heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

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heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:24 pm

go for it. its district court judge.

not going to hint @ judge/district.

everything else fair game.

later this year, i'll start at fed cir, also taking questions re that.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:27 pm

When does your judge hire? Is he/she on-plan?

Does your judge especially try to hire a clerk/clerks with technical experience/degrees?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:28 pm

When did you apply to the Fed Cir? When did you get an interview/offer? Any sense on when the Fed Cir is interviewing?

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are you yourself headed for patent lit?

When does your judge hire? Is he/she on-plan?

Does your judge especially try to hire a clerk/clerks with technical experience/degrees?


Yes, headed for patent lit. No doubt. Judge is totally off plan. Participates "nominally" in the plan, but makes decisions in April-June (that general time range).

Yes, judge only hires tech experience folks. Very strong preference for EEs.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When did you apply to the Fed Cir? When did you get an interview/offer? Any sense on when the Fed Cir is interviewing?


My judge is a pretty high-profile district judge in patent circles. Judge called Fed Cir judges on my behalf midway into my clerkship. No idea re timelines/etc.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:36 pm

What sort of candidate from HYS is competitive for your judge in terms of class rank/grades and other attributes?
What does your judge think of law review and candidates being published?

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What sort of candidate from HYS is competitive for your judge in terms of class rank/grades and other attributes?
What does your judge think of law review and candidates being published?


top 25%, tech bg, LR doesn't matter I don't think for my judge. But more importantly, patent litigation experience (either post-bar or summers) and substantive patent law command.

Probably bumps up to top 10-15% for t10, and top 2-5% for any other school.

I'm going off my judge's linkedin clerks - nearly all of them are t6 coif/equivalent.

I wasn't involved with my judge's hiring because my judge makes the admin do all that. In fact, I never even met my replacement.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby chem » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:40 pm

Would you recommend taking the patent bar before law school?

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:41 pm

chem wrote:Would you recommend taking the patent bar before law school?

Take the patent bar once you're at a firm. You'll need it for lit post-AIA. And you can't do pros without it.
But, don't take it to up your odds at a job offer. Focus on grades. Firms don't give a shit about pat bar number if your gpa number is low.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:49 pm

What's the best way to find out when your judge/other similar judges are hiring?

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:51 pm

What's your advice for current 2Ls looking for a patent-heavy district court clerkship? (what did you wish you knew, what should we be doing right now to prepare, etc)

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's the best way to find out when your judge/other similar judges are hiring?

Ignore the patent pilot program. It is breaking down. Lots of districts are flat out finding it to be a failure. A lot of the judges who "volunteered" for it got a little too excited and are now finding they do not like patent cases. So those cases are reverting back to the judges who do like them organically.

Ask your patent prof for who the highly regarded patent district judges are. You'll usually find them very easily by looking up schedules on Patentlyo events. They're attending most events. Some are even speakers. You have to do legwork for this. Just spend a few hours on Patentlyo and download a couple of event itineraries - and then note the judges who speak at these events on issues like patent discovery, claim construction, etc. etc.

But focus your search within ND Cal, CD Cal, EDTx, EDVa, DDel, NDIll, and EDVa.

As to your question on finding when they're hiring - OSCAR is the easiest and riskiest way because of how public it is - but your IP professors really need to hook you up with any insider info. They attend events and know judges. You need to find an "in" - easy as that.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's your advice for current 2Ls looking for a patent-heavy district court clerkship? (what did you wish you knew, what should we be doing right now to prepare, etc)


You should try and get a job with a very well-regarded patent litigation group. And you should basically kill your Patents class. And you should get your patents professor specifically to make calls for you. If you have a tech bg, are at a t10, and have decent grades (top 25% suffices for D.Ct.), you should have little problem making the cut somewhere straight out of law school.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:03 am

OP here.

The single best advice I would give to a 0L, 1L, 2L, 3L, or alum clerk attempting to land a patent clerkship:

Go to Patentlyo. Look for "Events." Find the organizer. Register as a law student. Register for an event where at least 3-4 judges are keynote speaker, attendee, panelist, etc.

Attend that event. Shake their hands. Tell them your interests. They *will* remember this kind of initiative.

I didn't do any of this. I kinda wish I had.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:16 am

OP here. For locations, you'd be lucky as can be if you find a patent-oriented clerkship in a city like Arlington VA, San Francisco CA, San Jose CA, Los Angeles CA, Manhattan NY, or Chicago IL. Outside of those cities, you're looking at Wilmington DE, Madison WI, Tyler TX, Marshall TX, etc. So, pick carefully.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What's your advice for current 2Ls looking for a patent-heavy district court clerkship? (what did you wish you knew, what should we be doing right now to prepare, etc)


You should try and get a job with a very well-regarded patent litigation group. And you should basically kill your Patents class. And you should get your patents professor specifically to make calls for you. If you have a tech bg, are at a t10, and have decent grades (top 25% suffices for D.Ct.), you should have little problem making the cut somewhere straight out of law school.


