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Author Topic: 1L Student Patent Resume help  (Read 1831 times)

170orDie

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1L Student Patent Resume help
« on: 12-26-17 at 08:10 pm »

Hello,
I am applying for a few patent fellowships to the large firms in my area. I have a few questions regarding formatting of my resume. I am unsure how to structure my resume in the most appealing format. I have do not have any industry experience in Computer Science (which i got my UG degree in). I only have a few projects, one major one that started as a senior project and grew into a personal project, and the others were all projects done during school. Aside from that, I have some miscellaneous job experience in retail and one short summer internship at a small firm. I've spoken to the career services people at my law school however, I don't feel they have any specific knowledge on patent attorney applications.

If any of you could give me some information that would be incredibly helpful. I'd also love to see an example resume if you are willing to share.

Happy holidays!
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fewyearsin

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Re: 1L Student Patent Resume help
« Reply #1 on: 12-26-17 at 11:54 pm »

Take the patent bar, put that number front and center.  That is all they will care about.  Remember, they want to hire a patent lawyer, not a computer scientest.  Show that you are working to become one, not that you are stuck in the past.

My 2c, take it for what it's worth.
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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.

still_learnin

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Re: 1L Student Patent Resume help
« Reply #2 on: 12-27-17 at 03:03 pm »

I am applying for a few patent fellowships to the large firms in my area.

I've never heard of "patent fellowship." Are you referring to "summer associate" positions, also called "summer clerk" or "summer intern"?

Do these firms have an established summer program? On campus interviews (OCI)? Are these general practice firms with an IP department? Or IP-focused firms?

Are you a 1L or a 2L? How much time went by between UG and Law school, and what did you do? If you didn't seek/find employment in your CS major, why not?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help shape the resume. Your career office can definitely answer the OCI question, and should even know the answer to "established summer program." You can find out about a firm's practice groups on the firm website.

Take the patent bar, put that number front and center.  That is all they will care about.  Remember, they want to hire a patent lawyer, not a computer scientest. 

My two cents. Yes, if you're serious about working in patent prosecution, take the patent bar until you pass it. That does show commitment. Don't agree that they won't care at all about your UG or work experience. Some firms care very much about both. Some firms don't, care only about law school ranking, law school grades, and law review.

Before throwing your resume at a firm, you should try to find out what they do/don't care about.
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The above is not legal advice, and my participation in discussions on this forum does not create an attorney-client relationship.

170orDie

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Re: 1L Student Patent Resume help
« Reply #3 on: 12-27-17 at 06:41 pm »

I've never heard of "patent fellowship." Are you referring to "summer associate" positions, also called "summer clerk" or "summer intern"?

It is the same thing as a summer associate position, but they are specifically looking for patent eligible students. It may be a term that only firms in my region are using.


Do these firms have an established summer program? On campus interviews (OCI)? Are these general practice firms with an IP department? Or IP-focused firms?

Each of the firms that are offering patent fellowships are large general practice firms with an established patent group.

Are you a 1L or a 2L? How much time went by between UG and Law school, and what did you do? If you didn't seek/find employment in your CS major, why not?

I am a 1L. I took one gap year between UG and law school. I did some traveling right after graduation, then focused on preparing for the LSAT, so I never had to time for a serious job, and I planned on going to law school the next cycle so I didn't think it would make sense to try to find a software dev position for less than 6 months.

I do plan on taking the patent bar, but it seems impossible to do so during my 1L year. If I do not get any of these positions for the summer I will consider taking the exam then, otherwise, I heard I can use some of my JD credits to do an independent study to prepare for the patent bar.

Do you have any specific recommendations that might make a patent summer associate resume/cover letter different from a general summer associate application?
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novobarro

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Re: 1L Student Patent Resume help
« Reply #4 on: 12-27-17 at 11:19 pm »

UG  and UG GPA are important.  That's really all you have other than your LS and LS GPA.  Highlight relevant courses, your senior design project. Put your Education on Top of the resume.  If you have a good UG GPA, put it on there.

For the interview, why patent law is a good question to have an answer to.  As well as, favorite UG course.  I've been asked these questions numerous times.

Plan on taking the patent bar during the summer after 1L.  Having a reg no. is important, but don't sacrifice your LS grades for it.

