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby awesomepossum » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:16 am

In general boutiques are prosecution heavy with some notable exceptions such as Fish and Richardson that does a boatload of patent lit. Patent boutiques of course do a lot of patent lit, but do lots of prosecution in relation to general practice firms.

In general, general practice firms are patent lit heavy and most do zero patent prosecution...especially the big shops. Some notable exceptions are Baker Botts and MoFo.

Those are the biggest rules of thumb. There are of course plenty of exceptions and the best way to find out is to look at each firm individually.

User avatar
ben1185
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby ben1185 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:21 pm

Yeah, I knew the general rules of thumb... My problem is how to look at each firm individually, since most of them will say on their websites that they do both, even if they are 95% lit and 5% prosecution, or vice versa. Sometimes the NALP form is useful, and breaks out the number of attorneys in IP-Litigation and IP-Transaction, but more often it just says IP.

Do you know of any resources for figuring out what really goes on in the firms, besides word of mouth? Even most of the rankings I find just rank the firms as the best IP firms...

Thanks

twistedwrister
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:02 am

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby twistedwrister » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:33 pm

Here are the firms that do the most patent prosecution:

http://iptoday.com/issues/2010/03/top-patent-firms.asp

Here are the firms that do the most patent litigation (at least at the district court level)

--LinkRemoved--

Hope this helps.

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby 270910 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:56 pm

For patent lit, how useful is a technical background even though it's not mandatory? Could somebody with a BA in history or something realistically get a patent lit job at a big firm if that happened to be their practice area of interest and the rest of their credentials were strong?

awesomepossum
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 12:49 am

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby awesomepossum » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:14 pm

disco_barred wrote:For patent lit, how useful is a technical background even though it's not mandatory? Could somebody with a BA in history or something realistically get a patent lit job at a big firm if that happened to be their practice area of interest and the rest of their credentials were strong?


Realistically, you could not get a patent lit job right out of law school without a technical degree.

What IS possible is to start out at a firm (a general practice firm) and join the general litigation practice. At many firms it is then possible to take assignments from patent lit and work your way into a group.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby 09042014 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:26 pm

awesomepossum wrote:
disco_barred wrote:For patent lit, how useful is a technical background even though it's not mandatory? Could somebody with a BA in history or something realistically get a patent lit job at a big firm if that happened to be their practice area of interest and the rest of their credentials were strong?


Realistically, you could not get a patent lit job right out of law school without a technical degree.

What IS possible is to start out at a firm (a general practice firm) and join the general litigation practice. At many firms it is then possible to take assignments from patent lit and work your way into a group.


Is getting hired in a patent lit job easier (lower law school gpa requirements, less competition) than getting a job at the same firm? Or is it just as difficult.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273265
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:36 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
awesomepossum wrote:
disco_barred wrote:For patent lit, how useful is a technical background even though it's not mandatory? Could somebody with a BA in history or something realistically get a patent lit job at a big firm if that happened to be their practice area of interest and the rest of their credentials were strong?


Realistically, you could not get a patent lit job right out of law school without a technical degree.

What IS possible is to start out at a firm (a general practice firm) and join the general litigation practice. At many firms it is then possible to take assignments from patent lit and work your way into a group.


Is getting hired in a patent lit job easier (lower law school gpa requirements, less competition) than getting a job at the same firm? Or is it just as difficult.


Probably easier, but ITE still difficult.

awesomepossum
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 12:49 am

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby awesomepossum » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:37 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
awesomepossum wrote:
disco_barred wrote:For patent lit, how useful is a technical background even though it's not mandatory? Could somebody with a BA in history or something realistically get a patent lit job at a big firm if that happened to be their practice area of interest and the rest of their credentials were strong?


Realistically, you could not get a patent lit job right out of law school without a technical degree.

What IS possible is to start out at a firm (a general practice firm) and join the general litigation practice. At many firms it is then possible to take assignments from patent lit and work your way into a group.


Is getting hired in a patent lit job easier (lower law school gpa requirements, less competition) than getting a job at the same firm? Or is it just as difficult.



That's not a simple question. I think OVERALL the answer is yes. However, there is this added factor of certain technical areas being more in demand than others.

There is also another wrinkle because IP lit groups in big general practice firms are still somewhat beholden to the requirements of the firm as a whole. Therefore, for many GP firms, there are still high law school rank/grade requirements....although maybe not AS high as for anything else.

