Jobs for grad in IP w/ Low Grades - Would Master's help?

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Jobs for grad in IP w/ Low Grades - Would Master's help?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:31 pm

I went to a T25 undergrad school and T20 law school, where I was a journal staff member. I passed the patent bar and my state bar. I have been working at the PTO for nearly 8 years, but am contemplating moving to a law firm for to challenge myself and also increase my earning potential.

Having said that, I am worried that my low grades will keep me from even being considered (think 2.5 undergrad and 3.0 law). Due to my extensive prosecution experience, I was shooting for at least a 2nd year associate position. I am guessing I might have a shot at a small boutique firm (please correct me if I'm wrong), but was wondering what my chances were at big law as patent attorney?

Would spending the next couple years getting a master's degree in CS/EE/CpE be at all helpful?

I hear law firms also do not like extensive experience at the PTO, is that true?

Thank you

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Jobs for grad in IP w/ Low Grades - Would Master's help?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:28 am

Wait, did you work as an examiner after going to law school or before?

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rpupkin
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Re: Jobs for grad in IP w/ Low Grades - Would Master's help?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:47 am

You'd be a rather non-traditional big law hire. But patent prosecution groups are always a little non-traditional, so who knows? It wouldn't hurt to reach out to folks in big law firms with patent prosecution practices. There aren't that many of them.

You say you have heard that law firms do not like to hire folks with experience at the PTO. I have not heard this. For prosecution, I would think it would be a plus....but, again, you really should talk to some patent prosecution practitioners in big law.

I'm assuming, by the way, that you're interested in prosecution. Someone with your background has basically no chance at big law patent litigation.

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fats provolone
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Re: Jobs for grad in IP w/ Low Grades - Would Master's help?

Postby fats provolone » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:51 am

i think OP is in an attorney role at the PTO? like worked as examiner -> went to law school (probably PT) -> worked as PTO attorney -> now?

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Re: Jobs for grad in IP w/ Low Grades - Would Master's help?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:16 am

Sorry for the any confusion:

fats provolone wrote:i think OP is in an attorney role at the PTO? like worked as examiner -> went to law school (probably PT) -> worked as PTO attorney -> now?

I actually still am an examiner. I have seen openings for PTO attorney positions, but I'd rather gain outside experience before then. Rumor also has it that you have a better chance at an attorney/judge position at the PTO when you have firm experience.

rpupkin wrote:I'm assuming, by the way, that you're interested in prosecution. Someone with your background has basically no chance at big law patent litigation.

It is my understanding that any associate starts with prosecution, but later graduates to litigation. I don't think I'd be happy JUST doing prosecution. Couple years at the beginning is not an issue, but I'd at least like to get involved in litigation eventually.

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Wait, did you work as an examiner after going to law school or before?

I actually went to law school while working at the PTO. I attended part-time.

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fats provolone
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Re: Jobs for grad in IP w/ Low Grades - Would Master's help?

Postby fats provolone » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:20 am

it depends on the firm. some firms just do prosecution and nothing else so there would be nothing to "graduate" to. others do only litigation. at big firms (if they do both pros and lit) i think you'll find that people either start doing pros or lit and stay there. if you're interested in doing a little of both you're probably better off targetting smaller/midsized firms.

next time you do an interview you should offer to allow the patent in exchange for a job

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Re: Jobs for grad in IP w/ Low Grades - Would Master's help?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:42 am

Too much PTO experience leads firms to think you'll be unable to adapt to private sector environment. Working at PTO after law school gives off impression that you 1) either didn't have the ambition/drive to work at a firm, or 2) couldn't land a firm job, so you stayed at the PTO.

Either way, BigLaw job will be very difficult to secure since firms would rather hire a fresh law school graduate who is impressionable, moldable and trainable.

HOWEVER, patent boutiques have extremely irrelgular hiring patterns based on technical skills and this is what you should target intensively. Market your PTO experience as an asset rather than lack of comfort/willingness to join a firm since this is what it will be perceived as.


And another note: if the T20 you went to was GWU, network like crazy with alumni. There are TONS of GWU grads at top prosecution boutiques as well as BigLaw firms.

Good luck!

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gk101
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Re: Jobs for grad in IP w/ Low Grades - Would Master's help?

Postby gk101 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:46 am

anecdata but I know a few people who have done the PTO Examiner for a few years -> IP Boutique firm -> big law firm track. If you are set on patent lit at a big firm, you might want to consider applying to the IP boutiques like Oblon, BIPC (I know its a GP firm but their Alexandria office operates like a boutique), Shugrue, Nath Levinson, even Oliff if you are really desperate to get out)




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