Philly IP Lit - Duane Morris v. Dechert v. Akin Gump

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Philly IP Lit - Duane Morris v. Dechert v. Akin Gump

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:14 am

I'm interested in IP lit, particularly patent litigation, and am considering between Duane Morris, Dechert, and Akin Gump this summer. I also received some offers from Wilmington firms, but am not really interested in the commute and so would rather work in Philly.

Does anyone have any personal insight into these firms from an IP perspective/work-life balance/early opportunities for associates/general prestige?

For those unfamiliar, Akin in Philly is a small office that essentially does only IP work. They handle all life science IP cases firmwide for Akin, and will be hiring only 1 summer this year. I can't confirm this (and hope one of you can help), but I got the impression that I would get a lot of responsibilities early on due to the small size of the office and the caseload in that particular office.

Dechert and Akin pay Cravath-scale; Duane Morris does not. Also, Dechert and Akin are both Band 2 IP firms in Pennsylvania in Chambers (under Baker Hostetler); Duane Morris is in Band 3 (if that matters).

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Re: Philly IP Lit - Duane Morris v. Dechert v. Akin Gump

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:36 am

Prefacing this by saying I practice non-IP lit in Philly for a government agency.

This is an interesting decision. My gut instinct would be to drop Dechert from consideration because of the issues they've had/been reported to have, even though I'm not sure if that directly touches IP (it certainly would indirectly, though). They still have a great rep in Philly (one of the top 4/5 firms), but that would terrify me if I was considering them. Can't really say much about Duane other than they have a good rep here, but don't worry too much about the salary scale... yes more $$$ is always good, but six figures in Philly (let alone the $160k Duane pays first years) is still ridiculously good, even with loans.

If you think Akin will give you lots of responsibility early on, I'd go with them. There are lots of good life science cases in this area due to all the eds and meds (literally the only thing keeping the local economy afloat...), and you get a 'brand name' firm which will look good if you ever want to leave Philly (their rep here is essentially nonexistent tbh, but that doesn't mean it's bad... it's just a small office). But as someone who got a lot of responsibility early on (because government), it's awesome and will inevitably lead to things which look great on your resume even just 1-2 years in.

Just my $0.02. I can't really speak to IP but can answer other general questions about Philly if you have them.

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Re: Philly IP Lit - Duane Morris v. Dechert v. Akin Gump

Postby PotatoSalad » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:00 pm

PM me about Akin Philly

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Re: Philly IP Lit - Duane Morris v. Dechert v. Akin Gump

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:06 pm

I'd go with Akin Gump: (1) better IP group, (2) better pay, (3) more responsibilities early on, and (4) better prestige nationally.

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Re: Philly IP Lit - Duane Morris v. Dechert v. Akin Gump

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:47 pm

Also not IP Lit, but Philly biglaw. I tend to agree that the right choice is either Akin or Duane. There's too much uncertainty with Dechert right now.

IMO, the decision would come down to what you are looking for in your first few years career wise. Duane has a great rep in Philly, it's one of the top firms here. I think the PA/DE/NJ exit options would be better than Akin, but the national exit options might be worse. Additionally, if you want to be friends with your colleagues, Duane is the way to go. At Duane, there will be other summer associates who will become associates with you, and likely way more summer associate events/outings. The same opportunity to have friends at Akin just isn't there due to the smaller size-- this might be important or might not be depending on your network in the Philly area. For me, my friends at work were all summers with me and I can't image firm life without that.

Akin undoubtedly has a bigger name nationally and pays more, but is unknown in Philly. This has the advantage of more exit ops overall, but seems to have little advantage if you want to stay in Philly.

Either way, you can't go wrong. Congrats on the great options!

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Re: Philly IP Lit - Duane Morris v. Dechert v. Akin Gump

Postby pebblsrock » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:42 pm

Please PM me, I can speak to this very well...

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Re: Philly IP Lit - Duane Morris v. Dechert v. Akin Gump

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:26 am

Dechert's in financial trouble, and associates are fearing for their jobs. Don't take it. That leaves Akin and Duane. One pays market, the other doesn't. This decision was made for you.



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