Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

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Which job to take

CEO of Small Telecom Company
4
57%
DoD Consulting Booz Allen
2
29%
Federal Consulting Deloitte
1
14%
Hold Out for Patent Litigation
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 7

Anonymous User
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Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:14 am

...Adventure

Hi all -

I'm a T20 grad (a little below median) that's been working in patent prosecution for a year. My firm lost the client I was working on, and I've been let go. Looking back on it, it was pretty miserable stuff, and I don't think I want another job doing prosecution.

Pre-patent law, I was an officer in the Navy, and I have a lot of technical experience leading teams at the Pentagon implementing classified networks, and I also have a EE/CS degree.

So now I'm looking for a new job.

I've been offered by a firm that does telecom satellite uplink/downlink work to take over for the original owner running the show who is retiring. 20 person company, 5 million in annual revenue. There's a lot of room to grow and it's an amazing opportunity. No initial equity, but after a year I should get about 10%. I could potentially majorly score if we were bought out in a few years, which is the majority owners intent.

Booz Allen consulting would be doing cyber security policy, which is something I have experience in.

Deloitte is a great name, and would be the highest salary (initially).

If I was to stay in law, I'd only want to do litigation, but I haven't had any major interest from firms, mostly due to my subpar grades and lack of a journal.

About me - no school debt, but a hefty mortgage that my wife currently pays :)

Still, I'm worried about the telecom business, and if it doesn't work out, I think it would be really bad to have 2 short employment entries on my résumé. So the safe part of me is inclined to consult at massive firms which have low turnover. But I'm fairly sure I'd never have the CEO type opportunity again in this lifetime.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby crazycanuck » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:54 pm

Personally, i would take the CEO job. It will be much more interesting than the consulting jobs, and there's a lot of potential there. It's also more exciting.

Consulting jobs will pretty much always be available.

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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:32 pm

Crazy - thanks for weighing in. I'm just a little concerned about the break away from law, only a year after graduation.

Pokemon
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby Pokemon » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Crazy - thanks for weighing in. I'm just a little concerned about the break away from law, only a year after graduation.


The only options you seem to have (for now) are consulting and the company position. I would go for the company position, because even if it does not work as ideally as you wanted, it would be still good experience that will keep the consulting door open. You seem to lose nothing from it, and a whole lot to gain.

I would not be concerned about your break from the law if you found it miserable, as you say.

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suralin
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby suralin » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:15 pm

Pokemon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Crazy - thanks for weighing in. I'm just a little concerned about the break away from law, only a year after graduation.


The only options you seem to have (for now) are consulting and the company position. I would go for the company position, because even if it does not work as ideally as you wanted, it would be still good experience that will keep the consulting door open. You seem to lose nothing from it, and a whole lot to gain.

I would not be concerned about your break from the law if you found it miserable, as you say.


I think OP meant that he found only patent prosecution miserable.

OP, does that mean you actually enjoy litigation? Or do you merely find it tolerable?

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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:18 pm

I've only does litigation support, and it was awesome. I spent days playing video games looking for gameplay mechanics that infringed our clients patents.

I assume that not all litigation work will be that awesome :-P

I'm concerned about breaking away from law because I went to law school, passed the bar, and I just assumed I'd be a career attorney, and that I would suck it up like everyone else. I suspect that if I left now, the door will forever be closed.

The CEO position excites me, and I don't have any real reason to turn it down, I don't think. I think I just assumed that I wouldn't get out of the legal industry for at least 5 years, and if I did so, I'd just go in house. So leaving it after only a year is kinda freaking me out.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby crazycanuck » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've only does litigation support, and it was awesome. I spent days playing video games looking for gameplay mechanics that infringed our clients patents.

I assume that not all litigation work will be that awesome :-P

I'm concerned about breaking away from law because I went to law school, passed the bar, and I just assumed I'd be a career attorney, and that I would suck it up like everyone else. I suspect that if I left now, the door will forever be closed.

The CEO position excites me, and I don't have any real reason to turn it down, I don't think. I think I just assumed that I wouldn't get out of the legal industry for at least 5 years, and if I did so, I'd just go in house. So leaving it after only a year is kinda freaking me out.


ummmmm

Do you want to be "sucking it up" for the next 60 years, or do stuff that excites you?

Re-read your post, and see if the path is as obvious to you as it is to me.

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dingbat
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby dingbat » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:23 pm

I'd take the CEO position, but be careful that you don't get in over your head. As CEO, if you fuck up really badly there can be legal ramifications beyond getting let go and screwing up badly can make you somewhat unemployable. That's really a worst-case scenario, but worth keeping in mind.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby crazycanuck » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:26 pm

dingbat wrote:I'd take the CEO position, but be careful that you don't get in over your head. As CEO, if you fuck up really badly there can be legal ramifications beyond getting let go and screwing up badly can make you somewhat unemployable. That's really a worst-case scenario, but worth keeping in mind.


This is false. Fucking up is a positive learning experience, and other organizations looking to hire people in management positions look for people who have failed before and are continuing on. CEOs that fuck shit up go on and get better jobs after all the time. VC's look for start ups that are founded by people who failed in the past.

We don't have to all be so scared of risk all the time.

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dingbat
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby dingbat » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:31 pm

crazycanuck wrote:
dingbat wrote:I'd take the CEO position, but be careful that you don't get in over your head. As CEO, if you fuck up really badly there can be legal ramifications beyond getting let go and screwing up badly can make you somewhat unemployable. That's really a worst-case scenario, but worth keeping in mind.


This is false. Fucking up is a positive learning experience, and other organizations looking to hire people in management positions look for people who have failed before and are continuing on. CEOs that fuck shit up go on and get better jobs after all the time. VC's look for start ups that are founded by people who failed in the past.

We don't have to all be so scared of risk all the time.

Depends on how badly you fuck up.

Edit: there's nothing wrong with taking reasonable risk, but there is with getting yourself in way over your head. Under certain circumstances I'd jump at the opportunity to take a CEO position, but under other circumstances I'd stay away. I know what I can and can't do, and if I'm reasonably sure it's something I can't do, I don't do it

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:15 pm

Flame?

Anonymous User
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:37 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Flame?


Actually, no. After 5 years on TLS, it's actually one of flattering to be questioned as a flame for the first time.

Regarding the CEO job, the 2 roles are as manager and sales. The company has been pretty managerless for 2 years - the owner has largely been absent and three team leads have been running their sections autonomously. I'd come in as a centralized manager above the 3 teams.

As for sales, I think this could be the fun part. A lot of trips to NYC, where there are institutional contracts with the major networks, and trying to leverage that into new contracts.

So all in all, I think those are things I can do. I don't think I'd be getting in over my head. Thanks for all the supportive comments.

Agent
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby Agent » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:11 pm

Mind sending me a PM?

09042014
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:24 pm

How much of a risk adverse pussy do you have to be to turn down a CEO job.

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dingbat
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Re: Alternative Careers From Patent Law - Choose Your Own...

Postby dingbat » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:38 pm

Desert Fox wrote:How much of a risk adverse pussy do you have to be to turn down a CEO job.

I once interviewed for a CEO position, but some time during the process I realized I would have been in way over my head. Some of the questions they asked as part of the interview process were very interesting




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