Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

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Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:37 pm

Work/life balance?
Partner prospects?
Exit options, specifically w.r.t going in-house?

My biggest concern right now is that the most botiques seem to be more focused on prosecution, so what happens when my hourly rate outgrows what clients are willing to pay for a patent? Then again, biglaw is also certainly going to have an up or out policy, so I suppose the same issue exists there.

Most botiques seem to have roughly the same pay and a bit less billable hour requirements, but does that translate to reality? Does the biglaw stereotype of "2000 billable hours" actually meaning 2400+ also exist in IP?

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goldeneye
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Re: Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby goldeneye » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:45 pm

Not going to be able to help you without more information. You're already anonymous, just give the firms and locations, career goals, etc

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bk1
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Re: Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:50 pm

Using broad generalities to make this choice is pointless. e.g., it doesn't matter if most IP boutiques do mostly prosecution if the one you are considering happens to do all litigation.

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Re: Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:12 pm

OP here

I'm in Texas. If I give much at all on the botique it will give me away, but they're mostly prosecution with some litigation and licensing. The biglaw is Baker-Botts.

Career goals, not sure yet if I want partner or in-house.

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Re: Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby BigLawer » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here

I'm in Texas. If I give much at all on the botique it will give me away, but they're mostly prosecution with some litigation and licensing. The biglaw is Baker-Botts.

Career goals, not sure yet if I want partner or in-house.


If you want IP in Texas, you cant go wrong with Baker Botts. If you are ever fed up with it there, you may have the chance to move to the boutique.

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Re: Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:09 pm

I just had to make a similar decision recently, but in NYC. Ended up going with the big firm. I got the feeling that both firms had higher billable hours requirements than they let on, meaning higher than 2000. Overall the boutiques got hit harder then they'll admit by the recession, and a lot of them have been getting swallowed up by big firms over the past 10 years. I think if you end up at an IP boutique, there's a better chance of making partner, since a lot of them didn't really higher laterally, and didn't often bring in new parters from other firms. On the other hand, I think if you go to an boutique, it's possible that down the road it might get acquired by another firm.

In-house exit options are decent with both. Earlier on the IP boutique might give you greater client interaction because they tend to staff lighter due to size, which can help with going in-house. Depending on the big firm's IP practice, you'll still have just as good, if not better, prospects in-house. Most people leaving to go in-house in IP end up going to work for clients of the firm, so sometimes it just depends on that to some extent (bigger companies likely have more in-house positions).

Bottom Line: I'd go with Baker Botts, especially if you want to stay in Texas.

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Re: Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby androstan » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:20 pm

OP you should know that most in-house counsel do a significant amount of USPTO-centered work (pros, IPR) and some licensing. The lion's share of in-house work is non-litigation.

With that said, a firm with big clients and major name recognition will greatly improve your chances at the fewer lit spots while the boutique will give you a shot at the more plentiful USPTO-practice spots. There is a tradeoff there.

Disclaimer: I did not research whether Botts has a USPTO practice.

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Re: Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby mbison » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:46 pm

Do you have any experience with prosecution? It's pretty different from litigation. Broadly speaking, here are some pros and cons of bigfirm IP litigation vs boutique mostly prosecution:

Big Firm pros:
- may pay a little more
- some people find litigation more exciting, you get to win and lose
- substance of the work is somewhat less taxing (dare I say "easier")
- good if you want to be a lawyer first, engineer second

Big Firm cons:
- Exit options are abysmal (a little better than general commercial lit, but still abysmal)
- Hours will likely be far more erratic
- Most likely will end up having to bill a lot more hours

Boutique pros:
- Better hours, prosecution is as close to 9 to 5 as you can get in a law firm
- Solid exit options: lots of in-house options, part-time jobs at firms, solo prosecution, etc.
- get to work on state-of-the-art, often pretty cool technology
- good if you want to be an engineer first, lawyer second

Boutique cons:
- Prosecution work can be pretty drab
- While you work more steady and fewer hours, the work itself is grinding and difficult (even for legal work)
- May pay a little less

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Re: Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:27 am

androstan wrote:OP you should know that most in-house counsel do a significant amount of USPTO-centered work (pros, IPR) and some licensing. The lion's share of in-house work is non-litigation.

With that said, a firm with big clients and major name recognition will greatly improve your chances at the fewer lit spots while the boutique will give you a shot at the more plentiful USPTO-practice spots. There is a tradeoff there.

Disclaimer: I did not research whether Botts has a USPTO practice.


BB is one of the few GP firms that has a pretty significant pros practice. Junior IP associates often do a mix of lit/pros.

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Re: Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:22 pm

OP again, thank you all for the help so far.

BB told me they do have a significant prosecution practice that I will spend at least some time doing, regardless of what route I end up going down.

Anyways, I don't expected 8-5 from any firm, but what can I realistically expect? Yes, it's going to be cyclical with litigation. How far over their 2000 hour requirement am I realistically going to go? Likewise, same question with the boutique, they sell work/life balance but realistically what am I going to be pulling? Don't take this as me avoiding reality since I know I signed up for long hours when I went to law school. I just want to know what I'm actually signing up for, and I'm still a bit scared of biglaw after all the "3000+ hour in reality" biglaw horror stories I read on TLS. (Then again, TLS also told me a lot of other horribly negative thing that didn't happen.)

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Re: Another IP Botique v. Biglaw thread

Postby ObviouslyMasochistic » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:32 pm

I can help with this. PM me if you would like to discuss.




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