The Intellectual Property Law Server

Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
Jun 1st, 2020, 3:16am

Forums Forums Help Help Search Search Members Members Calendar Calendar Login Login Register Register
   Intellectual Property Forums
  
  
Patent Agent/Lawyer Careers
(Moderators: Forum Admin, JimIvey, JSonnabend)
   Billable Hour Translation for Agents
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1  Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
   Author  Topic: Billable Hour Translation for Agents  (Read 1741 times)
Darren
Guest
Billable Hour Translation for Agents
« on: Dec 15th, 2004, 6:43am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

I am a newly minted patent agent considering jumping from industry to a firm.  I have several offers from East Coast law firms that require 1800 - 1900 billable hours.   I'm trying to compare the offers with law firms to an industry position.   Is there a 'rough' translation from billable hours to 'real working' hours?
IP Logged
smitty
Guest
Re: Billable Hour Translation for Agents
« Reply #1 on: Mar 13th, 2005, 3:10am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

Think of it as a typical year with vacations etc, working  about 9 hrs a day.
IP Logged
Jonathan
Full Member
***




   


Posts: 611
Re: Billable Hour Translation for Agents
« Reply #2 on: Mar 13th, 2005, 11:43am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

As a new patent agent you will probably have a significant training period ahead of you before you can write a decent application (mostly relating to writing decent claims) and write a sufficient Office Action response. Logically, this will translate into you spending a significant amount of time to complete a task, for example a patent application, beyond the alloted budget. Your selected firm can mitigate this factor through a few methods - a lower billing rate for you and / or perhaps just reduce the final bill of the finished project. The lower billing rate will work better for you in getting your yearly allotment of required hours. Reducing the final bill will usually be to your detriment as the reduction of the bill to the client will usually directly translate to a reduction of the hours you billed.
 
You should therefore get those details for each of your offers - billing rate, their policy on writing off your hours (does it affect your yearly total or not) and perhaps creatively inquire as to the ramifications if you don't make the minimum number of hours per year. The better firm will answer that if you put in your required hours, but they were not all billed to a client, then it will be fine as long as you remain on track to becoming an efficient patent agent  - at least for your first year and within reason. For example, your billable requirement may be 1900 and you worked 1900 but 50 hours were written off during your first year. Will the firm say, no problem, you are still in training, good effort or look upon this negatively?
 
There are other threads on this website that discuss actual working hours versus time spent in the office. I can't locate them readily but perhaps others will post a link.
 
It is safe to say in general that patent work (writing patent applications and prosecution) requires sustained concentration in order bill your 8 to 9 hours in the day and not be in the office for 10 to 11 hours.  
 
Oh - also be sure to consider the paid time off policies. The better firms won't necessarily have one in place for the patents agents and associates. That is, if you worked hard all year and filled your hourly requirement by the end of November, could you take December off (while taking appropriate arrangements, of course, to cover your absence)? If you have 10 days of vacation, you conceivably could not do that and would be required to continue working an additional two weeks. This will help you come bonus time but something to consider nonetheless.
« Last Edit: Mar 13th, 2005, 11:45am by Jonathan » IP Logged
Pages: 1  Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print

« Previous topic | Next topic »
Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.2!
Forum software copyright 2000-2004 Yet another Bulletin Board