IP Lawyer / BU Grad - taking Qs

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cc1012
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Re: IP Lawyer / BU Grad - taking Qs

Postby cc1012 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:39 am

jhett wrote:
cc1012 wrote:Thanks for answering these!

Thoughts on the following:

1. If a firm is Chambers-ranked in a lower band in a certain region than another firm, but has a higher Vault ranking in both IP and as an overall firm, is there a strong reason for either choice?

2. Differences between the Dallas and DC markets, specifically (EE/CS)? With TC Heartland, would I lose out on significant experience as a junior associate if I started in Dallas as opposed to DC if my long-term goal is to be in the south?


1. It's hard to answer your question without knowing the actual firm you are referring to. However, here are some factors to consider:
- The lower regional band ranking may mean that other, stronger firms in the region have the best clients/matters that originate in that region. That may impact the quality of work you will get, and may affect your exit options (you won't have a client relationship with certain companies in order to make a jump in-house).
- You may end up doing more working for clients that originate from other offices (the stronger offices of the firm) rather than from the office you are located in.
- The particular office may be limited in the technology fields or practice areas they can handle, leading to a lower band rating.
- Has the office been growing or shrinking? Does the office have any star attorneys, or are they located in other firms?

I suggest you find out more information about the particular clients and practice areas serviced by that office to evaluate whether or not you would choose it over other firms. If you plan on staying in the region (I assume it's Dallas based on question 2), then the regional rankings matter more than if you are flexible on location.

2. By referencing TC Heartland, I assume you want to do patent lit. TC Heartland is not a death knell for litigation in ED Tex, and it appears from the newest opinions that the judges there are trying to claw back venue. I think there will still be a fair amount of litigation activity in Dallas. Usually, you should start your practice in the city you want to end up in. DC is a prosecution hotspot, but there isn't actually that much district court IP litigation in DC. The only reason I think you should pick DC is if you get an offer from a firm that has a strong Fed Circuit appellate practice like WilmerHale, Fish, or Finnegan. Getting Fed Circuit experience would make you golden anywhere.

Pm'd you

jhett
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Re: IP Lawyer / BU Grad - taking Qs

Postby jhett » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:34 pm

makingthemove wrote:The idea of working in patent lit appellate practice sounds exciting for me. Is there anything I should do to increase my odds of working with CAFC practice? Do I need to go to a top-N school? Any classes or I should be taking? Join law reviews or work with faculty on papers? Pray?


It's very competitive to make it into those groups. You need very good grades at a T14, and have demonstrated skill/interest in appellate litigation (e.g., moot court, law review, IP courses, papers on the subject), and maybe have done a clerkship or two. Essentially you'll need to be a standout candidate.

It's good to aim high, but don't set your sights solely on appellate practice. Focus on doing well in law school and pick up some of the qualifications I listed above, and see where the opportunities take you.

jhett
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Re: IP Lawyer / BU Grad - taking Qs

Postby jhett » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:44 pm

pricon wrote:Do you think that the biglaw patent lit options for someone with a non-ee/cs engineering degree and from a t20-30 law school would be comparable to the biglaw patent lit options for the same person from a t13 law school, in terms of just getting the job?

What about the same question in terms of accessing national markets? (SF/LA/Chi from Boston University, as opposed to Penn, for example)

I wonder if the options would seriously be so close that it would be totally ridiculous to attend a t13 with an engineering degree vs a t25 with scholarship for someone set on biglaw.

Would the risks of going to the t25 solely to do patent lit outweigh the benefits of going to the t13 anyway and having more non-patent-lit biglaw options for someone not sure what they want to do after graduation?

PS: I'm not only not necessarily competitive for patent pros, but also totally uninterested in it.


Hiring for patent litigation is more dependent on school ranking than for patent prosecution (you could go to a T2 school and still get offers for pros). In this scenario, I would attend the highest rank school you can get. As you are not completely set on patent lit, the higher ranked school will give you more options with respect to firms and career choices.

