Best clerkship for my career goals? (SF in house tech)

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Best clerkship for my career goals? (SF in house tech)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:26 pm

The next thing I want to do aafter working at a patent lit firm is work in house at a sf bay area tech company. Is the best clerkship for my resume one on the 9th circuit, the fed circuit, or a district court in California?

Unfortunately while interviewing for a COA clerkship recently my expressing an interest in patent litigation really turned the judge off on my application. Now I'm not wondering whether she is right : should I be looking at fed cir instead? II've always dreamt of doing a 9th car clerkship and I have many interests beyond patent law, but if I'm going to be in the bay area, should I be applying to fed cir or only USDC?

Thanks

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Emma.
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Re: Best clerkship for my career goals? (SF in house tech)

Postby Emma. » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The next thing I want to do aafter working at a patent lit firm is work in house at a sf bay area tech company. Is the best clerkship for my resume one on the 9th circuit, the fed circuit, or a district court in California?

Unfortunately while interviewing for a COA clerkship recently my expressing an interest in patent litigation really turned the judge off on my application. Now I'm not wondering whether she is right : should I be looking at fed cir instead? II've always dreamt of doing a 9th car clerkship and I have many interests beyond patent law, but if I'm going to be in the bay area, should I be applying to fed cir or only USDC?

Thanks


For patent law I'd imagine it would go Fed Circuit > NDCA > 9th Circuit.

For transactional work or in house I'd imagine none of the above are that valuable.

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bk1
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Re: Best clerkship for my career goals? (SF in house tech)

Postby bk1 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:54 pm

Emma. wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The next thing I want to do aafter working at a patent lit firm is work in house at a sf bay area tech company. Is the best clerkship for my resume one on the 9th circuit, the fed circuit, or a district court in California?

Unfortunately while interviewing for a COA clerkship recently my expressing an interest in patent litigation really turned the judge off on my application. Now I'm not wondering whether she is right : should I be looking at fed cir instead? II've always dreamt of doing a 9th car clerkship and I have many interests beyond patent law, but if I'm going to be in the bay area, should I be applying to fed cir or only USDC?

Thanks


For patent law I'd imagine it would go Fed Circuit > NDCA > 9th Circuit.

For transactional work or in house I'd imagine none of the above are that valuable.


Agreed on transactional.

I dunno about NDCA. I've heard there are dedicated patent clerks in districts that actually use the patent pilot program. I've heard of these clerks in CDCA and I've also heard that NDCA doesn't really use its patent pilot program (i.e. judges are unwilling to give up patent cases). Though these might be career clerks rather than term clerks. I'm unsure if term clerks for the patent judges in CDCA actually do patent work, but that might be something to focus on if they do.

@OP: If you're willing to go to DC to clerk on the fed cir, why not apply to dist cts in non-CA regions with patent heavy dockets like EDTX?

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Re: Best clerkship for my career goals? (SF in house tech)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:02 pm

bk1 wrote:
Agreed on transactional.

I dunno about NDCA. I've heard there are dedicated patent clerks in districts that actually use the patent pilot program. I've heard of these clerks in CDCA and I've also heard that NDCA doesn't really use its patent pilot program (i.e. judges are unwilling to give up patent cases). Though these might be career clerks rather than term clerks. I'm unsure if term clerks for the patent judges in CDCA actually do patent work, but that might be something to focus on if they do.

@OP: If you're willing to go to DC to clerk on the fed cir, why not apply to dist cts in non-CA regions with patent heavy dockets like EDTX?



OP here.

On the transactional point, are you saying that transactional IP work is more likely to lead to in-house jobs? That was my understanding from this website for a while, but mid-level associates at my firm and other people I've talked to seem to find work in house after litigation experience. Any other viewpoints on this? Would I be boxed into litigation work, or would I have a possible path to GC if I did a good job in house? I kind of want to cross-post in the Employment forum but don't know if mods would be cool with that. (would you, mods?)

As for patent clerks, I'm pretty sure it's only a few judges that hire clerks specifically for the patent cases (Alsup is one, I know). I'd ideally like to get broader experience, but if patent stuff is what I have to do to work in tech, I'll do it.

I haven't really considered EDTX yet just because I'm not totally sure I want to get typecasted as a patent lawyer. If I get some helpful responses here I'll be able to decide whether that's something I want to do. Thanks all!

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Re: Best clerkship for my career goals? (SF in house tech)

Postby bk1 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:10 pm

I've been told (I think rayiner talked about it at some point on this site) that the split between trans and lit in F500 in-house counsel positions is something like 2:1. And I'd also suspect that the in-house counsel at the insurance companies (who hire a lot of in-house counsel, iirc) are more heavily weighted towards lit, making the other companies more trans heavy. But maybe tech companies have more lit than normal due to patent stuff, I'm not actually sure.

Of course people can go in-house after lit (per above, 1/3 of in-house positions are lit), but it is harder and by going lit you're likely setting yourself up with a tougher road. An SV midlevel I've talked to has said that the easiest tech in-house route is IP transactions (e.g. the transactions part of this page: http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm ... playmore=1), but that is obviously second hand. I have no idea where you'd land as in-house lit. My completely uninformed suspicion is that you'd do lit-focused work (e.g. managing outside counsel's litigation strategy), but I have no real idea. Litigators do end up as GC but I have no idea how hard that is or how common that is. My (again uninformed) guess is that becoming GC would likely have more to do with office politics and connections than anything else.

EDTX does do non-patent stuff.

Go ahead and cross-post since this is a tricky topic. If another mod locks it without realizing, shoot me a PM and I'll let them know it's okay.

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nevdash
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Re: Best clerkship for my career goals? (SF in house tech)

Postby nevdash » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:21 pm

bk1 wrote:I have no idea where you'd land as in-house lit.

This is only stuff that I've heard second-hand, but the vast majority of in-house litigators are apparently labor and employment. With stuff like patent disputes, my (also uninformed) suspicion is that all of the company's work is delegated to firms and only the GC himself works on the litigation strategy with those firms. In-house litigators only seem useful in areas where (1) the company routinely has to deal with those kinds of cases, and (2) they're simple enough that a small team of lawyers can handle them. Both of those are definitely true for the company's internal labor and employment work, but I suspect 2 wouldn't hold true for patent work.

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Re: Best clerkship for my career goals? (SF in house tech)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:28 pm

nevdash wrote:
bk1 wrote:I have no idea where you'd land as in-house lit.

This is only stuff that I've heard second-hand, but the vast majority of in-house litigators are apparently labor and employment. With stuff like patent disputes, my (also uninformed) suspicion is that all of the company's work is delegated to firms and only the GC himself works on the litigation strategy with those firms. In-house litigators only seem useful in areas where (1) the company routinely has to deal with those kinds of cases, and (2) they're simple enough that a small team of lawyers can handle them. Both of those are definitely true for the company's internal labor and employment work, but I suspect 2 wouldn't hold true for patent work.


Do medium-sized companies really only have one GC managing the outside lawyers? Does every litigator who goes in-house have to continue to litigate? I imagine in-house position require a little bit of everything, and that regardless of your background, you'd probably be managing litigation AND reviewing contracts or transaction when the need arises, with a focus on your areas of experience when possible.

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Re: Best clerkship for my career goals? (SF in house tech)

Postby Citizen Genet » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:34 pm

I have no idea on getting in house. I will say that I know that Kent Jordan in the 3rd Circuit loves IP and every year he looks for a clerk who has a strong background in it. (Not because he doesn't know the material, but because he loves it.)




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