IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

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IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:49 pm

Is the broader and earlier-in-your-career training at an IP boutique a better option than the biglaw IP training?
Making partner or going in-house both on the table for future career.

Anyone with personal or good anecdotal experience about ease of lateralling (either way) between IP boutique and IP group in big law?

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is the broader and earlier-in-your-career training at an IP boutique a better option than the biglaw IP training?
Making partner or going in-house both on the table for future career.

Anyone with personal or good anecdotal experience about ease of lateralling (either way) between IP boutique and IP group in big law?


very interested to hear some opinions on this as well.

clintone88
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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby clintone88 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:54 pm

I worked in patent dept of a GP firm in undergrad, and work for a boutique now. I really like both for different reasons.

It really depends on the firm, and if you want pros or lit. Most boutiques are very prosecution heavy, so if you're interested in lit you might not get the best experience for that. However, for pure prosecution work, I think there is definitely an advantage to being around 30 other patent pros people all the time. The one thing you won't develop at a boutique is people skills, since they very often tend to be filled with introverts. From what I've heard and seen, it is considerably easier to make partner at a boutique too. You might not make as much as a boutique partner (though sometimes you easily could make more), but a lot of boutiques hire with plans to make all associates partners if they want. Boutiques seem to have a more casual feel a lot of times from what I've seen. All of that said, being at a GP firm will probably be more fun/enjoyable usually, and is often much better for lit.

In my market, people move between GP and boutique ALL the time without trouble at all. A lot of the GP patent groups in town are in fact people who broke off from a boutique. I can't say for all markets, but I think you would have no problem lateraling between the two from what I've seen/heard. A lot of it will come down to your personality I think. In-house options from both are similar from what I've seen.

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:51 am

clintone88 wrote:I worked in patent dept of a GP firm in undergrad, and work for a boutique now. I really like both for different reasons.

It really depends on the firm, and if you want pros or lit. Most boutiques are very prosecution heavy, so if you're interested in lit you might not get the best experience for that. However, for pure prosecution work, I think there is definitely an advantage to being around 30 other patent pros people all the time. The one thing you won't develop at a boutique is people skills, since they very often tend to be filled with introverts. From what I've heard and seen, it is considerably easier to make partner at a boutique too. You might not make as much as a boutique partner (though sometimes you easily could make more), but a lot of boutiques hire with plans to make all associates partners if they want. Boutiques seem to have a more casual feel a lot of times from what I've seen. All of that said, being at a GP firm will probably be more fun/enjoyable usually, and is often much better for lit.

In my market, people move between GP and boutique ALL the time without trouble at all. A lot of the GP patent groups in town are in fact people who broke off from a boutique. I can't say for all markets, but I think you would have no problem lateraling between the two from what I've seen/heard. A lot of it will come down to your personality I think. In-house options from both are similar from what I've seen.


OP here. Thanks for the info!

Is a boutique really less fun?
Obviously it depends on the people, work, etc, but are the larger numbers at a GP and wider practices going to make the difference?

What about the skills acquisition and varied work? Boutique offers them much earlier, seemingly, but at the expense of more prestigious clients...

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:54 am

For in-house, boutique is best. More contacts. You get licensing/prosecution experience at such a firm.

For lateraling, IP group in big law is probably best depending on which law firm. There's a culture difference between boutiques and GP firms which youre probably aware of.

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:06 pm

Are we including the likes of Fish/Finnegan/Fitzpatrick in "boutiques"? Because I've worked at one of those and the stereotype of nerdy introverts is absolutely not true, quite the opposite actually. Many were fun, open, driven and knew how to have a good time. Basically "work hard play hard". These shops are litigation heavy (tho pro work is widely available) with several trials going on at any given time. There is also this perception that ppl at ip boutiques consider themselves "engineers who practice law" or something like that (I.e., they value their tech knowledge above all). Not at all true in my experience, at least with one of the firms above. For example, I've never heard a story from associates revolving around some technical matter from "back when I was an engineer". Every anecdote was legal practice related. These are very much lawyers first and foremost, who value their status as such.

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are we including the likes of Fish/Finnegan/Fitzpatrick in "boutiques"? Because I've worked at one of those and the stereotype of nerdy introverts is absolutely not true, quite the opposite actually. Many were fun, open, driven and knew how to have a good time. Basically "work hard play hard". These shops are litigation heavy (tho pro work is widely available) with several trials going on at any given time. There is also this perception that ppl at ip boutiques consider themselves "engineers who practice law" or something like that (I.e., they value their tech knowledge above all). Not at all true in my experience, at least with one of the firms above. For example, I've never heard a story from associates revolving around some technical matter from "back when I was an engineer". Every anecdote was legal practice related. These are very much lawyers first and foremost, who value their status as such.


Have you also worked in a GP firm?
Any substantive differences other than just biglaw culture?

