Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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smaug
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby smaug » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:05 am

Nekrowizard wrote:
smaug wrote:This hypomania thing still sounds p. cool to me sign me up.


Sure, it sounds cool now, but one day you're 40 years old and you drop dead of an aneurysm.

To be honest I hit many of the indicators for both so wooooo

xeoh85
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby xeoh85 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:07 pm

canoe wrote:Assuming you secured recs from sls after spending just 1 year there, what were some things (besides obviously getting good grades in the classes) that helped you secure solid recs from those profs?


Be involved in class discussion. Get to know your professors. Get a book prize.

canoe wrote:and how the HECK do you function on 4 hrs of sleep? jeesuz are you doing body hacks lol


My ability to function on 4 hours of sleep is decades in the making. It started back in middle school, when I spent way too much time gaming. Years and years of staying up late and gaming trained me to enter REM sleep faster and sleep very deeply when I do, thus allowing me to gain rest faster and function on fewer total hours of sleep. At least that is my theory. I'm no sleep expert. =)

JohannDeMann wrote:Do you have a significant other? Do you get any satisfaction oR happiness outside of work? What are your hobbies?


Yes, and yes. I am married to the same amazing woman whom I met in undergrad. We recently had our first child. I also spend lots of time doing non-work stuff. I probably still spend way too much time on bullshit like TV and gaming. Life is good. =)

JohannDeMann wrote:Yeah but the point is that people who can function like this train themselves and don't spend the free time having fun they do work. Their brains are hypomanic. It's more of a curse than something cool. It's also not good for your body.


Actually, I disagree, at least for myself personally. Most of the time, when I stay up late, it is precisely because I am spending the extra hours to have fun, not to do more work. This allows me to get more hours of work in the day, while also having enough fun time after work to relax and be happy. Also, for the rare occasions when work does demand it, I can work for 2-3 days straight with almost no sleep. Win win.

thesealocust wrote:We can sleep when we're dead.


Hey, that's my line! :lol:

Nekrowizard wrote:Do you ever, like, go to the doctor? Has he ever said anything about your 4 hours/night schedule?


Yes, I'm fine. This is nothing new. I've been doing it for over 15 years. =)

Nekrowizard wrote:
smaug wrote:This hypomania thing still sounds p. cool to me sign me up.


Sure, it sounds cool now, but one day you're 40 years old and you drop dead of an aneurysm.


Hope not! :shock:

- X

LitttUp
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby LitttUp » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:03 pm

Thank you for your advice. I'm at UCLA and trying to get into Patent Litigation. You're an inspiration. What market did you end up in?

xeoh85
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby xeoh85 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:21 pm

LitttUp wrote:Thank you for your advice. I'm at UCLA and trying to get into Patent Litigation. You're an inspiration. What market did you end up in?


LA.

xeoh85
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby xeoh85 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:00 am

canoe wrote:I'm a downright terrible writer and given that there's a 'talent' factor to writing ability, do you think this is something I should be extremely worried about come 1L? I've heard mixed opinions on this: some say being a talented writer helps but is insignificant in the grand scheme of things whereas some say it's pretty important when you're aiming for an 'A'.


It is not often said, but lawyers are first and foremost writers. The vast majority of what you will actually do in your career after law school involves effectively communicating via writing. As such, this is something you will definitely want to work on improving long term.

That being said, being a strong writer in the traditional sense -- i.e., being gifted in drafting eloquent and engaging prose -- is not required to excel on law school exams, nor is it necessarily even beneficial. Indeed, if you are spending a lot of time during a 3 hour exam spell checking and worrying about the eloquence of your prose, then you are doing it wrong.

I was an engineering student in undergrad, so my writing talent upon entering law school was sub par. But that didn't matter one iota, because a law school exam is first and foremost about analytical thinking. Professors do not expect you to write a Shakespearean classic under the time pressure of an exam, nor will they be impressed by it if you manage to do so. An exam with sloppy writing but outstanding analytical analysis will beat an eloquently written exam with pedestrian analysis 100% of the time, guaranteed.

