Changing summer associate practice area

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Changing summer associate practice area

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:48 pm

Looking at a few different firms in DC with typical DC class sizes (10-20). I originally interviewed with an interest in IP lit, but I have started to think I might enjoy general lit more. I asked whether I could check out other practices and received responses that ranged from an explicit no to saying that i have some limited freedom to explore but I might be steered into a particular group midsummer. I get the vibe that particular group is IP lit.

I'm curious if other people have made similar moves in the past or whether most firms would typically steer me into ip lit. Would this change in NY with larger class sizes?

Anonymous User
Posts: 324989
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Changing summer associate practice area

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm curious if other people have made similar moves in the past or whether most firms would typically steer me into ip lit. Would this change in NY with larger class sizes?


Do you have a strong IP background? I majored in CS/EE from a great engineering program and I had several years of work experience. Firms automatically typecast me for IP work and it was difficult to fight that. If I were to do OCI again, I would focus on firms that, while they might have an IP practice, did not have a separate IP practice group or did not sort applicants based on IP/non-IP. For instance, at my school's OCI, some of the firms had different interviewing tracks for IP candidates. I would avoid those firms or try very hard to interview on the non-IP track. Of course, this is tricky because on the one hand, you want a job, so it's great if you can tap into IP secure. On the other hand, maybe you're not sure if you want to practice IP.

I don't think it's based on class size because firms with IP tracks will designate several spots for IP-only candidates no matter how many SAs they take. I think it's based on firm culture/practice areas. You might have better luck with NY just because DC firms have a disproportionate amount of patent work due to USPTO and Federal Circuit. It's possible to find a great firm that will place you in general lit but let you try IP work, which is the best case scenario if you don't know what you want to do. But you may have to work harder for it and risk turning some firms off.



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