160k V20 IP lit in bay area vs. 125k patent pros in flyover

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160k V20 IP lit in bay area vs. 125k patent pros in flyover

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:58 pm

I'm kind of ambivalent about whether to do patent prosecution or IP litigation. Tell me what the long-term pros and cons are between these two options. I'm married with kids, so I'm not looking for a hip bar scene and I'd like to settle down somewhere where nice schools don't cost 45k per year for my kids.

Assume the flyover city is East-coastish and <300,000 people (about a million in the entire MSA).

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Re: 160k V20 IP lit in bay area vs. 125k patent pros in flyover

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:06 pm

Do you want to live in the Bay Area or in Richmond/Hartford/Rochester/whatever? That's the only real question, and one we can't answer. Firm differences are not going to be particularly significant; it's mostly cost of living and location. Bay Area is a good place to raise kids and send them to public schools, but of course housing is very pricey.

I would choose the Bay Area in an instant, but I know not everyone is me.

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englawyer
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Re: 160k V20 IP lit in bay area vs. 125k patent pros in flyover

Postby englawyer » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:11 pm

i think patent prosecution in flyover is better for your situation. pros will have better hours and thus work/life balance. I would only go IP lit if you were gonna try to gun for $$$$ (partnership etc); IP pros will not be $$$$ but it will be $$.

farmernate
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Re: 160k V20 IP lit in bay area vs. 125k patent pros in flyover

Postby farmernate » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:14 pm

What are the billable HR requirements? It sounds like you value quality of life, in which case the prosecution shop should probably offer you more of that than IP Lit in SV.

In terms of exit options, the IP Lit V20 in SV will give you more, due to its proximity with high-tech firms and start-ups.

Cost of living will most likely be lower in fly-over states than Palo Alto. A good school district in the bay area commands a high premium on housing.

What do you prefer doing? IP Lit and Patent Pros are very different in terms of the type of work you will be doing.

TL;DR - there is no simple answer, weigh and balance your preferences

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Re: 160k V20 IP lit in bay area vs. 125k patent pros in flyover

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:22 pm

Patent Prosecution:
* More part-time, contractor, remote attorney, etc. options where you can work at home in your pajamas
* Potentially longer career in private practice
* Easier to start your own firm, get your own business
* More in-house positions
* Usually less money
* Usually less hours. Many boutiques only have 1500-1700 hour requirements.
* Lots of different types of forms: Big Law, full-service IP firms, patent pros only boutiques

Patent Litigation:
* Usually more money
* More well-known firms

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Re: 160k V20 IP lit in bay area vs. 125k patent pros in flyover

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:43 pm

I've lived in (and had exposure to patent law in) both markets. I would point out a few things:

  • Yes, housing is pricey in the bay area - but in my view, it is a choice of housing type rather than price. Attorneys in smaller cities live in $600k McMansions in the suburbs, and attorneys in the Bay Area live in $600k condominiums. Both are reasonable housing choices in my view - it is simply part of the lifestyle choice you make. Many fine, well-adjusted kids grow up without having a big house.
  • Schools: I'd take Palo Alto/Los Altos/Cupertino public schools any day over most private schools in (random city) - although I have to say I was extremely happy with the particular private school I attended in (random city). The cost of schools (in Silicon Valley at least) is paid for in rent (good school district) rather than tuition. If you're in SF this is a more difficult question (unless you commute from Marin/Peninsula?)
  • Smaller markets are smaller. This means firms tend to be more stable, with less turnover, and value stability. In my experience patent prosecution in a smaller market will likely have a lighter workload as well. But if you do leave the firm, you may have to move to find another firm you like. Larger markets have more career options - it will be easier to lateral to other firms (especially from your V20), but you will have less job security.
  • I'm not looking for a hip bar scene either. But the culture (in terms of people, restaurants, events, etc.) are quite different in other respects. And even if you only eat American food and spend all your time at work and home, that cultural difference will at the very least have some impact on how your kids see the world. Which environment do you prefer: a smaller city with strong American values or a more diverse, larger city?
  • There may be significant differences between the dominant technical areas in each market. The Bay Area is focused on software and EE with a bit of bio. Smaller markets are likely to have a different focus. Give some thought to how the work available at each firm fits in with your technical background and interests.
  • If your spouse works as well there will be more, higher-paying options in the Bay Area. This helps offset the cost-of-living difference.

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Re: 160k V20 IP lit in bay area vs. 125k patent pros in flyover

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:07 pm

farmernate wrote:What are the billable HR requirements? It sounds like you value quality of life, in which case the prosecution shop should probably offer you more of that than IP Lit in SV.

In terms of exit options, the IP Lit V20 in SV will give you more, due to its proximity with high-tech firms and start-ups.

Cost of living will most likely be lower in fly-over states than Palo Alto. A good school district in the bay area commands a high premium on housing.

What do you prefer doing? IP Lit and Patent Pros are very different in terms of the type of work you will be doing.

TL;DR - there is no simple answer, weigh and balance your preferences


>2000 for the V20
>1800 for the patent pros firm

I have no idea what I'd prefer doing because I've never done either.

125k in the flyover city = 300k in the bay area according to some random website




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