Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

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mbison
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Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:44 pm

I have done a ton of screenings as well as callback interviews both at my current patent firm and previous biglaw firm. Don't feel like billing at the moment. Ask away.

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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:51 pm

how important are grades for IP hiring?

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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:51 pm

What is the #1 thing an interviewer needs to accomplish, regardless of grades/school/WE, at the screener and callback stage?

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:how important are grades for IP hiring?


Law school grades are significantly less important than at a big firm. Undergraduate grades are much more important, particularly in technical classes. I would say we weight UG grades and LS grades about equally. We want people that are technically competent enough to handle the subject matter while also being good enough writers/communicators to handle the legal aspects of the work.

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What is the #1 thing an interviewer needs to accomplish, regardless of grades/school/WE, at the screener and callback stage?


Be engaged in the conversation and be enthusiastic about the work that the firm does. Most interviewers are at least somewhat proud of their firms and their jobs. You need to convey some genuine excitement about working there. I can't tell you how many candidates I've dinged because they didn't seem to care much at all.

Besides that, personality and confidence go a long way.

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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:12 pm

Did you work in a biglaw's IP practice before going to a patent firm?

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Did you work in a biglaw's IP practice before going to a patent firm?


Yes, I previously did patent litigation at a big firm.

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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:16 pm

Thank you notes after callbacks necessary?


How's IP practice right now? Lots of work?


How's IP summer associate hiring right now? It seems firms are having smaller class sizes - are IP firms following suit?

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you notes after callbacks necessary?


How's IP practice right now? Lots of work?


How's IP summer associate hiring right now? It seems firms are having smaller class sizes - are IP firms following suit?


I don't see the point in thank you notes. I fill out an evaluation minutes after I interview you, and no thank you note is going to change the evaluation. If you feel the need to do it, I would go with email. I recently got a handwritten note which looked to be written by a third grader on a wedding-type thank you card. It was really strange.

My sense is that IP in general is doing quite well, although it may have cooled slightly since last summer. Still a high demand for cs/ee people.

I'm guessing here, but I suspect summer classes may be somewhat smaller than last year. Workflow is ok, but people are being cautious. Everybody is acutely aware of the risks of over-hiring based on recent history.

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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:34 pm

Would you reveal what market you work in? (DC/NY/CA)

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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:36 pm

Have a CB at a patent lit place with a totally non-science background (firm promised that was OK so I interviewed there, and talked about my history with copyrights in the screener). How do I address this during the CB? I actually really want this place now that I realize it's a possibility, so any advice you have re: how to sell yourself to a patent lit place would be great.

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would you reveal what market you work in? (DC/NY/CA)


CA

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Have a CB at a patent lit place with a totally non-science background (firm promised that was OK so I interviewed there, and talked about my history with copyrights in the screener). How do I address this during the CB? I actually really want this place now that I realize it's a possibility, so any advice you have re: how to sell yourself to a patent lit place would be great.


My firm doesn't hire people who are not patent bar eligible, so I will have to extrapolate a bit. Look at the work listed on the firm website and people's bios, and try to find matters that you think fit well with your background. Express a genuine interest in learning about technology and in substantive intellectual property law (regardless of the technical area). If you happen to have any background at all in software or hardware (even a related hobby or interest), for sure highlight that.

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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:51 pm

Why did you move from a GP firm into a patent firm?

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Why did you move from a GP firm into a patent firm?


Current firm is more focused on the kind of work I wanted to do, better hours for roughly the same pay, better long-term career prospects. Plus I get to wear jeans to work a lot more.

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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:57 pm

Non-engineering background: better chances on east or west coast?

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Non-engineering background: better chances on east or west coast?


Better chances for what?

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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:04 pm

mbison wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Non-engineering background: better chances on east or west coast?


Better chances for what?

For finding a job.

I guess the better question would be, do West Coast firms prefer engineering degrees when deciding whether to hire someone?

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
mbison wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Non-engineering background: better chances on east or west coast?


Better chances for what?

For finding a job.

I guess the better question would be, do West Coast firms prefer engineering degrees when deciding whether to hire someone?


Are you asking whether somebody without a tech background who wants to do IP law would be better off on the west coast or the east coast? I'm not really sure. For instance, in Silicon Valley, there is a huge demand for CS/EE people. But I don't know that these firms would prefer people with tech backgrounds any more than east coast firms that do IP law.

Anonymous User
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:10 pm

mbison wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why did you move from a GP firm into a patent firm?


Current firm is more focused on the kind of work I wanted to do, better hours for roughly the same pay, better long-term career prospects. Plus I get to wear jeans to work a lot more.

Do you think it was still worth it to start out in a bigger firm, or do you wish you had just gone straight to your current firm (or one like it)?

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you think it was still worth it to start out in a bigger firm, or do you wish you had just gone straight to your current firm (or one like it)?


I don't regret going to a big firm first, but I think going straight to a good IP boutique would be a fine choice. It's sometimes hard to convince students who have always gone to the best place they could to not go to the highest vault-ranked firm they can. But boutiques often have similar pay and long-term career prospects. And they tend to be a lot more humane / less interested in milking people for as many hours as possible and then dumping them.

Anonymous User
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:49 pm

Starting LS with BS degrees in Physics and Math. Any idea how this is perceived for IP hiring? I'm obviously patent bar eligible, but from what I gather definitely not as good as having that BSEE. In an interview I would be able to talk about pretty extensive tech kinda classes I took (E&M, QED, solid state, electronics, etc...)

Also, might your answer be any different depending on Litigation v Prosecution interests?

Anonymous User
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:55 pm

I was a social sciences major in college, but am really interested in intellectual property matters. Do you feel like there's any reason I can't pursue soft IP in biglaw?

mbison
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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby mbison » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Starting LS with BS degrees in Physics and Math. Any idea how this is perceived for IP hiring? I'm obviously patent bar eligible, but from what I gather definitely not as good as having that BSEE. In an interview I would be able to talk about pretty extensive tech kinda classes I took (E&M, QED, solid state, electronics, etc...)

Also, might your answer be any different depending on Litigation v Prosecution interests?


BS in Physics is tricky for IP hiring. The best physics candidates have some practical engineering experience in cs/ee areas that come up a lot in ip work (e.g., semiconductors, software, etc.). It's especially helpful if you have some engineering work experience that you can talk about, or at least lab research. The concern is that your background may be too theoretical. With that said, physics majors tend to be very smart. I would put physics somewhat below cs/ee in terms of hiring, but well ahead of other engineering degrees.

Generally speaking, your tech background is more important for prosecution than litigation. A BS in Physics should definitely be sufficient to make you competitive for litigation work. It may be enough for prosecution as well, but it's not a sure thing.

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Re: Associate at patent firm formerly V50. Taking Q's re hiring

Postby NavyLaw » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:15 pm

Where do mechanical and nuclear engineer degrees fit into the mix of IP-desirability?




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