Seeking advice on practice area choice Forum

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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2024 3:22 pm

Seeking advice on practice area choice

Post by Hsu » Tue Feb 20, 2024 5:53 pm

I worked in patent prosecution after college. After almost two years on the job, I grow increasingly sure that I’m bored. I’m still psychologically OK with the job, but with law school coming up in the fall, I’m reevaluating practice areas when I become a lawyer for real.

I am motivated primarily by using my brain in novel contexts: new problems to solve, new information gained, adding to my repertoire of skills or experience. Part of the reason I was drawn to law, personality-fit wise, is that I enjoy reading and writing about history, philosophy, political science, and to the extent I understand them, legal issues. However, I will grow bored of a topic when my brain think that it has exhausted all the possibilities in the issue. I found out about this motivational challenge on the job because the only time I was interested in work was the 5% of my day spent talking to inventors about new concepts. The rest of the job is 30+ hours of slogging through drafting an application.

I would love to find a practice area where I am intrinsically motivated by the intellectual stimulation, and look forward to working. If I could bill time for tackling new challenges each day or week, or even better-learning new information to explore a new nook or cranny, I think I would genuinely love working. The feeling of building up my legal expertise would, I think, make the hours worthwhile to me. I understand that junior associates in many practices find their roles boring, but looking past the first 3 years or so I’m hopeful the work becomes more engaging or challenging. If that’s a myth please help me dispel it.

I’m eyeing a few practice areas: IP litigation, Tech transactions, Fund formation, and possibly Tax. Sidenote: I unfortunately got no opportunity to work in litigation in my current role. Attorneys seem uninterested in using someone who does not actually know how to lawyer.

Could people advise as to what seems like a good fit for my interests? Appreciate it!

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