To that end, one mantra I would always repeat to myself during an exam was: Less writing, MORE THINKING!

I would tend to do better on any given exam if I spent more time working through the hypothetical, spotting all of the issues, and building a roadmap outline of my answer before I actually started typing. I would aim to spend a good 1/3 to 1/2 of the allotted time simply reading and then re-reading the question, marking it up with a pen, organizing the headings of my eventual answer, and figuring out the key areas of ambiguity in the facts and the law that I planned to exploit. Quite often the rest of the class would be typing away furiously a good 15 to 20 minutes before I even started typing. I imagine many of them figured they were ahead in the race at that point. But when I finally did start typing, I did so with purpose, rather than floundering around trying to figure out what I needed to be writing. Given the time pressure and the fact that I would spend 1/3 to 1/2 of my time on reviewing the question, I would write with blazing speed and wild abandon, often without worrying about grammatical errors, and often without even saving time to spell check my answer. It did not matter. The superior analysis wins the day.

One thing I can say though is that typing speed is a definite advantage. I can type 100 words a minute without breaking a sweat. If you can improve your typing speed prior to law school, you should definitely do so. It will enable you to spend more time during the exam thinking rather than typing, and that is worth its weight in gold.

-X

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:27 am

xeoh85 wrote:
anyriotgirl wrote:how many hours do you sleep a night?


Still about an average of 4 hrs a night. Always have, always will, even if I'm not working.


This is just a genetic gift that you have. I will never be able to do this. Some people are born with special abilities that allow them to succeed in time-intensive careers like law. You are obviously one of them.

xeoh85
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby xeoh85 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:01 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
xeoh85 wrote:
anyriotgirl wrote:how many hours do you sleep a night?


Still about an average of 4 hrs a night. Always have, always will, even if I'm not working.


This is just a genetic gift that you have. I will never be able to do this. Some people are born with special abilities that allow them to succeed in time-intensive careers like law. You are obviously one of them.


Possibly. Strange, however, that nobody else in my family has even remotely similar sleep habits. They all need 8-9 hours a night. So if it is genetic, it has skipped at two generations and did not get passed to my siblings.

- X

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:50 pm

xeoh85 wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
xeoh85 wrote:
anyriotgirl wrote:how many hours do you sleep a night?


Still about an average of 4 hrs a night. Always have, always will, even if I'm not working.


This is just a genetic gift that you have. I will never be able to do this. Some people are born with special abilities that allow them to succeed in time-intensive careers like law. You are obviously one of them.


Possibly. Strange, however, that nobody else in my family has even remotely similar sleep habits. They all need 8-9 hours a night. So if it is genetic, it has skipped at two generations and did not get passed to my siblings.

- X

I agree that this is totally genetic - not saying it's heritable, just that certain people are made this way. If you're not, there's no way to train yourself to get by on 4 hours of sleep - eventually it catches up with you.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:22 pm

It's great to hear from a big law litigator who likes their job. Congrats man.

Do you have any tips for success in big law for those of us about to start as 1st years?

xeoh85
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby xeoh85 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:44 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Do you have any tips for success in big law for those of us about to start as 1st years?


If you are about to start as a first year associate and you want to distinguish yourself from the pack, here are ten tips to follow:

1. First Impressions Matter: This universal truth often seems lost on young attorneys. The fact of the matter is that law firms often identify the potential "stars" very early in their careers. In fact, it often starts when you are a summer associate. Don't wait. Get started right away. (Lots of foolish associates chill until after their "stub" year, when billable hours start to count.) You should also keep this in mind going forward for every time you work with a new partner or senior associate you have not worked with before.

