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Author Topic: Working Remotely  (Read 1149 times)

novobarro

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Working Remotely
« on: 11-19-17 at 02:25 am »

I have approximately 3 years of experience and am considering trying to find a work at home position.  Any downfalls to working at home?
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smgsmc

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Re: Working Remotely
« Reply #1 on: 11-19-17 at 06:50 am »

Attorney or agent?  Firm size (small, medium, big)?
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novobarro

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Re: Working Remotely
« Reply #2 on: 11-19-17 at 04:27 pm »

Attorney, small firm, 5-10 attorneys.  also, for a mid level attorney, what kind of interview questions should I expect to be asked, and what are some good questions to ask the firm during an interview?

Also, the primary reason I'm looking to switch is that the current firm is not able to give me enough work to bill hours.  Can I be honest in an interview and simply give this as a reason?
« Last Edit: 11-19-17 at 04:44 pm by novobarro »
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smgsmc

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Re: Working Remotely
« Reply #3 on: 11-19-17 at 10:33 pm »

If you were working at a big law firm, in which there were opportunities to make partner, then you would hurt your chances at making partner because you would be invisible while at home.  At a small firm with little opportunity to make partner, however, that issue is moot.

The major downside is that you're switching firms.  With 3 yrs experience, you would still benefit from receiving help from more experienced attorneys (even if just in dealing with specific clients who are new to you).  If you were staying at a firm in which you had already established good relationships, you could always just call up your old buddies.  In a new firm, though, it's not clear how much help to expect from strangers should you call.

If you work from home, be sure you have enough self discipline to avoid distractions.

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fewyearsin

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Re: Working Remotely
« Reply #4 on: 11-19-17 at 10:51 pm »

Biggest downside, ZERO human interaction.  The occasional phone call or email doesn't count.  There is something about meeting in person, and being able to walk down the hall and talk to someone, or chat at lunch.

My ideal work from home would be 3 days at home max, with 2 days in the office getting face time.

Everyone is different.  I know some people that can't focus at home.  And others who can't focus in the office. 

Yes, be honest in the interview.  You can turn anything positive. 
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This comment: does not represent the opinion or position of the PTO or any law firm; is not legal advice; and represents only a few quick thoughts from the author, not a well-researched treatise.  Seek out the advice of a competent patent attorney for answers to specific questions you may have.

Confused Engineer

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Re: Working Remotely
« Reply #5 on: 11-20-17 at 10:56 pm »

Biggest downside, ZERO human interaction.  The occasional phone call or email doesn't count.  There is something about meeting in person, and being able to walk down the hall and talk to someone, or chat at lunch.

My ideal work from home would be 3 days at home max, with 2 days in the office getting face time.

Everyone is different.  I know some people that can't focus at home.  And others who can't focus in the office. 

Yes, be honest in the interview.  You can turn anything positive.

That sounds ideal. Enough office time to keep up human interaction/keep you on your toes, but not the 5 day grind of dealing with traffic/long office days.
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novobarro

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Re: Working Remotely
« Reply #6 on: 11-22-17 at 12:24 am »

Is it appropriate to ask billing requirements, partner review time, flat fee or budget for responses in an interview?
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Tobmapsatonmi

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Re: Working Remotely
« Reply #7 on: 11-22-17 at 12:36 am »

Is it appropriate to ask billing requirements, partner review time, flat fee or budget for responses in an interview?


In my opinion, yes to all. 

See if others differ/contradict.
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fewyearsin

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Re: Working Remotely
« Reply #8 on: 11-22-17 at 02:54 am »

Is it appropriate to ask billing requirements, partner review time, flat fee or budget for responses in an interview?

Umm, how badly do you want this job?  I would NEVER take a job without knowing those kinds of details. 

Those questions are essential to your job (and salary).  If they are not willing to share those details, that would be a big red flag.  Remember, the interview process is for both parties (firm and applicant) to make sure it is a good fit, not just for the applicant to hope they get an offer.  You're making a big investment by going to work for these people.  It would be like buying a house without doing a title search and hoping things work out (best example I could come up with, the point being, you don't want to give up your old job for a new job without knowing as best you can what you are getting yourself in to).
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This comment: does not represent the opinion or position of the PTO or any law firm; is not legal advice; and represents only a few quick thoughts from the author, not a well-researched treatise.  Seek out the advice of a competent patent attorney for answers to specific questions you may have.

smgsmc

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Re: Working Remotely
« Reply #9 on: 11-22-17 at 02:06 pm »

Is it appropriate to ask billing requirements, partner review time, flat fee or budget for responses in an interview?
Definitely.  At one time when I was working for a small boutique, I interviewed at a much larger firm.  The larger firm offerred me what first appeared to be substantially more money.  But it was based on 2000 hrs actual billed + bonus above that.  At the boutique, my salary was based on 1800 hrs billable + bonus above that.  When I ran the numbers, I found out I would actually be making less money at the larger firm (for the same number of hours), plus I much preferred the lower required minimum.
« Last Edit: 11-22-17 at 06:27 pm by smgsmc »
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