What is the best pathway to in house general counsel?

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What is the best pathway to in house general counsel?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:21 pm

Where do big corporations hire general counsels (or in house counsels to start with)?

I have industry experience, very strong scientific background and good law school performance.
Currently applying as a patent law summer associate. But for this career pathway, is it better to do big law instead of IP boutique?
Is it better to do litigation rather than prosecution?
How easy is it to branch out to corporate, M&A, etc, if started as a patent attorney?
Please, advice please. Thanks!

h2go

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Re: What is the best pathway to in house general counsel?

Postby h2go » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:05 pm

Where do big corporations hire general counsels (or in house counsels to start with)?


There are definitely a lot of exceptions, but it seems like most general counsels come from a corporate background. This kind of makes sense because the GC is generally handling the day-to-day corporate/regulatory issues. Litigation is typically outsourced to a law firm.

is it better to do big law instead of IP boutique?


Probably better to do biglaw since you may be able to switch into corporate.

Is it better to do litigation rather than prosecution?


It depends. Prosecution might be better if that also means you are doing more licensinng/transactional/opinion work. Otherwise, I don't think I've ever seen someone with a strict patent prosecution background ending up as a GC/assistant GC while you do see some partners with IP lit backgrounds eventually ending up in those roles.

How easy is it to branch out to corporate, M&A, etc, if started as a patent attorney?


This will depend on your firm, but it is fairly unlikely that you'll be able to split your practice between corporate and patents. You may be able to get some exposure to corporate work early on, but you'll need to pick one.



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