Experience in patent prosecution in big law vs. boutique?

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Experience in patent prosecution in big law vs. boutique?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:28 pm

I read big laws tend to have more IP lit instead of prosecution. But I need some more insights on the life as a prosecutor in big law even when it is not the focus of the IP group. In other words, is there less stress, less hour requirement, better work-life balance than lit. counterparts?

Also, how do those parameters above (stress, hour requirement, etc.) compare to a prosecutor in boutiques? I gather that boutiques typically have shorter partnership track -- but does that translate into better pay and better lateral opportunities?

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gk101

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Re: Experience in patent prosecution in big law vs. boutique?

Postby gk101 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I read big laws tend to have more IP lit instead of prosecution. But I need some more insights on the life as a prosecutor in big law even when it is not the focus of the IP group. In other words, is there less stress, less hour requirement, better work-life balance than lit. counterparts?

Also, how do those parameters above (stress, hour requirement, etc.) compare to a prosecutor in boutiques? I gather that boutiques typically have shorter partnership track -- but does that translate into better pay and better lateral opportunities?

in general, none of those things are true for pros practice in biglaw. Bigger firms are less understanding of the budget restrictions in pros which really suppress your hours and/or your realization ratio which looks bad. Hitting your hours is also tougher in pros and with fixed fee arrangements becoming more common, it makes billing really hard as you move up within the firm (with corresponding hikes in your billing rates)

As for work-life balance, the pros guys at my firm are consistently out of the office by 6, but a lot of them are still logging in from home. The schedule is definitely more predictable though (other than the occasional last minute stuff)

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Re: Experience in patent prosecution in big law vs. boutique?

Postby h2go » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I read big laws tend to have more IP lit instead of prosecution. But I need some more insights on the life as a prosecutor in big law even when it is not the focus of the IP group. In other words, is there less stress, less hour requirement, better work-life balance than lit. counterparts?


Probably less stress and better work-life balance than lit. However, it's hard to do patent prosecution at a biglaw firm since your billing rate is really high and it gets tough to get things done within budget as you become more senior. I know people who cut their own hours (e.g. worked 12 hours but only billed 8). Generally speaking, you also have the same billable hour requirements and it's harder to bill 2000 hours of prosecution vs. litigation.

Anonymous User wrote:Also, how do those parameters above (stress, hour requirement, etc.) compare to a prosecutor in boutiques? I gather that boutiques typically have shorter partnership track -- but does that translate into better pay and better lateral opportunities?


It's easier to do it long term since your billing rate is usually a lot lower. Pay is lower and lateral opportunities are probably a little worse unless you make partner.



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