2. Always Remember Who Your True "Client" Is: While your firm represents clients, the people you should be most concerned about pleasing directly are your bosses. As a junior attorney, your primary goal is to make life easier for the person who assigned you work. Everything you do should be focused on this fact. For example, when you draft a brief, you are not just trying to ultimately get a favorable result for your client -- you are trying to make your boss's life easier when it is time for him to edit the draft. Don't half-ass first drafts assuming your boss will edit it anyway. You should always turn in work that, in your opinion, is ready for filing as-is. Ultimately, your reviews by your superiors will be directly impacted by how effective you are at making their lives easier.

3. Be Proactive In Looking for Ways to Add Value: Junior associates are often thought of as cogs in a machine. However, this is often because they act like cogs. It is very rare for junior associates to look for ways to add value on their own initiative. Why? You are a hot shot lawyer with great grades from a great school. Take it upon yourself to figure out how to win your case. When a first year associate finds some new fact or comes up with some new idea the more senior attorneys had not thought of before, it turns heads. Don't wait to be told what to do. Just do it.

4. Genuinely Care About Your Work: This ties into both tips 2 and 3. You cannot do high quality work, and you cannot be proactive in figuring out how to win your case, unless you first genuinely care about winning. You should want to win. Don't just do your assigned task and punch a clock. You should also care about your work product and your "brand." Don't ever allow yourself to be associated with a crappy draft. Take pride in your work product.

5. Be Independent and a Problem Solver: Senior attorneys hate juniors who need hand holding. As I noted in tip 2, your primary goal is to make your boss's life easier. Needing hand holding is not the way to do that. You want to gain the reputation that, if your boss gives you a problem the boss does not know how to solve, you will figure out a way to solve it. Or, if you cannot solve it, you should at least formulate several proposed courses of action before you take it to your boss asking for help. "How should I do this?" does not sound nearly as good as, "I'm not 100% sure how to do this, but here are options A, B, and C. I favor option C. What do you think?"

6. Be Dependable and Punctual: Don't miss meetings. Don't blow deadlines, even if they are artificial deadlines. If you need more time, ask for it as soon as you reasonably can project that it will be needed. If you make a mistake, own up to it immediately. Quickly respond to email. Consider having call forwarding from your office to your cell.

7. Under Promise, Over Deliver: This relates to tip 6. Part of not blowing expectations is setting your expectations low. If you think it will take you 3 days to draft something, ask for a week. Then strive to turn it in early. That is always more impressive than asking for 3 days and then needing 4. This mantra should also follow you through the entirety of your career, including in your interaction with clients. Under promise on your odds of success on the summary judgment motion, and the client will be even more pleased when you prevail.

8. Seek Out Responsibility, Take Ownership of Your Career: Senior attorneys love to see juniors stepping up. Ask to take a crack at the first draft of that summary judgment brief. Ask to take that depo. Ask to argue that discovery motion. Ask, ask, ask. Even if they say "not this time," your bosses will still be impressed that you are seeking the responsibility. Moreover, the next time an opportunity comes up, they may be more likely to think of you for it. Finally, even if you are afraid of the responsibility you are asking for, dig deep and gut it out. Afraid of public speaking? Do it. Afraid of the confrontation of a deposition? Do it. Afraid of the responsibility of a major brief? Do it. The only way to get over anything is to do it, as often as possible. Sack up.

9. Project Confidence: This ties into Tip 8. As in politics, perception often shapes reality. You want to always project that you are confident that you could do anything if asked. It will give your bosses more confidence in you, and in turn it will lead to you getting more early responsibility.

10. Believe: Finally, I am a firm advocate of the fact that, in order to become a rockstar, you must first believe that you are one. Everything starts within. Ask yourself what a rockstar associate would do. Ask yourself, why not me? Then believe you are that guy. Feel it in your bones. After all, if you cannot believe in yourself, nobody else will.

Hope this helps.

