Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Donkeykongmadness
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:47 pm

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Donkeykongmadness » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Donkeykongmadness wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for answering questions!

I come from a startup background (started/sold my own in UG) and also a short amount of time in finance (M&A, PEG, VC) for the 2 years between UG and LS. Now a 1L and would love to handle the Legal side of the coin from here on out, at least for the foreseeable future. How should i approach this with employers in the SV area. One comment I get from a few groups is a concern I would take another opportunity or start another business and to be honest idk how to respond other than saying, I won't. What's your take on that? I think my background would be of benefit to firms in the VC/Startup space because of my past experience, but I'm not sure how to leverage it to a certain degree.


This is where you'll want to say something convincing about why you're in law instead of starting up another venture. You don't want to bash your prior experience, but explain why you're in this boat now. I doubt it will be a problem unless you give off the vibe that you're flighty. If you worked in finance between UG and LS, then that buffers your prior startup experience and works in your favor. I doubt someone will even ask unless you put it prominently on your resume. Use it as a pivot point to explain why you want to work with start-ups and how that gives you a unique perspective.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:07 pm

Donkeykongmadness wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm in the process of bidding for PLIP, and having trouble distinguishing which firms would be (most) interested in my background. I am spending my 1L summer on the East Coast in the Electrical/Software and Mechanical group, doing both pros and lit. I don't have any background with life sciences.

I hope to make it to California (Bay Area Native) for 2L summer. Are any of the major players firms that I should not even waste a bid on? As in they only do life science patent work? Or do all of the major players do enough EE-type litigation that I would have a shot there?

Thanks for taking questions!


All of the SV firms will appreciate your background. If you were considering the satellite offices, that answer might change as some satellite offices are more life science focused.


I guess I saw this on the PLIP website from Wilson Sonsini:
"The Patent Strategy, Counseling, and Prosecution practice is seeking students with advanced degrees, Masters and/or PhDs, OR EQUIVALENT WORK EXPERIENCE in Life Science, Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering."

Makes it sound like Wilson Sonsini is only looking to hire life science people. I'm noticing a similar high amount of life science in a lot of other firms as well.

I was under the impression that Wilson Sonsini had a fairly robust tech practice, so I'm somewhat confused by this. Are they just actively trying to gun for the life sciences, or are these firms really not hiring EE people?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Donkeykongmadness wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm in the process of bidding for PLIP, and having trouble distinguishing which firms would be (most) interested in my background. I am spending my 1L summer on the East Coast in the Electrical/Software and Mechanical group, doing both pros and lit. I don't have any background with life sciences.

I hope to make it to California (Bay Area Native) for 2L summer. Are any of the major players firms that I should not even waste a bid on? As in they only do life science patent work? Or do all of the major players do enough EE-type litigation that I would have a shot there?

Thanks for taking questions!


All of the SV firms will appreciate your background. If you were considering the satellite offices, that answer might change as some satellite offices are more life science focused.


I guess I saw this on the PLIP website from Wilson Sonsini:
"The Patent Strategy, Counseling, and Prosecution practice is seeking students with advanced degrees, Masters and/or PhDs, OR EQUIVALENT WORK EXPERIENCE in Life Science, Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering."

Makes it sound like Wilson Sonsini is only looking to hire life science people. I'm noticing a similar high amount of life science in a lot of other firms as well.

I was under the impression that Wilson Sonsini had a fairly robust tech practice, so I'm somewhat confused by this. Are they just actively trying to gun for the life sciences, or are these firms really not hiring EE people?


"Patent Strategy, Counseling, and Prosecution practice" basically sounds like prosecution type of work. I'm a Bay Area EE/CS patent prosecutor and I've never even heard of Wilson Sonsini having an EE/CS prosecution group. They might have one, but it's probably not very large. It's probably difficult for them to be competitive.

I'm not surprised that they're mainly looking for life science people for patent counseling/prosecution type of work. A lot of the EE/CS work in the Bay Area is dominated by small boutiques. The life sciences is still mainly in the domain of larger general practice firms. And of course a lot of EE/CS litigation is at large general practice firms.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Donkeykongmadness wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm in the process of bidding for PLIP, and having trouble distinguishing which firms would be (most) interested in my background. I am spending my 1L summer on the East Coast in the Electrical/Software and Mechanical group, doing both pros and lit. I don't have any background with life sciences.

