Intellectual Property Forums (

(Message started by: Charles Jones on Jul 23rd, 2005, 12:39pm)

Title: Sending resumes to law firms -- how to?
Post by Charles Jones on Jul 23rd, 2005, 12:39pm
I passed the U.S. patent bar exam recently, and expect to receive the official paperwork in the next few weeks which will annoint me as a registered patent agent.  My next goal is to contact law firms in my area;  armed with this new license, plus past experience in the technology field, I will be seeking work with a law firm.

Simple question:  I plan to cold contact IP law firms.  When I do so, is it better to use e-mail to send a cover note and attached resume;  or is a snail-mail letter and resume the preferred mode of contact?

Any additional advice, suggestions, and/or hints on approaching the law firms would certainly be welcome.

Thanks in advance for your advice.


Title: Re: Sending resumes to law firms -- how to?
Post by Eliz on Jul 26th, 2005, 10:23pm
Since no one else has jumped in here, I'll offer my opinion.  I think email is a bad way to go.  First, anybody who has had their email address for a while gets TONS of junk mail and many people just delete everything that is not from someone they know.  Second, maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but email just seems to informal for sending resumes (unless, of course, you are specifically instructed to do it that way).  

If it were me, I would send cover letters and resumes via snail mail, on nice resume paper, in nice envelopes.  

Also, I'm sure you probably realize this, but if there is any way you can make a contact with anyone at any of these firms, your resume will be much less likely to go straight in the circular file.  Networking is hard and outside of most people's comfort zones, but my understanding is that it's how many (if not most people) wind up getting their positions.  

Good luck!

Title: Re: Sending resumes to law firms -- how to?
Post by IPLVR on Jul 28th, 2005, 6:08pm
I would say just e-mail them.  I work at a major law firm and everyone has their inboxes stuffed.  If you have the resume in electronic format you can forward it.

Title: Re: Sending resumes to law firms -- how to?
Post by indiantm on Aug 11th, 2005, 7:51am
I would say go for both. Send an email and follow-up with a snail-mail letter.

With advances in technology, preferences have changed. Some prefer it via email where as some stil want it the old fashioned way.

Since it concerns your career, I would say make the best of both worlds.

All the best to you !

Title: Re: Sending resumes to law firms -- how to?
Post by jack on Aug 16th, 2005, 10:57am
What about faxing?

Title: Re: Sending resumes to law firms -- how to?
Post by chemagent on Aug 30th, 2005, 9:03pm
I got hired from a program of cold mailing of resumes to law firms in Chicago.  Here's how I did it: (1) went to and found 46 or so law firms with IP practice groups, (2) identified 25 or so with recruiter contact information on that site, (3) mailed 25 resumes via snail mail on bond paper and using quality bond envelopes to the recruiter contact person, and addressed them directly by name, and (4) got lucky.  One interview - one offer - one job.  Good luck.

Title: FOR those desiring to be Patent Agents.....
Post by ChrisWhewell on Aug 30th, 2005, 9:40pm
I'm an Agent, with 8 years experience as the Senior drafter/prosecutor for a $11 B global chemical company.  I retired when they left town in May, and now operate as a free agent, while attending grad school at in the tech commercializatin program.

Without any patents under your belt, you may find it tough to land a job, just as a mechanic with a certificate who has never pulled a cylinder head off an engine.  Basically, the bar is a tight-Knit fraternity, and if you don't have a bar card, you willl always be in the role of whipping boy.  That is why there are so few agents around - most can't find a long-term satisfying situation that pays the big bucks.  

My recommendation - you will need to find someone who likes you.  You will need to socialize with lawyers and get one to like you.  Taking you on will require a big investment of their time/money, with little to gain from their perspective, unless you sign a 10-year contract or something of that ilk.  You will need for someone to like you, partly because of your good track record in drafting and prosecution, and partly becuase you are a neat and cool guy.  emails and faxes are bland electrons on a screen/paper, and are a good way to blend in well with all the other faxes and emails.  To really stand out, you need to stand up and shake some hands.  Sign up for some continuing legal education in your area.  Those rooms are packed full of lawyers.  One might just like you.

What is your area of specialty ?  Maybe I can send you a case to work on.

Title: Re: Sending resumes to law firms -- how to?
Post by Charles Jones on Sep 11th, 2005, 11:09am
My specialties would be software and electronics.  If you have any patent work in that area, and could pass some my way, I'd love to get my start that way.  

Also, a followup question.  Since my background is in technical writing, I am tempted to send, to the law firms -- along with my resume -- a writing sample.  I have one white paper, in particular, something on some specialized radio technology, that I think would just "Wow" them.  Plus, they must see tons of resumes, so I would think, sending something extra, an especially strong writing sample, might be one way to make a strong impression.

On the other hand, I'm sure these attorneys have tons of paper on their desks anyway.  So, maybe sending a writing sample along with the resume, on a first contact, is too much paper, and a bit of a presumption.  So I could use feedback here -- send a writing sample with the first contact, or not?


Title: Re: Sending resumes to law firms -- how to?
Post by Tommy on Sep 12th, 2005, 9:19am
Ask a lawyer out to lunch.  I was very timid about this at the start as well, but you would be amazed how helpful people are willing to be, especially if there is free food involved.  Look people up on the web, and find one who looks like you might be able to have a conversation with.  Because the patent community in towns is relatively small, even if that specific contact doesnt work out, they might lead you to other people, and then you can say "So and so told me to call you", which is even more helpful.  Just like anything else, just go do it.

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