What are the chances for T10, heavy tech background in EE/CS, both summers at a top patent lit firm in one of the patent districts, but ~median grades? Would it be better to work a couple of years first? TIA

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:28 am

How important are the second and third recommendations if you've got one strong one from a prominent patent prof (who would obviously make calls)?

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What's your advice for current 2Ls looking for a patent-heavy district court clerkship? (what did you wish you knew, what should we be doing right now to prepare, etc)


You should try and get a job with a very well-regarded patent litigation group. And you should basically kill your Patents class. And you should get your patents professor specifically to make calls for you. If you have a tech bg, are at a t10, and have decent grades (top 25% suffices for D.Ct.), you should have little problem making the cut somewhere straight out of law school.


What are the chances for T10, heavy tech background in EE/CS, both summers at a top patent lit firm in one of the patent districts, but ~median grades? Would it be better to work a couple of years first? TIA


I'm sorry to say but your grades will almost certainly shut you out of clerkships. Maybe if you're at HYS you could have a shot at a magistrate clerkship. But median is not going to do even if you were #1 at MIT in EE with 3 years of litigation experience at the best patent litigation shop in town. Of course, there are exceptions, and you might luck out if a judge has a serious need. But top quarter at t10, top 10% at a t15, top 5% at t25 seems to be a bare minimum.

And you can rule out ND Cal, CD Cal, ED Va, ND Ill, and D Del. You might have a shot at WD Wisc, but it would be a long shot. Rule out ED Tx too.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:53 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:How important are the second and third recommendations if you've got one strong one from a prominent patent prof (who would obviously make calls)?

One call from prominent patent prof should do the trick and get your resume pulled.
Then, your resume needs to be strong enough for the judge to reach out to you. For example, if you're top 33% at Stanford and Lemley calls - the top 5%+LR kid from UT-Austin *will* get the job 9 times out of 10 over you. I've had this conversation with CAFC clerks and district court clerks in my district. This happens year over year. Top grades from top schools trump phone calls trying to pump up mediocre grades.

Ideally, you want your resume pulled, get an interview, and THEN get the prof to call you before or shortly after you interview. This has a much higher chance of working.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:47 am

Here's my deal: I'm going to graduate in top 10-15% (top 20% in worst case), no LR, at a mid/low T10 with a background in CS (4 yrs work experience before LS). I'm going to work at a top tier patent litigation BigLaw department (I guess you'll just have to trust me on this but I'm 99% sure the name would be noticed favorably by people who look at such things). I'm planning on working there for a few years, but I was thinking that I might try to clerk after 3-4 years and then potentially transition either into some gov't work that's not patent litigation or maybe go to Fed. Cir. and go from there (either back into patent lit or see what doors that opens up). I'd prefer not to get stuck with the patent litigation label throughout my entire career, but a Fed. Cir. clerkship is solid enough that I think I'd be willing to go with it. I would have no recs from professors, mainly because I hate law school and law classes, but I think my resume would stand out somewhat with school/grades + name of firm.

So my questions are -- (a) Am I correct in thinking my resume would be pulled or I at least have a good shot? (b) How do judges generally feel about people who work at BigLaw for a few years? (and do they know the difference between the firms?) (c) How easy is it to go from D. Ct. that's patent-heavy to Fed. Cir? Require a call from a judge or ... ? (d) How much non-patent lit do you handle? (e) What's the best way to pull this off without outting myself via OSCAR? (f) Does anything else strike you as completely dumb about this plan?

(This is back of my mind planning ... not going to center my life around this by any shot, but would be curious to hear some insight into plausibility). Thanks.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:33 am

.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:39 am

Anonymous User wrote: I would have no recs from professors, mainly because I hate law school and law classes, but I think my resume would stand out somewhat with school/grades + name of firm.


It will not stand out without a prof call. Definitely not top 15%. Forget top 20%. Far too many top 10% t14 applicants with tech/patent backgrounds for the 20-odd alumni slots the CAFC has per year. Far too few top 10% t14 applicants with tech/patent backgrounds for the HUNDREDS of patent litigation associate spots nationwide. So your firm name, even if it is elite (what does that mean anyway? Irell? Keker? Susman? Williams & Connolly? Kirkland? Boies? Quinn? Weil? Wilmer?), means less than I think you think it means.

I find your theory of transitioning "away" from patent litigation via a Fed. Cir. clerkship very confusing. Why would you want to clerk on Fed. Cir. if you want to move "away" from pat lit? You should try and shoot for a regional circuit if that's the plan. And you don't REALLY need an appellate clerkship to transition into big gov. You can do that with any type of clerkship. Heck, you probably don't need a clerkship at all.