Geography is an important consideration. Penn will give you access to most cities nationwide, while BU will mostly limit you to New England and New York (I got offers from CA firms from BU, but that was pre-recession). So if you pick a lower ranked school, make sure it is in the market you want to work in.

BTW, is it T13 now? What happened to T14? Who dropped out?

pricon
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Re: IP Lawyer / BU Grad - taking Qs

Postby pricon » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:11 pm

(Thank you so much for the advice so specifically tailored to my concerns.)

If you look at the job prospects of the top 14 schools, UT and Georgetown are relatively poor, so I sometimes count them out, strictly speaking. I have no idea when the transition occurred, because as long as I have been gathering employment data, I have seen an employment disparity between the top 13 and number 14, relatively speaking.

For example, the top 13 get 85–95% of their graduates full-time, long-term, JD-required jobs nine months after graduation. For Georgetown and UT, that figure drops below 80%, but with the same t13 debt.

WashU, 18, with the same employment stat, hands out huge scholarships; Vanderbilt, 17, has an employment stat of 86%.

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twiix
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Re: IP Lawyer / BU Grad - taking Qs

Postby twiix » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:41 pm

jhett wrote:
pricon wrote:Do you think that the biglaw patent lit options for someone with a non-ee/cs engineering degree and from a t20-30 law school would be comparable to the biglaw patent lit options for the same person from a t13 law school, in terms of just getting the job?

What about the same question in terms of accessing national markets? (SF/LA/Chi from Boston University, as opposed to Penn, for example)

I wonder if the options would seriously be so close that it would be totally ridiculous to attend a t13 with an engineering degree vs a t25 with scholarship for someone set on biglaw.

Would the risks of going to the t25 solely to do patent lit outweigh the benefits of going to the t13 anyway and having more non-patent-lit biglaw options for someone not sure what they want to do after graduation?

PS: I'm not only not necessarily competitive for patent pros, but also totally uninterested in it.


Hiring for patent litigation is more dependent on school ranking than for patent prosecution (you could go to a T2 school and still get offers for pros). In this scenario, I would attend the highest rank school you can get. As you are not completely set on patent lit, the higher ranked school will give you more options with respect to firms and career choices.

Geography is an important consideration. Penn will give you access to most cities nationwide, while BU will mostly limit you to New England and New York (I got offers from CA firms from BU, but that was pre-recession). So if you pick a lower ranked school, make sure it is in the market you want to work in.

BTW, is it T13 now? What happened to T14? Who dropped out?


G'Town dropped, UT came up. You can still taste the tears around TLS. A lot of people still say T14, fwiw.

chemistrytolaw
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Re: IP Lawyer / BU Grad - taking Qs

Postby chemistrytolaw » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:08 pm

Thanks for answering these questions!

From what you have seen in various law firms, is it necessary to get a Ph. D in the physical sciences (chemistry, physics) to practice IP law at a top firm? Or would a Master's degree and a t10 law school be valued more than a Ph. D and a lower ranked law school?

Thanks again!

jhett
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:36 pm

Re: IP Lawyer / BU Grad - taking Qs

Postby jhett » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:34 pm

chemistrytolaw wrote:Thanks for answering these questions!

From what you have seen in various law firms, is it necessary to get a Ph. D in the physical sciences (chemistry, physics) to practice IP law at a top firm? Or would a Master's degree and a t10 law school be valued more than a Ph. D and a lower ranked law school?

Thanks again!


There isn't really a correlation between Masters/PhD and law school ranking. Your question actually depends on the IP subject matter you want to practice / the type of clients you want to work for. If you want to do work for pharma or biotech companies, then a PhD is pretty much a necessity. If you want to work for material science or applied physics companies, a Masters is good enough for most firms.

Generally, you want to attend the best law school you can get into. This rule can be relaxed for pharma/biotech IP folks as they are highly sought after (the demand exceeds the supply). However, if you are in the material science/applied physics space, the rule still applies (supply exceeds demand).




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