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   Way to get into patent law after graduating?
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   Author  Topic: Way to get into patent law after graduating?  (Read 1979 times)
bozo
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Re: Way to get into patent law after graduating?
« Reply #5 on: Aug 14th, 2006, 2:28pm »
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Sure, perhaps the law is not for me. If I could invent a time machine, I would probably go back in time to the day when I applied to law school, and kill self.
 
You don't find it moderately disturbing that striking out during 2L OCI effectively eliminates 1/2,--1/3, 2/3, whatever--of your career opportunities for the rest of your life? It seems that making a career out of working at boutiques will not be easy. My understanding is that a great deal of attorneys at boutiques start these firms or lateral there after working at big firms. I've never really heard of attys soley doing boutique work through out their careers. Is this common?
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Zing
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Re: Way to get into patent law after graduating?
« Reply #6 on: Aug 14th, 2006, 10:16pm »
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"never been to" has it right.
 
If you have an engineering degree and a law degree, you should be able to find a boutique that is willing to give you a look.  Although, if your law and/or undergraduate grades are horrible, you might have a tough road ahead of you.
 
If your grades are decent, a little persistence and/or networking will work wonders.  You need to think outside of the NALP directory box.
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never been to
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Re: Way to get into patent law after graduating?
« Reply #7 on: Aug 15th, 2006, 7:52am »
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bozo:
 
I'm not trying to be a pain, but you really don't understand the business side of practicing law.  Working at a law firm, whether a boutique or megafirm, isnt' like working as a school teacher, an engineer or a doctor.  
 
Your starting job as a lawyer is, generally, grunt work.  You work somewhere for a few years to figure out how to be a lawyer.   With luck, you find someone who is a good mentor and helps you become a good lawyer.
 
After about 5 years, any firm, whether a boutique or a megafirm, expects you to have clients.  Clients pay you for your work.  You build your business by getting clients.    Clients can come either internally at a firm or externally from the street.
 
So, your first goal when you get out of law school is to find someone to help you become a good lawyer.  Your second goal is to learn how to develop clients.
 
Many patent attorneys work at boutique firms.  The boutique firms give a lawyer the most flexibility in developing their practice.  If you find a good one with some good senior lawyers, it can be a very rewarding experience financially as well as metaphysically.   People who get in a good boutique firm love it.  They have a whole lot more direct control over their life than lawyers at the megafirms.
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IPNewbie
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Re: Way to get into patent law after graduating?
« Reply #8 on: Aug 16th, 2006, 7:29am »
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I'll tell you what a partner at a boutique firm told me.  They really want someone with litigation experience, even if not in patent law.  He said he'd prefer to see an application from an associate with 2-3 years of experience at an insurance defense firm (or something similar where you get a lot of in-court, practical experience) than one from someone right out of law school, because then they don't have to train that person on the basics.
 
If your grades are poor, then the goal is just to get a job.  Do well at your job.  Get involved in the local bar, make contacts, get to know people.  When you are ready to move into a patent law firm, use the contacts you have obtained to find a firm that is looking for someone.
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bozo
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Re: Way to get into patent law after graduating?
« Reply #9 on: Aug 16th, 2006, 11:06am »
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IPnewbie, thanks for your input, it is very encouraging. However, are you referring to only patent litigation boutiques? I am not sure I will or even want to do patent lit. Also, I am told that patent lit boutiques are getting eaten up rather fast by the big firms.  
 
Networking. ugh. It's not my thing. (Yes, I know what you're thinking.) Unfortunately, the city in which I attend law school is not a feasible place to practice patent law. And the emails I fire off to practicing attorneys in my target markets asking for advice/etc. usually just get ignored.
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