Intellectual Property Forums (

(Message started by: PAVA on Jun 20th, 2007, 9:20am)

Title: Which one is better
Post by PAVA on Jun 20th, 2007, 9:20am
Hi Everyone,

Currently looking at positions from large IP only firms (as a tech specialist/Patent Agent) and a large General Practice firm with 900 lawyers(as patent agent). IP only firm, I am looking at, has higher billable hour requirement, but better supports employees with regards to part-time law school.

Large and Reputed IP Only Firm:
2000 billable hours
100% law school reimbursement
1500 reduced billable hours during the law school

A large General Practice with Good IP:
1800 billable hours
Law school reimbursement with 1650 reduced billable hours during law school only on CASE-BY-CASE basis.

Given these, and assuming both offer similar salary packages,  I am wondering which one has an advantage over the other. My inclination initally was towards IP only firm, however, 2000 billable hour requirement is pulling me back. Is IP only firm's experience better on resume than that of General Practice firm's? How much more stressful 2000 hours would be compared to 1800 hours? Is there any difference between working for a IP only firm and working for General Practice firm with IP presence?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

Title: Re: Which one is better
Post by biopico on Jun 20th, 2007, 3:49pm
I would choose an IP only firm.

Title: Re: Which one is better
Post by MrToodles on Jun 21st, 2007, 2:37pm
Make sure and find out how those hours are computed.  Some firms will count all hours billed toward a project as part of your billable goal. Other firms will only count the hours actually billed to a client as hours toward your goal.

A firm that only counts hours billed out may have a lower billable requirement (e.g., 1750), but it may be harder to reach that than a firm that counts all hours recorded (regardless of whether they are ever actually billed out) with a 2000 hour goal.

That being said, I would agree with the PP and go with the IP firm.  If you have interest in other areas of law or litigation that is only tangential to IP, then you may want to go with the GP firm.

Title: Re: Which one is better
Post by trolleybus on Jun 21st, 2007, 3:42pm
I wouldn't think more than 4 years ahead - once you get experience, you can always switch firms upon graduation. However, 1500 vs 1650 hrs difference during law school is huge - think of those 150 hours as 2/3 extra weeks to study for exams, which you'll need dearly if you are working and going to school at night.  And of course, having tuition covered is also very important - 100K at 8% racks up very quickly.  So I think the IP firm (is it Finnegan?) wins by a mile.

Title: Re: Which one is better
Post by bjr on Jun 21st, 2007, 4:41pm
I would suggest the Large and Reputed IP Only Firm route.  1500 billable hours is very reasonable.  

I'm currently a full-time patent agent at a respectable IP firm in the NorthEast attending law school in the evenings (third-year).  My billable hour requirement is 1650 (1750 after law school).  Billing 1650, reading for school, maintaining a social life, and spending time with the wife and kids is a difficult balancing act.  Suffice to say that my law school grades have suffered.

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