Info for non-BigLaw/PI/clerkship employment? And soft-IP?

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Info for non-BigLaw/PI/clerkship employment? And soft-IP?

Post by drumstickies » Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:44 pm

I can't seem to find any information for what life is like in small/mid-sized law firms. It seems that everyone in TLS wants BigLaw, clerkship, or PI. I'm looking for a reasonable work-life balance post-graduation, and this consideration will affect which law school I end up choosing. I have a full-ride at a T20 and an acceptance to NYU, probably at sticker. The thought of having to work 100hr/week as a BigLaw associate to pay NYU off isn't pleasant. I'm married and would like to provide a decent livelihood for my family, so PI is probably out of the question. However, I still want to attend NYU over the T20 if I can pay it off without taking a BigLaw job, since going to NYU has been a college dream of mine.

On a similar note, does anyone know if soft-IP yields a better work-life balance? I don't have a tech background, so I can't sit for the patent bar, but I hear that people who do IP litigation (which might not require a tech background) have more reasonable hours. It's something I'm considering.

Thanks for the help!


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Re: Info for non-BigLaw/PI/clerkship employment? And soft-IP?

Post by NavyOfficer23 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:19 pm

Caveat: Every firm is different. However, it is generally true that mid-sized firm have lower hour requirements and attorneys have better work-life balances. You might also look at big/prominent firms in non-major markets (i.e. Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Louisville, Atlanta, etc.). Often times work there also has more of a work-life balance. However, those markets are not looking for associates that are going to move. Thus, they want you to have ties and/or really show you're committed to that area.

As far as soft-IP, you're going to have bit of an uphill battle getting into the field, but you probably would have more luck at a GP firm than a boutique. As far as IP litigation being better than non-IP litigation, I've heard that too, but I think you might be reading into that a bit too much. Litigation is litigation.

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