Ideal summer opportunities in IP/patent law

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LaBarrister
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:20 pm

Ideal summer opportunities in IP/patent law

Postby LaBarrister » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:38 am

Assuming one isn't working at the USPTO, a company, a firm, etc. and going to law school part-time, what would a typical, full-time law student do during the summer if on a strict IP/patent law route?

Think of things apart from what any other field of interest would command. Do IP/patent law students get clerkships with patent judges? I wouldn't see how this would help. Do they go to the USPTO? That sounds boring--you can do that as an undergraduate.

What are some of the cool options unique to the IP/patent law field?

truevines
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:16 pm

Re: Ideal summer opportunities in IP/patent law

Postby truevines » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:30 am

LaBarrister wrote:Assuming one isn't working at the USPTO, a company, a firm, etc. and going to law school part-time, what would a typical, full-time law student do during the summer if on a strict IP/patent law route?

Think of things apart from what any other field of interest would command. Do IP/patent law students get clerkships with patent judges? I wouldn't see how this would help. Do they go to the USPTO? That sounds boring--you can do that as an undergraduate.

What are some of the cool options unique to the IP/patent law field?


I speak of my own experience: I spent my 1L summer doing patent prosecution and 2L summer on patent litigation. I am doing patent litigation now.

During my 1L summer, I drafted patent apps and OA responses, interviewed clients, conducted infringement/invalidity analyses. During my 2L summer, I did legal research memos.

Background: EE/CS.

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Dr. Review
Posts: 1797
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:51 am

Re: Ideal summer opportunities in IP/patent law

Postby Dr. Review » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:42 am

Some fed district courts have the patent pilot program, and those judges tend to want at least one clerk with good familiarity, otherwise, CAFC is the way to go, clerkship-wise. I may be mistaken, but I think that CAFC clerks are more often attorneys with experience.

Like you said, there is the USPTO. You could examine, but that's not exactly going to cover the student debt in a hurry. They also hire patent attorneys, but I haven't looked into those responsibilities at all. I spent my 1L summer doing general federal court stuff, because knowing your way around the FRCP and district court in general is a good skillset for an IP litigator. Hell, you may even get to see Markman hearings while you're there, I did.

Obviously there's firm work. There's in-house. I spent my 2L summer doing prosecution work with the IP department at a big company. Most universities have a tech transfer office, which handles prosecution matters and licensing agreements for technologies that the school has developed. That's usually a little more ground level if you're not extremely familiar with prep and pros work.

Depending on what summer it is, the focus may not matter so much. My 1L summer, I opted for a job that gave me great litigation skills and put me in contact with the local patent bar. If you end up doing something generic, there's always the patent bar. Small/mid size firms are going to weigh that a little more heavily than large firms, since they can bill you higher and you have less training time (not to mention knocking that out before March/April of this year is going to save you a lot of hassle).

What I did was to ask myself: "How will this help me in my career? Will it give me network connections? Will I build practical skills I will use as an associate? Can I sell this in an interview?" If I thought I could justify a good number of those, I sent them an application. Let's be honest, the legal market isn't at 100%. I have a job lined up, but I know people who graduated with better credentials and the same background who didn't have one.

My $.02.

(Chemistry background)

LaBarrister
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:20 pm

Re: Ideal summer opportunities in IP/patent law

Postby LaBarrister » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:57 am

truevines wrote:
LaBarrister wrote:Assuming one isn't working at the USPTO, a company, a firm, etc. and going to law school part-time, what would a typical, full-time law student do during the summer if on a strict IP/patent law route?

Think of things apart from what any other field of interest would command. Do IP/patent law students get clerkships with patent judges? I wouldn't see how this would help. Do they go to the USPTO? That sounds boring--you can do that as an undergraduate.

What are some of the cool options unique to the IP/patent law field?


I speak of my own experience: I spent my 1L summer doing patent prosecution and 2L summer on patent litigation. I am doing patent litigation now.

During my 1L summer, I drafted patent apps and OA responses, interviewed clients, conducted infringement/invalidity analyses. During my 2L summer, I did legal research memos.

Background: EE/CS.


Yeah, that sounds pretty ideal. Congrats on the EE background. That's not the easiest field of study.

Did you get into that prosecution job at a firm? Do you think you did any particular to get in? By that time, I think I will have the experiences and connections necessary to land a summer job like that. If I can just make the grades when law school gets here, I guess I'll be good.

LaBarrister
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:20 pm

Re: Ideal summer opportunities in IP/patent law

Postby LaBarrister » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:00 am

Bedsole wrote:Some fed district courts have the patent pilot program, and those judges tend to want at least one clerk with good familiarity, otherwise, CAFC is the way to go, clerkship-wise. I may be mistaken, but I think that CAFC clerks are more often attorneys with experience.

Like you said, there is the USPTO. You could examine, but that's not exactly going to cover the student debt in a hurry. They also hire patent attorneys, but I haven't looked into those responsibilities at all. I spent my 1L summer doing general federal court stuff, because knowing your way around the FRCP and district court in general is a good skillset for an IP litigator. Hell, you may even get to see Markman hearings while you're there, I did.

Obviously there's firm work. There's in-house. I spent my 2L summer doing prosecution work with the IP department at a big company. Most universities have a tech transfer office, which handles prosecution matters and licensing agreements for technologies that the school has developed. That's usually a little more ground level if you're not extremely familiar with prep and pros work.

Depending on what summer it is, the focus may not matter so much. My 1L summer, I opted for a job that gave me great litigation skills and put me in contact with the local patent bar. If you end up doing something generic, there's always the patent bar. Small/mid size firms are going to weigh that a little more heavily than large firms, since they can bill you higher and you have less training time (not to mention knocking that out before March/April of this year is going to save you a lot of hassle).

What I did was to ask myself: "How will this help me in my career? Will it give me network connections? Will I build practical skills I will use as an associate? Can I sell this in an interview?" If I thought I could justify a good number of those, I sent them an application. Let's be honest, the legal market isn't at 100%. I have a job lined up, but I know people who graduated with better credentials and the same background who didn't have one.

My $.02.

(Chemistry background)


Good for you on getting those opportunities.

I honestly had no idea that someone could get litigation experience as a law student.

FTR: Chem E

LaBarrister
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:20 pm

Re: Ideal summer opportunities in IP/patent law

Postby LaBarrister » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:03 am

I'm just hoping that my summers turn out like you two's summers did. I actually won't graduate until 2015, and then I plan on examining for a couple years, so I'm still a young bud. The legal market may be totally different in five years.

But so far I'm getting the grades, so at least I have that going for me. And this summer I'll be at the USPTO. So that's pretty cool, too.

Is there anything I should do this summer while at the USPTO to leverage my time there? People I may want to meet, law firms I may want to see, etc.?

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Dr. Review
Posts: 1797
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:51 am

Re: Ideal summer opportunities in IP/patent law

Postby Dr. Review » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:36 am

LaBarrister wrote:Good for you on getting those opportunities.

I honestly had no idea that someone could get litigation experience as a law student.

FTR: Chem E


It's definitely possible, although you're not going the be working on some groundbreaking new exciting litigation. I actually got a chance to write a District Court opinion which was published substantially as I wrote it, and it was a topic I had no familiarity with before that summer. I know at least one guy who worked on a number of federal appellate opinions. Know what to look for, and don't worry too much if your experience won't be exactly on point for patent, as long as you are getting the skills.




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