IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

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Anonymous User
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IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:17 pm

I'm a 2L top 25% at a T30, currently 0 for 17 on screeners with 13 dings and no response in at least a week, if not much longer, from the other 4 firms. I have a B.S. in ChemE from a top engineering school, but with sub-3.0 undergrad G.P.A. and basically straight to law school from undergrad, so no work experience in industry.

Here are my assumptions:

1) my law school G.P.A. will continue to rise over the next two years (top 50% first semester, top 10% second semester)

2) despite the fact that my undergrad G.P.A. is under the usual "minimum" requirement for admission to grad programs, my strong connections to the engineering school at the university here will give me a fighting chance to be accepted for a master's in cheme, meche, materials science, or other related fields. I'd rather not think about committing to 5-7 years for Ph.D in addition to two more years for the J.D.

3) I 100% still want to do patent law; also, dropping out and trying to enter industry is not really an option since I doubt employers will go out of their way in this economy to hire someone who's spent the last two years forgetting their ChemE knowledge, rather than the current batch of students graduating with the same degree and better grades.

Questions:

1) are there IP boutiques that I could still mass-mail that don't do the usual recruiting either on campus or at Loyola/other job fairs?

2a) if I were to begin a master's program in Fall 2012 that pushes my graduation from 2013 to 2014, would legal employers still treat me like a 2L next year, and would being in a master's program "cure the taint" of my undergrad grades--even if I haven't actually gotten any grades in that program yet?

2b) same question, but 2 year program so graduation probably in 2015, would do Loyola/OCI as a "2L" in 2013 and with 1 year of grades/experience in the master's program

azntwice
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Re: IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

Postby azntwice » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:44 pm

I graduated with BA in Biology and have a couple offers for IP. Most firms should not have asked you for your undergrad transcript, so I don't see how that will affect you much. I don't have much advice on getting a masters, except that it will push you deeper into debt. I would ask career services about this one. I highly doubt, however, that having a masters will put you into a lot better position than an undergrad; firms seem to value PhDs but not necessarily masters.

I took the patent bar before I went through EIP, and I think this helped a lot in selling my IP interest - firms take it as a sign that you are very committed to IP. Also, you might be able to get some experience in patent prosecution, which will make you more valuable. Have you applied to smaller boutiques? Besides Kenyon and Fitzpatrick, there's Fish Richardson, Amster Rothstein, Kilpatrick, and a lot of other places. Just Google all the IP firms in whatever market you're interested in and see if they're hiring.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:19 pm

I don't think you have a realistic chance with Fish or any of the other large IP boutiques because of your school, however if you can make Order of the Coif (of the equivalent of the top 10%) you MIGHT get an offer at one of the brand name IP boutiques. I would concentrate more on smaller firms in a region you have ties to. Focus particularly on firms that have a good number of attorneys who went to your law school.

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Re: IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:49 am

I don't think you have a realistic chance with Fish or any of the other large IP boutiques because of your school,

Huh. I'm T2 and I have an offer from one of the large IP boutiques and a CB at another. I do have a competitive advantage over OP because of undergrad major and WE (among other things) -- this stuff matters a lot more in IP than in other areas of the law. My point is, OP's problem isn't the rank of his school. There are plenty of T2 and TTT working at Fish (and other major IP boutiques).

Much of the conventional wisdom on this forum does not apply to IP (THANK. GOD.)

1) are there IP boutiques that I could still mass-mail that don't do the usual recruiting either on campus or at Loyola/other job fairs?
Midlaw IP boutique in my area posts for SA positions in Oct/Nov or so. Surely it's not the only one.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:54 am

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:I don't think you have a realistic chance with Fish or any of the other large IP boutiques because of your school, however if you can make Order of the Coif (of the equivalent of the top 10%) you MIGHT get an offer at one of the brand name IP boutiques. I would concentrate more on smaller firms in a region you have ties to. Focus particularly on firms that have a good number of attorneys who went to your law school.


Fish hires wayyyy below t30. I know. I worked there before law school as a tech specialist.

Anonymous User
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Re: IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
I don't think you have a realistic chance with Fish or any of the other large IP boutiques because of your school,

Huh. I'm T2 and I have an offer from one of the large IP boutiques and a CB at another. I do have a competitive advantage over OP because of undergrad major and WE (among other things) -- this stuff matters a lot more in IP than in other areas of the law. My point is, OP's problem isn't the rank of his school. There are plenty of T2 and TTT working at Fish (and other major IP boutiques).

Much of the conventional wisdom on this forum does not apply to IP (THANK. GOD.)

1) are there IP boutiques that I could still mass-mail that don't do the usual recruiting either on campus or at Loyola/other job fairs?
Midlaw IP boutique in my area posts for SA positions in Oct/Nov or so. Surely it's not the only one.



care to share your area?
just curious -- which areas are the good markets for midlaw IP firms?

it seems there are tons of small/mid firms in MN and Chicago. but i'm not in that area, so it's really hard to explain why i would stay in MN, or even Chicago...

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erico
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Re: IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

Postby erico » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:52 pm

your problem does not seem to be your ug grades but rather your ability to interview. 0/17 means you need to learn how to interview. an ms will not help you with this, though i suppose you will effectively erase your poor gpa.

AllisLaw
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Re: IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

Postby AllisLaw » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:44 pm

Are you taking any IP courses? Have you taken the patent bar?

I don't think an MS is necessary.

djg2111
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Re: IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

Postby djg2111 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:50 pm

IP is definitely a different process than other hiring - especially if you miss out on OCI hiring. I missed firms at OCI, graduated top 3% or so from a top 40, and have been looking for work for a few months now. I have gotten a few interviews recently and have been explicitly asked about my ability to handle certain technical areas. In those cases, my skills didn't line up so I didn't get offers. However, I graduated without anything and have interviewed with several V100 firms since - it depends much more on needs than in other fields.

The other nice thing about IP is that it is an area you can actually do some work yourself and build experience that way. Once you get a few clients, small and midsize firms are more likely to talk to you to set up work agreements. It is dangerous to do something like that without a mentor though.

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Re: IP student looking for advice on adjusting career strategy

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:03 pm

OP here:

I'm taking an intro IP course this semester, and also continuing a part-time patent intern position that I began over the summer (unfortunately not the type of job I can turn into a permanent position after graduation). I haven't taken the patent bar yet.

I'm willing to admit that I can't be objective about my interviewing ability, and I could easily be a below-average interviewer; however, I don't think that I'm sooo terrible that it's totally responsible for my striking out--I have practiced with a partner from a local biglaw firm through my career services office, as well as with friends/parents etc.

In any case, it looks like the consensus is I shouldn't pursue the MS only as a way to make up for the lack of callbacks, so thanks to everyone for the contributions.




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