Interviewed (?) a patent attorney that mainly deals with PP yesterday and thought I'd share. Some of the stuff is pretty common knowledge but some stuff new to me so take what you want
- prosecution has more regular hours. He works in DC/MD/Nova Boutique and does mainly 9-5.
- The work that comes in to PP is more predictable.
- Lit makes more money in general
- Lit doesn't necessarily need a technical degree though some type of technical background helps.
- Speaking a foreign lang helps. It helps you get on the foreign cases and foreign companies like to deal with their own kind. (PP. idk about lit)
- Speaking a foreign lang needs to include Technical Fluency
- The usual high praise for GW. Unexpected high praise for GMU (apparently GMU is now a pretty strong force in the DMV area.
- iPhone's (i know.. what kind of CS major uses iPhones) get hot as hell after an hour on the phone.
That's the basic gist. Talked about a lot of personal stuff so not sharing those. I might be able to share more through PM
I had similar discussions when I talked with patent attorneys and professors in IP. I am personally inclined by lit and enjoyed my experience in oral advocacy. But from what I was told, it is better to start with pro if you can. The experience you gain as a pro will help you tremendously as a litigator if you later switch to lit. And from a supply/demand stand point, its easier to get a pro job because it requires technical degree, whereas everyone without one will be fighting for a lit job.
Also, you can carry the skill you learn from pro and go in house, go to another firm, set up your own shop, or switch from prosecution to transactional practice (which is what I would like to do, portfolio management, licensing, etc). With litigation, you become a litigation specialist, which is much less portable than pro; you can go from firm to firm, but while most in house need pro, lit is usually outsourced.
The bottom line is if you are a strong oralist, by all mean become a litigator. But with exit strategy in mind, prosecutor seems much more portable.