3rd year associate! What I was told wasn’t fully true. Thinking of lateraling.

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3rd year associate! What I was told wasn’t fully true. Thinking of lateraling.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:24 am

Before I dive in, I just want to thank everyone in advance for feedback.

A little history, I went to law school part time and worked as patent agent and after law school as a patent attorney at a boutique IP firm. I recieved a lot of training but the work was very limited (all it was prep and prosecution, there was no PTAB type of work. Toward my 2nd year, I decided to look for a firm that was more general and would give me access to more diverse work.

I interviewed at a GP firm that did during the interview that they had all this diverse work and it would be great. I was excited so I latereled. Well, almost a year here, and it’s not what i was told. I mostly doing the same thing as before, and having to constantly redo work of the previous attorney who was not good.

I don’t want to be stuck at this place cause I feel like I’m not growing. Outside the above issue, I also have no mentor. The one assigned to me doesn’t offer or meet to provide feedback. Not sure why he signed up to mentor me when his personality isn’t the mentor type, which is fine. Furthermore, zero direct training. Most of my training is remote from another office, and it’s never substantive feedback. It’s just formalities. They say you do great work substantively, but let’s be serious. At this stage of my career, substantively, my work isn’t so excellent that substantive feedback can’t be provided.

I am leaning toward looking for another firm, but idk if it will reflect poorly. I have been here for about 11 months. There’s an opening at a firm in my area that is well respected in IP, and do good work. Should I apply? Or more in general, lateral for the reasons outlined above? My technical degree is in EE.

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rpupkin

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Re: 3rd year associate! What I was told wasn’t fully true. Thinking of lateraling.

Postby rpupkin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:Outside the above issue, I also have no mentor. The one assigned to me doesn’t offer or meet to provide feedback. Not sure why he signed up to mentor me when his personality isn’t the mentor type, which is fine. Furthermore, zero direct training. Most of my training is remote from another office, and it’s never substantive feedback. It’s just formalities. They say you do great work substantively, but let’s be serious. At this stage of my career, substantively, my work isn’t so excellent that substantive feedback can’t be provided.

I'm not saying you shouldn't leave, but I will say that the above will be true of just about any law firm.

It's certainly possible that you could find more interesting (or at least more varied) work at a different GP firm. But if you're looking for significant training, substantive feedback, and mentorship as a mid-level associate, you're probably in the wrong career.

jhett

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Re: 3rd year associate! What I was told wasn’t fully true. Thinking of lateraling.

Postby jhett » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:08 pm

No harm in looking around now. You can explain away the short stint at your current firm by saying that it ended up not being a good fit and you didn't get the work you were looking for. Everyone understands that sometimes lateral moves don't work out. And you don't have a prior pattern of job hopping, so I don't think you'll look bad.

As for this next round of lateraling, try to get candid views from the associates. The partners always blow smoke, but the associates should let you know if reality matches up with expectations. For example, specifically ask the associates to corroborate the answers given by the partners.

Also, you can use the PTAB search engine (or some proprietary services available to you at your current firm, like Lex Machina) to look up which firms/attorneys do a lot of PTAB work. That will give you a list of firms that you could possibly lateral to.



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