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are we including the likes of Fish/Finnegan/Fitzpatrick in "boutiques"? Because I've worked at one of those and the stereotype of nerdy introverts is absolutely not true, quite the opposite actually. Many were fun, open, driven and knew how to have a good time. Basically "work hard play hard". These shops are litigation heavy (tho pro work is widely available) with several trials going on at any given time. There is also this perception that ppl at ip boutiques consider themselves "engineers who practice law" or something like that (I.e., they value their tech knowledge above all). Not at all true in my experience, at least with one of the firms above. For example, I've never heard a story from associates revolving around some technical matter from "back when I was an engineer". Every anecdote was legal practice related. These are very much lawyers first and foremost, who value their status as such.


What about Kenyon? Holding an offer and not sure if I should continue with OCI callbacks at GP firms or take it since I do want to be in NY and really liked it there. I should add that I don't have stellar grades (at T30) nor a desired science background. I want to do litigation though, and although I'll certainly try prosecution, I have a feeling I'd hate it. Are there good exit options from Kenyon? I've heard of many people lateraling INTO Kenyon but not from there.

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are we including the likes of Fish/Finnegan/Fitzpatrick in "boutiques"? Because I've worked at one of those and the stereotype of nerdy introverts is absolutely not true, quite the opposite actually. Many were fun, open, driven and knew how to have a good time. Basically "work hard play hard". These shops are litigation heavy (tho pro work is widely available) with several trials going on at any given time. There is also this perception that ppl at ip boutiques consider themselves "engineers who practice law" or something like that (I.e., they value their tech knowledge above all). Not at all true in my experience, at least with one of the firms above. For example, I've never heard a story from associates revolving around some technical matter from "back when I was an engineer". Every anecdote was legal practice related. These are very much lawyers first and foremost, who value their status as such.


What about Kenyon? Holding an offer and not sure if I should continue with OCI callbacks at GP firms or take it since I do want to be in NY and really liked it there. I should add that I don't have stellar grades (at T30) nor a desired science background. I want to do litigation though, and although I'll certainly try prosecution, I have a feeling I'd hate it. Are there good exit options from Kenyon? I've heard of many people lateraling INTO Kenyon but not from there.


Continue with callbacks unless you are sure that K&K is the firm for you, or that the other firms you still have to visit couldn't be contenders.

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby sky7 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:35 pm

Some great info in this thread. I'm at a Oblon/Sughrue/BSKB level firm, which does mainly foreign prosecution (although I've had plenty of opportunity to do domestic drafting).

I've found that the hours are far less than GP, and the compensation nearly the same(and in some cases better). Partnership track is shorter, but partner compensation is probably 1/3 of a GP equity partner.

A question to the GP people. I plan on sticking with prosecution - are prosecution types at GP firms second class citizens, or are they as highly regarded (and have the partnership prospects) of a litigator?

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:22 pm

should we be more afraid of another Darby Darby or another Dewey?

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:should we be more afraid of another Darby Darby or another Dewey?


Reasons for Darby & Darby downfall?

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:should we be more afraid of another Darby Darby or another Dewey?


Reasons for Darby & Darby downfall?



I was at Darby, but left before the very end. Like all firms that fold there are lots of reasons. The big one is they had a big fat lease on their office space in WTC 7. A handful of partners left when the lease was signed as they were uncomfortable with it. Then the economy hit the skids, which hurt business, obviously. Finally, there was another round of defections and the firm became insolvent.

Of the five old line NYC boutiques, only Kenyon remains. That said, for every boutique that closes a new one opens and everyone I knew at Darby landed on their feet. Most did so quickly.

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:should we be more afraid of another Darby Darby or another Dewey?


Reasons for Darby & Darby downfall?



I was at Darby, but left before the very end. Like all firms that fold there are lots of reasons. The big one is they had a big fat lease on their office space in WTC 7. A handful of partners left when the lease was signed as they were uncomfortable with it. Then the economy hit the skids, which hurt business, obviously. Finally, there was another round of defections and the firm became insolvent.

Of the five old line NYC boutiques, only Kenyon remains. That said, for every boutique that closes a new one opens and everyone I knew at Darby landed on their feet. Most did so quickly.


Thank you for that.
My concerns do stem from the rash of IP boutiques that disappeared. That said, it seems that those attorneys were able to find work in another boutique or GP firm.
That suggests that lateraling between boutique and GP is not a problem for IP, and the training at a boutique is acceptable to GP firms.

Can anyone else can chime in on training difference between GP and Boutique?

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:07 am

May not matter to you if you have good grades but boutiques are significantly more grade conscious. A T2 w median grades and great tech credentials (including WE) has a solid shot a most boutiques. I have similar credentials and the only positive responses (e.g., request for more info like ug xcript and writing sample) I got from mass mail came from boutiques.

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for that.
My concerns do stem from the rash of IP boutiques that disappeared. That said, it seems that those attorneys were able to find work in another boutique or GP firm.
That suggests that lateraling between boutique and GP is not a problem for IP, and the training at a boutique is acceptable to GP firms.

Can anyone else can chime in on training difference between GP and Boutique?


I'd also like to know this. Do GPs see a difference between bigger full service IP firms like Knobbe, Fitzpatrick, and Kenyon and smaller boutiques that specialize in either litigation or prosecution? I discussed going in-house with an alum who went from Kaye Scholer (which has an IP group that basically acts as a boutique within a GP firm) to a large computer technology company and he said most in-house positions will favor attorneys with a wide range of experience and not just patent stuff. Would it be kind of the opposite if you're going to a GP, since the GP probably only wants you for your IP experience...?