But to be responsive: it won't stand out unless you have something else going for you - like a couple of publications for some judges, or a D.Ct. clerkship for some judges, or a very CS-specific hiring need for a judge.

As for district clerkships, I absolutely think you have a decent shot in a pilot program district court with top 25% from t10 with a CS background. But you will have ZERO utility in terms of "skills added" from a D.Ct. clerkship if you attempt to do this after having spent FOUR YEARS at a big law firm. You will learn very little NEW at a district court after having spent that much time litigating patents at a large law firm. So I don't really know that it makes much practical sense to pursue a DISTRICT clerkship after FOUR YEARS at a firm - in terms of sheer value added. Unless, of course, you're only doing it for lateraling, which is totally unnecessary - you can just lateral out from wherever you're at. And don't do it for the prestige.

One last thing - you mentioned "other" government options aside from patent litigation. This is actually a good reason for you to do a district clerkship. For example, if you wish to pursue a federal prosecutor job - then clerking in a particular district for a judge who the AUSA's office deals with is a major plus.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:07 am

Great thread! Thanks so much for posting!

What made you decide to become so patent litigation oriented? What is the advantage of clerking with a patent-heavy USDC judge, and what is the advantage of clerking on the Fed. Cir.? What will these things do for your carer, and what do you want to do with your career?

I come from a Bio background and will be working at Quinn/Irell/Boies this summer. I'm somewhat interested in patent lit because I like science and enjoy my patent class, but do I risk pigeon holing myself by working on exclusively patent cases at the firm? I've heard the patent group can suck you and never let you go, because they need all the bodies they can get. Will this limit exit options into other fields - do the US Attorney Offices hire former patent litigators? Is DOJ's IP section a place you would consider going?

You mentioned the patent bar and an "AIA" requirement for litigators coming up - what is this? I was under the impression I would not need to take the patent bar to litigate.

Thanks again, this is hugely helpful and you seem to be very clear 8)

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Great thread! Thanks so much for posting!

What made you decide to become so patent litigation oriented? What is the advantage of clerking with a patent-heavy USDC judge, and what is the advantage of clerking on the Fed. Cir.? What will these things do for your carer, and what do you want to do with your career?

I come from a Bio background and will be working at Quinn/Irell/Boies this summer. I'm somewhat interested in patent lit because I like science and enjoy my patent class, but do I risk pigeon holing myself by working on exclusively patent cases at the firm? I've heard the patent group can suck you and never let you go, because they need all the bodies they can get. Will this limit exit options into other fields - do the US Attorney Offices hire former patent litigators? Is DOJ's IP section a place you would consider going?

You mentioned the patent bar and an "AIA" requirement for litigators coming up - what is this? I was under the impression I would not need to take the patent bar to litigate.

Thanks again, this is hugely helpful and you seem to be very clear 8)


IRP/PRG work. And it is only a portion of pat lit. Same as interference practice pre-AIA. I would try to take the patent bar.

Yes. You do risk pigeon-holing yourself by working on exclusively patent cases. But no more than you'd be pigeon-holing yourself by volunteering for any type of complex litigation. A case - AT MOST - will take you a few years. Not 10 years. You can always mix it up by taking assignments in non-patent cases even though your dominant biller will be one or two patent matters. Then you can transition away from patent matters and do securities litigation or other commercial lit or even white collar.

It depends on the strength of your firm's other practices. I think Quinn/Irell derive a huge chunk of their revenues from pat lit, so maybe there's not much else "out there" for you to be involved with.

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Re: heavy patent docket clerk, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:Great thread! Thanks so much for posting!

What made you decide to become so patent litigation oriented? What is the advantage of clerking with a patent-heavy USDC judge, and what is the advantage of clerking on the Fed. Cir.? What will these things do for your carer, and what do you want to do with your career?

I come from a Bio background and will be working at Quinn/Irell/Boies this summer. I'm somewhat interested in patent lit because I like science and enjoy my patent class, but do I risk pigeon holing myself by working on exclusively patent cases at the firm? I've heard the patent group can suck you and never let you go, because they need all the bodies they can get. Will this limit exit options into other fields - do the US Attorney Offices hire former patent litigators? Is DOJ's IP section a place you would consider going?

You mentioned the patent bar and an "AIA" requirement for litigators coming up - what is this? I was under the impression I would not need to take the patent bar to litigate.

Thanks again, this is hugely helpful and you seem to be very clear 8)

As for your other questions, I have a tech bg and I like patent law and I like litigation. So other types of GCL do not interest me one bit.

DOJ IP is ok. Not set on that. US Attorney Offices don't have anything against patent litigators. But they do prefer securities litigators slightly because of the type of work USAOs do.

The advantage of clerking for USDC judge with patent docket is you get to understand what works/doesn't, same with CAFC. It's also a way to avoid doc review.




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