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   IP Law in small cities?
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   Author  Topic: IP Law in small cities?  (Read 945 times)
Ian
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IP Law in small cities?
« on: Apr 25th, 2007, 5:30am »
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I'm currently going to law school in a large city, but I would really like to practice back in my hometown.  I just don't care for the commute and stress of working in a large downtown area.  It takes me almost 60-70 minutes to get into the city right now and I live maybe 10 miles away.  
 
Do you think it would be extremely difficult to practice IP/Patent law in a smaller city?  Say pop. 50k, but about 1 hour outside Boston?  If I tried to focus on not just patent law but Copyright/Trademark and Patent?  I was thinking about just doing regular law, but it seems like regular attorneys are a dime a dozen.  I would also like to use my computer science degree at least somewhat.  I know there are very few if any IP attorneys in the area, but on the other hand how much IP related work is there, I don't know.  
 
I really enjoy contracts.  Do you think some sort of practice that tries to target small-medium business might work?  Drafting contracts, copyright, maybe do some LLC's and Corps.  
 
Any thoughts?  Do any of you practice in a smaller city?
 
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patentsusa
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Re: IP Law in small cities?
« Reply #1 on: Apr 25th, 2007, 11:27pm »
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I am in Spokane, WA.  It was the smallest city I was able to find a decent firm in.  I can tell you that the law firms in smaller places can easily be more picky about the qualifications of people they hire.  I can also tell you that a lot of clients prefer to have local counsel.  There are plenty of huge companies that will send work all over the country but they are much more price sensitive than the companies that don't have in-house patent counsel and require a lot more counselling.  In a small place, you don't have a lot of high-tech companies which means it is a lot harder to get good work.
 
If you have a technical background, I'd guess that patent law would be more highly valued than contracts, since any attorney can do contracts.  If you really really like contracts, consider attending some LES seminars and doing some networking there.
 
One hour from Boston shouldn't be a big problem.  In my mind, you'd probably still be considered to be "local" to the Boston clients.  
« Last Edit: Apr 25th, 2007, 11:29pm by patentsusa » IP Logged

Deepak Malhotra, JD, BSEE
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Malhotra Law Firm
www.patentsusa.com
Isaac
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Re: IP Law in small cities?
« Reply #2 on: Apr 26th, 2007, 3:44pm »
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on Apr 25th, 2007, 5:30am, Ian wrote:
I really enjoy contracts.  Do you think some sort of practice that tries to target small-medium business might work?  Drafting contracts, copyright, maybe do some LLC's and Corps.  
 
Any thoughts?  Do any of you practice in a smaller city?
 

 
It sounds as if you are contemplating starting your own firm.   One of the pitfalls with doing patent work out in the boondocks is obtaining the mentoring and guidance necessary to handle cases without doing a disservice to your clients.   If your intention is to start your own practice without such guidance, I hope you'll rethink that plan.
 
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Isaac
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Re: IP Law in small cities?
« Reply #3 on: Apr 26th, 2007, 5:28pm »
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What about the IP firms in small college towns, say 175k people, 50k students??  Are they difficult to get into?  Does it help or hurt to have a few years of big firm experience first?
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