I hope to make it to California (Bay Area Native) for 2L summer. Are any of the major players firms that I should not even waste a bid on? As in they only do life science patent work? Or do all of the major players do enough EE-type litigation that I would have a shot there?

Thanks for taking questions!


All of the SV firms will appreciate your background. If you were considering the satellite offices, that answer might change as some satellite offices are more life science focused.


I guess I saw this on the PLIP website from Wilson Sonsini:
"The Patent Strategy, Counseling, and Prosecution practice is seeking students with advanced degrees, Masters and/or PhDs, OR EQUIVALENT WORK EXPERIENCE in Life Science, Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering."

Makes it sound like Wilson Sonsini is only looking to hire life science people. I'm noticing a similar high amount of life science in a lot of other firms as well.

I was under the impression that Wilson Sonsini had a fairly robust tech practice, so I'm somewhat confused by this. Are they just actively trying to gun for the life sciences, or are these firms really not hiring EE people?


"Patent Strategy, Counseling, and Prosecution practice" basically sounds like prosecution type of work. I'm a Bay Area EE/CS patent prosecutor and I've never even heard of Wilson Sonsini having an EE/CS prosecution group. They might have one, but it's probably not very large. It's probably difficult for them to be competitive.

I'm not surprised that they're mainly looking for life science people for patent counseling/prosecution type of work. A lot of the EE/CS work in the Bay Area is dominated by small boutiques. The life sciences is still mainly in the domain of larger general practice firms. And of course a lot of EE/CS litigation is at large general practice firms.


Thank you for explaining that! That makes a lot of sense and is in line with what I have seen.

On that note, while this may not even exist, do you know of any resources to research these SV/SF boutique firms and tiny satellite offices? Many of these firms/offices have no info on Vault or Chambers. Paired with a vague centralized website for the entire firm I am having trouble telling what the real deal is.

Just for example, Baker Botts (PA), Alston Bird (SV), Sidley Austin (SF+SV), Foley (SV), Morgan Lewis (PA), McDonnell Boehnen (SV) and many more, all are interviewing at PLIP but seem to have offices of like 30 or less people and seemingly impossible to figure what exactly they do (opposed to their mega-firms at large)

Thanks so much for taking questions!

User avatar
Old Gregg
Posts: 5413
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:57 am

Just for example, Baker Botts (PA), Alston Bird (SV), Sidley Austin (SF+SV), Foley (SV), Morgan Lewis (PA), McDonnell Boehnen (SV) and many more, all are interviewing at PLIP but seem to have offices of like 30 or less people and seemingly impossible to figure what exactly they do (opposed to their mega-firms at large)


Look at what the partners do and who their clients are...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for explaining that! That makes a lot of sense and is in line with what I have seen.

On that note, while this may not even exist, do you know of any resources to research these SV/SF boutique firms and tiny satellite offices? Many of these firms/offices have no info on Vault or Chambers. Paired with a vague centralized website for the entire firm I am having trouble telling what the real deal is.


As a patent prosecutor, I don't even know what Vault or Chambers are. You might want to look at IP Today's list of "Top Patent Firms." It lists firms in terms of volume (but skewed towards firms that concentrate on in-bound foreign work). I usually do a Google search for it and find the entire article/rankings available on some boutique's website.

Bay Area patent groups tend to be small compared to groups in other parts of the country, and especially so in prosecution. Having 20 prosecutors in a single office is an amazing thing here. It would be tiny in other metro areas.

Also just go to firm websites and read the backgrounds of the attorneys.

Just for example, Baker Botts (PA), Alston Bird (SV), Sidley Austin (SF+SV), Foley (SV), Morgan Lewis (PA), McDonnell Boehnen (SV) and many more, all are interviewing at PLIP but seem to have offices of like 30 or less people and seemingly impossible to figure what exactly they do (opposed to their mega-firms at large)


I know that Baker Botts, Alston Bird, and Morgan Lewis do EE/CS patent prosecution in the Bay Area. I'm pretty sure Sidley Austin and Foley do EE/CS prosecution, but I'm not sure if they do EE/CS stuff in the Bay Area.