For boutiques, it seems like they are more lenient when it comes to law school/grades but scrutinize your technical background more closely. Some (most?) will ask for your undergraduate grades.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby 09042014 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:40 pm

awesomepossum wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
awesomepossum wrote:
disco_barred wrote:For patent lit, how useful is a technical background even though it's not mandatory? Could somebody with a BA in history or something realistically get a patent lit job at a big firm if that happened to be their practice area of interest and the rest of their credentials were strong?


Realistically, you could not get a patent lit job right out of law school without a technical degree.

What IS possible is to start out at a firm (a general practice firm) and join the general litigation practice. At many firms it is then possible to take assignments from patent lit and work your way into a group.


Is getting hired in a patent lit job easier (lower law school gpa requirements, less competition) than getting a job at the same firm? Or is it just as difficult.



That's not a simple question. I think OVERALL the answer is yes. However, there is this added factor of certain technical areas being more in demand than others.

There is also another wrinkle because IP lit groups in big general practice firms are still somewhat beholden to the requirements of the firm as a whole. Therefore, for many GP firms, there are still high law school rank/grade requirements....although maybe not AS high as for anything else.

For boutiques, it seems like they are more lenient when it comes to law school/grades but scrutinize your technical background more closely. Some (most?) will ask for your undergraduate grades.


Does having a BSEE from a good school (UIUC) help mitigate a low ugpa (2.8 )? I'll be at Northwestern next year.
Last edited by 09042014 on Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby 09042014 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:41 pm

amyLAchemist wrote:A useful way to tell how much patent lit v. pros. v. trans. is done at a firm is to look and see how many partners and associates do each. This can be a bit time consuming for bigger offices, but there is summer. Probably works best for firms that have more insular patent lit and patent everything else. Some firms keep these two groups completely separate, and others there is cross-over, esp. litigators taking on some transactional/pros. when their cases slow down.

A side note, I have been having a shifting interest. I thought I was all about a GP firm, but after meeting people from both, the big IP "boutiques" are extremely appealing. Felt instant clicks. Maybe it is just the tech girl geek in me. (And the fact that they are not as grade conscious overall, ahem.)

Anyone wanna comment on the benefits/disadvantages of the two? Clearly, some IP shops are doing better financially than others....which is one point.


Do boutiques push out associates who don't make partner like bigger firms do, and are exit options similar when you do leave?

awesomepossum
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 12:49 am

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby awesomepossum » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:46 pm

amyLAchemist wrote:A useful way to tell how much patent lit v. pros. v. trans. is done at a firm is to look and see how many partners and associates do each. This can be a bit time consuming for bigger offices, but there is summer. Probably works best for firms that have more insular patent lit and patent everything else. Some firms keep these two groups completely separate, and others there is cross-over, esp. litigators taking on some transactional/pros. when their cases slow down.

A side note, I have been having a shifting interest. I thought I was all about a GP firm, but after meeting people from both, the big IP "boutiques" are extremely appealing. Felt instant clicks. Maybe it is just the tech girl geek in me. (And the fact that they are not as grade conscious overall, ahem.)

Anyone wanna comment on the benefits/disadvantages of the two? Clearly, some IP shops are doing better financially than others....which is one point.


advantages of IP boutiques:

Depending on your background, lower barriers to entry.
The increased ability to do patent pros.
Some places have extremely reasonable hours.
Lots of folks to ask questions from.

advantages of GP firms

More "normal" people. Depends of course what you think of as normal.
The ability to do some amount of non-patent work...or the ability to go away from patent entirely if it turns out you don't like it.
OVERALL (with a bajillion exceptions) better pay.
Some IP boutiques have been crashing spectacularly (See the F&R summer class of 2009) although this can be said of lots of GP firms as well.
Some IP firms require that you choose patent prosecution or lit really early in your career...like during your 2L summer. (CRAZY!!)


I chose to work at an IP group of a V15 firm. The primary reason was the flexibility and the people. I've taken a few patent classes and I STILL don't know for sure that I'll like/dislike patent. I don't know how anybody could really figure that out without some work experience.

awesomepossum
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 12:49 am

Re: Selecting IP Firms

Postby awesomepossum » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:48 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Does having a BSEE from a good school (UIUC) help mitigate a low ugpa (2.8)? I'll be at Northwestern next year.



I couldn't be sure, but I would think that a low undergrad GPA would hurt you at the boutiques. I think you might have a better shot trying to get good 1L grades and shooting for a GP firm. No GP firm (to my knowledge) asks for your undergrad transcript.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.