- X

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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby ForgotMyPassword » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:23 pm

X, just wanted to say your guide / posts were likely the most valuable advice I read on TLS as a 0L. Although I didn't follow your plan exactly (You worked a truly insane number of hours), it was definitely helpful and I really appreciate it. Like you I went to a T20 and then transferred, and amusingly it looks like I'll be pursuing a patent lit career as well.

Glad to hear the story ends well and you're doing great!

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:33 pm

X thanks very much for your tips. This is extremely helpful. I'm really really hoping to follow at least somewhat in your footsteps.

03152016
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby 03152016 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:34 pm

tag

great thread, ty xeoh

xeoh85
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby xeoh85 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:42 pm

ForgotMyPassword wrote:X, just wanted to say your guide / posts were likely the most valuable advice I read on TLS as a 0L. Although I didn't follow your plan exactly (You worked a truly insane number of hours), it was definitely helpful and I really appreciate it. Like you I went to a T20 and then transferred, and amusingly it looks like I'll be pursuing a patent lit career as well.

Glad to hear the story ends well and you're doing great!


Glad to hear it. Maybe you should PM me your CV. :lol:

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quiver
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby quiver » Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:06 pm

How did you like your CAFC clerkship? Any SCOTUS ambitions?

n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:59 pm

I also transferred from a T20 after having read your 1L advice thread, although, admittedly, I worked much less hard. I want to thank you for doing this. I plan to adopt your advice for my summer job next year, and as a junior associate after that.

xeoh85
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby xeoh85 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:40 pm

quiver wrote:How did you like your CAFC clerkship? Any SCOTUS ambitions?


The CAFC clerkship was an awesome experience and worth its weight in gold. I would highly recommend it to anyone who should be so fortunate as to have the opportunity. My writing skills improved dramatically, and my substantive knowledge of patent law after the clerkship was far beyond my years -- beyond even that of many partners who specialize in patent litigation. For an aspiring patent litigator, a CAFC clerkship will allow you to write a ticket to virtually any litigation firm of your choice, then upon arrival immediately be viewed as a specialist in your field. (Remember, as in politics, perception helps shape reality.) Or it will give you a possible ticket into academia -- I know two former co-clerks who are now professors at SLS and GW. In short, I believe CAFC is one of the most valuable clerkships available, second only to SCOTUS.

A CAFC clerkship is very difficult to land though, with a lot of luck involved. I remember when I was reviewing applications for the next class year as a clerk. It made me wonder how I actually landed the job. We had 2500+ applicants from top schools with top grades. We narrowed this to 250 or so right off the bat by applying a top 20 school / top 10% filter. We then split the remaining applications into four stacks, and each of the four clerks reviewed a stack. If the clerk liked the application, it would be bumped up a tier. We then rotated the stacks of the applicants who had been bumped up a tier, and repeated. We did this for four rotations, meaning that to make it to the final tier you had to be independently bumped by each of the four clerks. At that point, we had 30 applications remaining, and the Judge had told us to narrow it down to 15. All of the 30 applications were essentially top 1% from the top 10 schools. We then had to nitpick that stack to get it down by any means necessary. Typo in the cover letter? Cut. Not a particular interest in CAFC that jumps off your resume? Cut. Weak recommendations? Cut. We finally got it down to 15. The Judge then called all of their references. We then called in 10 for interviews, and hired 4. Ridiculous. =)

As for SCOTUS ambitions, I have none. First, I clerked for CAFC, not a traditional feeder judge. The Justices don't like CAFC clerks (or the CAFC as an institution). They view CAFC clerks as specialists, while they like generalists at SCOTUS. Thus, I would need to leave my firm and clerk for a feeder first to have a serious shot at SCOTUS, which I am not willing to do. I am only 2 years away from being up for partner. Why leave? =)

-X

mister logical
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby mister logical » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:26 pm

Hey xeoh85,

Read all your advice, ended up using a modified version and ended up transferring and getting some great offers at OCI, so first and foremost, thanks for posting your advice for us.

