Mayer Brown or Knobbe Martens -- IP Lit

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breakinghigh
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Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:38 am

Mayer Brown or Knobbe Martens -- IP Lit

Postby breakinghigh » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:35 pm

Hey guys,

I really need some insight here, and TLS was really helpful for me when I chose where to go to law schools. I've narrowed down my options to the two firms in the poll: Mayer Brown and Knobbe Martens. The two firms and markets are basically as opposite as it can be, with pros and cons for each. I'm interested in primarily IP lit. I have massive debt, ~200K -- paying that off will be my first priority. I have no long-term goals to go in-house or to the government, and would like to go somewhere where I could carve out a long-lasting career or have the exit-options to do so.

I've been doing as much research as possible, from reading threads to calling up associates. Here are some of my thoughts. If someone has first or second-hand experience with these firms, please let me know and I'll PM you.

Mayer Brown: People seem pretty chill. It's NYC market, and the firm is generally one of the better firms re: compensation. The IP department is leanly-staffed (slightly under 1:2 partner to associate ratio) and I would get lots of substantive experience and responsibility early on. Work hours seem pretty standard for NYC (8:30/9:30-7:00/8:00). Would get to work on a variety of cases. I have friend and family ties to NYC.

Knobbe Martens: People seem pretty content. A few socially awkward partners here and there, but still all-around nice people. Pays below market, and my understanding is their payscale is rather compressed until you reach partnership. Low leverage, with a 1:1 partner to associate ratio. Partnership is reasonably attainable with a track of 6 years, which means I would also get lots of substantive experience and responsibility early on. Firm follows unorthodox billed hours system, which is a subject of concern. The lifestyle aspect of the firm seems a bit oversold, but the hours would on average be 8:30-6 (so it seems at least one less hour per day compared to NYC). I have no ties in CA and would have to essentially start over in my late 20s.


Since the firms are in different markets, it feels very much like comparing apples to oranges. I would greatly appreciate any advice here.

EDIT: Removed poll because I really want to hear the reasoning.

breakinghigh
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:38 am

Re: Mayer Brown or Knobbe Martens -- IP Lit

Postby breakinghigh » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:17 pm

Bumping this because I desperately need help. Assume exit options will be different. Exit options from Mayer would be more litigation. A lot more career longevity at Knobbe, but if I wanted to leave I could get in-house because I'd be exposed to some prosecution work.

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fatduck
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Re: Mayer Brown or Knobbe Martens -- IP Lit

Postby fatduck » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:23 pm

i've heard nothing but bad things about knobbe. i recently googled one of the people i interviewed with this -- a first-year, mind you -- and she'd already lateraled to another firm.

it's no longer a lifestyle firm, and the short partnership track just makes you a senior associate with a title. i don't think it follows that you will see substantive experience and responsibility early on. the payscale is compressed and the billed hours system sounds fucking awful.

MB has a great IP lit group. if you liked the people there, and like NYC, i think this is a no-brainer.

breakinghigh
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:38 am

Re: Mayer Brown or Knobbe Martens -- IP Lit

Postby breakinghigh » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:42 pm

Fatduck, did you get to interview with MB's IP lit group? What were your impressions?

I heard most of the issues with Knobbe were on the EE/CS Prosecution side, mainly having due to a few select clients. While the lifestyle aspect does seem oversold, an extra hour or two everyday really does add up, enough that the gamble here could be worth it. That's why I haven't completely written them out of the picture.


(Oh, btw I did 1L at Vandy so you know who I am)

Anonymous User
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Re: Mayer Brown or Knobbe Martens -- IP Lit

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:17 pm

I've noticed that Knobbe has been getting a lot of negative reviews on GlassDoor.com over the last year. You might want to check that out.

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fatduck
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Re: Mayer Brown or Knobbe Martens -- IP Lit

Postby fatduck » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:14 am

breakinghigh wrote:Fatduck, did you get to interview with MB's IP lit group? What were your impressions?

I heard most of the issues with Knobbe were on the EE/CS Prosecution side, mainly having due to a few select clients. While the lifestyle aspect does seem oversold, an extra hour or two everyday really does add up, enough that the gamble here could be worth it. That's why I haven't completely written them out of the picture.


(Oh, btw I did 1L at Vandy so you know who I am)

i interviewed with the IP lit group in DC - it's a small group and everyone was awesome. my only concern was that they were relatively new to MB - they'd all come over from howrey a few years ago - so if they decided to leave for greener pastures a few years down the road i might get left behind. but honestly i don't really think that's an issue.

even if you're working a little less at knobbe, you're also getting paid below market. if you're able/willing to take less salary, i don't see why you'd do it at a place that's working barely below biglaw hours.




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