USPTO internship vs. Small IP firm internship?

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Anonymous User
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USPTO internship vs. Small IP firm internship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:30 pm

So I have a bit of a unique circumstance. Raised and went to undergrad in the bay area, now at a tier 1 but well outside of t14 law school in the east coast. Almost certain that I will return to CA (either bay area or socal) after graduation. I want to do IP/patent litigation and/or prosecution. I was really trying to find a small IP firm gig in the bay area and I finally did find an unpaid one that I was just going to take, but then I heard back from the USPTO internship. Both jobs are unpaid. I'm at a dilemma as to which one I should take now, since I feel like the USPTO looks better on the resume but I can see that being in CA starting this summer would be helpful in networking and showing that I want to be in CA for future opportunities. The small firm is very small (<10 attorneys) and probably unknown outside of its immediate location, though I'm sure the internship experience will be okay there too.

Any insight on which I should take?

turbotong
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Re: USPTO internship vs. Small IP firm internship?

Postby turbotong » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Doesn't matter - either way you did something related to your career. That is all that is required for 1L summer. 2L summer is where it is at bro.

Anonymous User
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Re: USPTO internship vs. Small IP firm internship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:28 pm

so is this the case where one doesn't look substantially better in terms of experience or appearance?

Emu Flu
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Re: USPTO internship vs. Small IP firm internship?

Postby Emu Flu » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:19 pm

Personally, I would go for the firm since it's in the field and location you want. Interning at the USPTO is probably ok, but I question whether it will actually look better on your resume.

I'm in the Bay Area, and I'm wondering which small IP firm it happens to be since it's unpaid. There is at least one that hires a horde of unpaid interns from all over the country. It's supposedly a horrible experience to work there. I'm hoping that you're not ending up at one of those places.

Anonymous User
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Re: USPTO internship vs. Small IP firm internship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I have a bit of a unique circumstance. Raised and went to undergrad in the bay area, now at a tier 1 but well outside of t14 law school in the east coast. Almost certain that I will return to CA (either bay area or socal) after graduation. I want to do IP/patent litigation and/or prosecution. I was really trying to find a small IP firm gig in the bay area and I finally did find an unpaid one that I was just going to take, but then I heard back from the USPTO internship. Both jobs are unpaid. I'm at a dilemma as to which one I should take now, since I feel like the USPTO looks better on the resume but I can see that being in CA starting this summer would be helpful in networking and showing that I want to be in CA for future opportunities. The small firm is very small (<10 attorneys) and probably unknown outside of its immediate location, though I'm sure the internship experience will be okay there too.

Any insight on which I should take?



I remember it's unlawful for a for-profit firm to use unpaid interns. Check it out before you accept the offer.

Anonymous User
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Re: USPTO internship vs. Small IP firm internship?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:41 pm

Emu Flu wrote:Personally, I would go for the firm since it's in the field and location you want. Interning at the USPTO is probably ok, but I question whether it will actually look better on your resume.

I'm in the Bay Area, and I'm wondering which small IP firm it happens to be since it's unpaid. There is at least one that hires a horde of unpaid interns from all over the country. It's supposedly a horrible experience to work there. I'm hoping that you're not ending up at one of those places.


thanks for the insight. These guys are a pretty small firm so I don't know if they'd be the ones to hire "hordes" of unpaid interns, but yea I do hope these guys aren't it.

Anonymous User wrote:I remember it's unlawful for a for-profit firm to use unpaid interns. Check it out before you accept the offer.


I was told this multiple times from our career office too, but in the end, I guess there's not much I can do about it. They made it clear that the internship is unpaid and I know an intern from the summer previous who worked unpaid so I don't know if it's a good idea to call them out on it. Thanks for the insight.

clintone88
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Re: USPTO internship vs. Small IP firm internship?

Postby clintone88 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:56 pm

I would think the work you would get to do at a small boutique would be more substantial. For that reason I would take the firm, more practical experience for prosecution I suspect. I don't know much about the pto internship but I've worked for a small boutique and I'm summering at one and you usually do real claims drafting, specs, amendments, etc. Maybe the pto internship is just as good though




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