My question - do you work with anyone / against anyone who didn't have a hard science background before becoming a patent prosecutor?

Cheers

xeoh85
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby xeoh85 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:12 pm

mister logical wrote:My question - do you work with anyone / against anyone who didn't have a hard science background before becoming a patent prosecutor?


You need a hard science background to do patent prosecution--i.e., the task of filing a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and getting it through the examination process to issue as a patent. A hard science background is required for this because you need to become a member of the Patent Bar in order to practice before the USPTO, and you can only sit for the Patent Bar if you have a hard science degree (or sufficient college units in a hard science field).

I don't do patent prosecution. I find it dry and boring. I do patent litigation--i.e., lawsuits over alleged patent infringement. For patent litigation, you do not need any hard science background. In fact, many of the partners I work with regularly who specialize in patent litigation have no hard science background. Others have a hard science background in one field (e.g., electrical engineering), but primarily work on cases in an unrelated field (e.g., biotech). I personally have worked on cases in many different tech fields, including biotech, despite the fact that my undergrad degree is EECS. It really doesn't matter. All that is required for patent litigation is that you have no fear of teaching yourself new technology.

- X

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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby ForgotMyPassword » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:46 pm

Building on the last question, where do you see IPR's heading? I know they've become increasingly common - do you think if you can take the patent bar you absolutely should even if you're going into patent lit because of this? Also do you mainly see bar certified patent litigators doing IPR's or do some patent pros people step in?

Side question - Are IPR's something that large firms do with any regularity, or are they rare (As in you just target a couple high value patents from time to time) and mostly done by IP boutiques?

xeoh85
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby xeoh85 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:51 pm

ForgotMyPassword wrote:Building on the last question, where do you see IPR's heading? I know they've become increasingly common - do you think if you can take the patent bar you absolutely should even if you're going into patent lit because of this? Also do you mainly see bar certified patent litigators doing IPR's or do some patent pros people step in?

Side question - Are IPR's something that large firms do with any regularity, or are they rare (As in you just target a couple high value patents from time to time) and mostly done by IP boutiques?


IPRs are very common now. You should expect to consider the possibility of an IPR in connection with virtually every patent infringement lawsuit. Since the AIA, nearly all of my cases involve parallel IPR proceedings. (It is rather funny, because the AIA was supposed to simplify, not further complicate patent litigation.)

Patent litigators typically handle IPRs, not patent prosecutors. If there is a pending lawsuit, the parallel IPR will usually be handled by the same firm that is handling the lawsuit. Being a member of the patent bar is not required, so long as the "Lead Counsel" and "Backup Counsel" listed on the IPR petition are members of the patent bar. Other litigators who are not members of the patent bar can be admitted to practice pro hac vice on any particular matter, so long as there are members of the patent bar listed as the lead and backup.

That being said, if you are interested in patent litigation and have a tech background, you might as well take the patent bar so that you can practice in IPRs without needing to pro hac vice under the supervision of a member of the patent bar. I would recommend taking it during law school, because it will be difficult to find the time later. (I never took it, because I graduated prior to the AIA and had no interest in prosecution. I plan to take it soon, when I finally find some time.)

-X

blacksand
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby blacksand » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:32 pm

Just wanted to say thank you, @Xeoh85, for your helpful guides and advice on TLS.

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instride91
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby instride91 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:23 am

blacksand wrote:Just wanted to say thank you, @Xeoh85, for your helpful guides and advice on TLS.


Me too. Thanks to you, TheSeasLocust, and the other TLS guides, I ended up in the top 5% with a SA position at a V10 firm.

Question for Xeoh85: As a 2L/3L, did you ever work with supplements?

middlemarch
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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby middlemarch » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:55 am

Xeoh85, do you have any advice for clerks, either specific to your court or generally?

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Re: Xeoh85 Here - Ask Me Anything

Postby jk148706 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:06 pm

tag




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