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(Message started by: Guest345 on Oct 10th, 2007, 6:32pm)

Title: Big, general practice firm vs medium sized firm
Post by Guest345 on Oct 10th, 2007, 6:32pm
I am a patent agent, with electrical engg. background and 2 years of prosecution experience.

I am planning to change my job and have two tentative offers.

One is from a general law firm with about 200+ attorneys, out of which about 20 are involved in IP stuff. Other lawers practice other areas of law.

The second firm focuses solely on patent prosecution and has around 15 lawyers.

I haven't talked about compensation with any of the firms.  Before doing so, can someone please advise me on which firm (big, general practice firm vs medium sized IP focused firm), in general, may provide a better work environment?

Thanks a bunch!

Title: Re: Big, general practice firm vs medium sized fir
Post by PA on Oct 10th, 2007, 8:30pm
It's impossible to say in generalities.  I've seen good and bad for large GP firms as well as smaller, IP focused firms.

That said, regardless of firm size, I think it's important that you feel comfortable with the people you work for and work with.  It's also important that the firm does the kind of work that you want to do.

Title: Re: Big, general practice firm vs medium sized fir
Post by Guest 345 on Oct 11th, 2007, 11:59am
Thanks for the reply. But given that the focus of a large GP firm is usually not IP, do the IP guys get a step motherly behavior?

Title: Re: Big, general practice firm vs medium sized fir
Post by MattB on Oct 11th, 2007, 12:24pm
Now, I must preface that I work at a small firm, but I interviewed and have friends in big GPs doing IP.

The IP department is usually separate, it has its own partners and there is little co-mingling with real lawyers.  You guys pull in consistent big bucks, so there is strong job security, but you don't get the big hype and kudos for settling a $200M wrongful death suit.

My impression was that the GPs know they have an IP practice and can rattle off names (of IP partners), but that's about it.

Enjoy!

Title: Re: Big, general practice firm vs medium sized fir
Post by PA on Oct 11th, 2007, 12:29pm
I'm not entirely sure what you mean.  GP firms by definition usually don't have a focus, right?  So I'm not sure why the IP guys would be singled out for "step motherly behavior."

In my experience with GP firms, the core business isn't any particular practice, but rather profitability.  If a particular practice isn't pulling their weight in profits per partner, then that practice can be in trouble.  Of course, this also varies from firm to firm.

Title: Re: Big, general practice firm vs medium sized fir
Post by pentazole on Oct 11th, 2007, 12:50pm
I am of the opinion that it is better to start off at IP boutique firms (IP only), medium sized.  First, the salary won't be different.  Generally IP professionals at profitable firms are going to get paid the market average salary.  Second, it's less stressful to work at a boutique firm, usually you get a lower billing rate and a better training system.

Title: Re: Big, general practice firm vs medium sized fir
Post by biopico on Oct 11th, 2007, 9:52pm
I would consider many things:
1. who will be your boss?
2. Benefits
3. Salary
4. Geographical locations
5. Culture
6. your comfort level with people around you
7. Living cost
8. Evening law school ::)
etc



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