MBHB is new to the Bay Area, so I'm not sure what they do here.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Just for example, Baker Botts (PA), Alston Bird (SV), Sidley Austin (SF+SV), Foley (SV), Morgan Lewis (PA), McDonnell Boehnen (SV) and many more, all are interviewing at PLIP but seem to have offices of like 30 or less people and seemingly impossible to figure what exactly they do (opposed to their mega-firms at large)


I know that Baker Botts, Alston Bird, and Morgan Lewis do EE/CS patent prosecution in the Bay Area. I'm pretty sure Sidley Austin and Foley do EE/CS prosecution, but I'm not sure if they do EE/CS stuff in the Bay Area.

MBHB is new to the Bay Area, so I'm not sure what they do here.


Thanks so much for all of that! One last follow up if you don't mind, these small IP offices that do prosecution, is it safe to say they aren't looking for litigators? Or is it more the boutique firms that do only prosecution?

I guess I have trouble distinguishing firms that just list a bunch of shit that they have *ever* done, vs. firms are consistently doing these cases. For example, Baker Botts says:
Our Palo Alto-based lawyers work with clients in the telecommunications, software, computer and electronics, semiconductor, medical device, pharmaceutical and clean energy industries, to name a few. In addition to a robust and nationally-recognized patent litigation practice, our lawyers provide counsel on a broad array of technology matters, including complex patent, trade secret, copyright and trademark infringement litigation, patent prosecution and portfolio management, technology and software licensing and IP aspects of corporate transactions

Would you consider a small office like this a good place to start an IP Litigation career? Particularly versus the huge firms in the area (MoFo, Orrick, Cooley, etc...) is it risky and/or career limiting to consider these little satellite offices?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:30 pm

OP,

Are you on law review? I keep hearing that the SV corporate, VC-heavy firms don't care much about law review, provided one's grades (& school) are solid. This is coming from multiple friends who will/have summered at these firms (Think WSGR/Gunderson/Goodwin/Fenwick), and none of them did law review.

Does this match with your experience/impressions? To me, law review sounds like a completely uninteresting & miserable time sink, and I'd like to avoid needless suffering if I can help it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP,

Are you on law review? I keep hearing that the SV corporate, VC-heavy firms don't care much about law review, provided one's grades (& school) are solid. This is coming from multiple friends who will/have summered at these firms (Think WSGR/Gunderson/Goodwin/Fenwick), and none of them did law review.

Does this match with your experience/impressions? To me, law review sounds like a completely uninteresting & miserable time sink, and I'd like to avoid needless suffering if I can help it.



I'm a corporate associate at one of those firms. We don't care about law review. Experience isn't really transferable. But we are getting pickier for schools and grades.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP,

Are you on law review? I keep hearing that the SV corporate, VC-heavy firms don't care much about law review, provided one's grades (& school) are solid. This is coming from multiple friends who will/have summered at these firms (Think WSGR/Gunderson/Goodwin/Fenwick), and none of them did law review.

Does this match with your experience/impressions? To me, law review sounds like a completely uninteresting & miserable time sink, and I'd like to avoid needless suffering if I can help it.



I'm a corporate associate at one of those firms. We don't care about law review. Experience isn't really transferable. But we are getting pickier for schools and grades.


what does Picker at schools mean? Like more inclined for a Top 20 over a 55-60. Or more T14 vs rest. An on that note, what grade range for the respective groups? How does past experience with VC/PEG/Startups/M&A play into your hiring equation if grades are solid or at the low end of your range.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Current Silicon Valley Summer Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 02, 2014 6:12 pm

Donkeykongmadness wrote:Summer associate season is starting up again, so I thought I'd refresh this to see if I can help assuage anyone's anxiety.

I worked in Corporate at a SV firm last summer. Will be starting at the firm this fall.

Fire away.


SV summer this year. Any general advice on being a corporate summer in one of these firms? Should I be doing any prep?




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.