On a different note, since Kenyon is known as the last IP dinosaur, is there concern that they'll disappear or become second class to the likes of Kirkland, Quinn, and Wilson Sonsini?

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:58 am

Bump.

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soccerfreak
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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby soccerfreak » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are we including the likes of Fish/Finnegan/Fitzpatrick in "boutiques"? Because I've worked at one of those and the stereotype of nerdy introverts is absolutely not true, quite the opposite actually. Many were fun, open, driven and knew how to have a good time. Basically "work hard play hard". These shops are litigation heavy (tho pro work is widely available) with several trials going on at any given time. There is also this perception that ppl at ip boutiques consider themselves "engineers who practice law" or something like that (I.e., they value their tech knowledge above all). Not at all true in my experience, at least with one of the firms above. For example, I've never heard a story from associates revolving around some technical matter from "back when I was an engineer". Every anecdote was legal practice related. These are very much lawyers first and foremost, who value their status as such.


What about Kenyon? Holding an offer and not sure if I should continue with OCI callbacks at GP firms or take it since I do want to be in NY and really liked it there. I should add that I don't have stellar grades (at T30) nor a desired science background. I want to do litigation though, and although I'll certainly try prosecution, I have a feeling I'd hate it. Are there good exit options from Kenyon? I've heard of many people lateraling INTO Kenyon but not from there.

PM me?

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:15 pm

Bump. Interested to hear opinions about IP lit career, pros and cons for starting at market-paying (or higher) boutique vs. biglaw, earlier talks mostly focuses on IP pros.

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Bump. Interested to hear opinions about IP lit career, pros and cons for starting at market-paying (or higher) boutique vs. biglaw, earlier talks mostly focuses on IP pros.


IP lit has become like any other lit career. IP lit people with tech degrees used to be rare, but this is no longer the case. Expect to work 3-5 years for a biglaw firm and then get subtly pushed out into a job where you'll never make more than ~200-250k (if you're lucky).

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby truevines » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Bump. Interested to hear opinions about IP lit career, pros and cons for starting at market-paying (or higher) boutique vs. biglaw, earlier talks mostly focuses on IP pros.


IP lit has become like any other lit career. IP lit people with tech degrees used to be rare, but this is no longer the case. Expect to work 3-5 years for a biglaw firm and then get subtly pushed out into a job where you'll never make more than ~200-250k (if you're lucky).


I'd be very happy if I can make $250k/year throughout my career.

In addition, IP litigators with the right tech backgrounds are still very rare - think EE. My firm is full of patent litigators with MechE or CS majors; they are useless when it comes to complicated circuit/logic designs/wireless communication/math patents.

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:20 pm

truevines wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Bump. Interested to hear opinions about IP lit career, pros and cons for starting at market-paying (or higher) boutique vs. biglaw, earlier talks mostly focuses on IP pros.


IP lit has become like any other lit career. IP lit people with tech degrees used to be rare, but this is no longer the case. Expect to work 3-5 years for a biglaw firm and then get subtly pushed out into a job where you'll never make more than ~200-250k (if you're lucky).


I'd be very happy if I can make $250k/year throughout my career.

In addition, IP litigators with the right tech backgrounds are still very rare - think EE. My firm is full of patent litigators with MechE or CS majors; they are useless when it comes to complicated circuit/logic designs/wireless communication/math patents.


There are actually quite a few EE people at my firm who do IP lit. I was surprised when I first found this out, but a lot of people in top engineering schools are going straight to law school these days--much more than 10-15 years ago.

Also, I think 250k is a bit optimistic for an average biglaw IP lit refugee. 150k is more realistic, if you're talking about in house positions.

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:40 am

Considering how IP lit is mostly done by BigLaw these days, should one be concerned about exit options/laterals if s/he starts at an IP lit boutique immediately following graduation?

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Considering how IP lit is mostly done by BigLaw these days, should one be concerned about exit options/laterals if s/he starts at an IP lit boutique immediately following graduation?


There are no exit options for IP lit, except for MOAR LITIGATION (usually at a smaller firm that doesn't do IP lit at all), and that's if you're lucky. A lot of biglaw and boutique IP lit associates end up leaving law. The ones with tech backgrounds can usually find something somewhere (small firm or in house job), but the others are usually fukt (just like most lit associates).

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Re: IP boutique or IP group biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:04 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Considering how IP lit is mostly done by BigLaw these days, should one be concerned about exit options/laterals if s/he starts at an IP lit boutique immediately following graduation?


There are no exit options for IP lit, except for MOAR LITIGATION (usually at a smaller firm that doesn't do IP lit at all), and that's if you're lucky. A lot of biglaw and boutique IP lit associates end up leaving law. The ones with tech backgrounds can usually find something somewhere (small firm or in house job), but the others are usually fukt (just like most lit associates).

How are the exit options for IP litigation associates who also have some licensing/transaction experience? Any better than those who do straight IP lit? I'm hoping to work in both practice groups.




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