Explain the gap between UG and LS, I'm sure they will understand why you didn't get a job if you were planning on going to LS.  If you worked on your personal project during that period, you can put that on your resume.
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fewyearsin

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Re: 1L Student Patent Resume help
« Reply #5 on: 12-28-17 at 12:31 am »

Before throwing your resume at a firm, you should try to find out what they do/don't care about.

This, too.  I had no law experience, family or friends with connections, and no idea what I was doing.  I heard that some firms had openings for 1L summer.  So I blasted a resume to every firm with any IP lawyers in several markets.  Most didn't reply, and the few that did basically said "we don't hire 1L summers as explained on our website, please see our website for further information."  Basically, go away, what are you doing.  Of course, better for me to learn from my mistake my 1L summer than for me to make that mistake for my 2L summer.

So yes, make sure you (1) know whether the firm hires 1L summers, and (2) learn enough about the firm to personalize a cover letter or email intro paragraph to show each individual firm that you are interested and a good fit for them.

(Also, I didn't mean to come off negative in my first comment, I'm sorry if I did.  1L summers are fairly rare, but not unheard of.  Good luck, and don't give up.)
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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.

still_learnin

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Re: 1L Student Patent Resume help
« Reply #6 on: 12-28-17 at 01:03 pm »

I do plan on taking the patent bar, but it seems impossible to do so during my 1L year. If I do not get any of these positions for the summer I will consider taking the exam then, otherwise, I heard I can use some of my JD credits to do an independent study to prepare for the patent bar.

Good plan. It's great that your school offers the independent study opportunity.

Do you have any specific recommendations that might make a patent summer associate resume/cover letter different from a general summer associate application?

A patent resume may indeed look different, with a focus on technical stuff: work experience in a technical field, publications in technical journals, research projects, patent bar preparation. Many people come to patent law as a second career, so it's fairly common for applicants to have one or more of these.

But you don't have much of the above, so your resume will necessarily look much like any other 1L. You'll be judged on your UG school and grades plus the rank/reputation of your law school and your 1st semester grades.

You should know that some GP firms basically treat the patent practice group like other practice groups. Meaning all they're really looking at a "good" the quality/ranking of the law school and great law sdhool grades. And, though firms won't say this, people who are young with little in the way of outside commitments.

Other GP firms treat the patent practice group differently. Such firms look for specific UG degrees to match their client's needs, and also prefer work experience or additional academic credentials (ie, MS or PhD). Getting attorneys with work experience and/or higher degrees necessarily means someone older than 25, possibly with outside commitments (ie, spouse, children), and savvy firms/practice groups accept this.

Since you went UG to law with no intervening career, your best chance is GP firms of the first type. You can get some sense by looking on the firm web site finding out whether the attorneys/agents/tech specs have extensive work experience or advanced degrees. You can also find out whether the patent practice group began as boutique, bought by the GP firm. I'd say a patent practice group that began life as a boutique is more likely to be treated differently by its GP buyer, though that's not a given.

For the interview, why patent law is a good question to have an answer to.  As well as, favorite UG course.  ...
Explain the gap between UG and LS, I'm sure they will understand why you didn't get a job if you were planning on going to LS.

+1. I've only worked at patent boutiques, never GP firms, but I always ask those questions. There isn't always a "right" answer, but it's important that you've thought about these topics and have a well-reasoned answer.

170orDie, here are a few more questions to think about. Not really relevant to sending out resumes, but will become more important as you get further in the hiring process.

Are you interested in patent prosecution or litigation? Strictly patent or also "soft" IP (copyright, trademark, trade secrets). Do you like computers, technology, etc -- or is disinterest in these one of the reasons you went to law school rather than working in your major? If you do like tech, have you worked on any geek/nerd projects as a hobby, say, Android programming or Arduino projects.
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novobarro

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Re: 1L Student Patent Resume help
« Reply #7 on: 12-28-17 at 01:09 pm »

Quote
This, too.  I had no law experience, family or friends with connections, and no idea what I was doing.  I heard that some firms had openings for 1L summer.  So I blasted a resume to every firm with any IP lawyers in several markets.  Most didn't reply, and the few that did basically said "we don't hire 1L summers as explained on our website, please see our website for further information."  Basically, go away, what are you doing.  Of course, better for me to learn from my mistake my 1L summer than for me to make that mistake for my 2L summer.

So yes, make sure you (1) know whether the firm hires 1L summers, and (2) learn enough about the firm to personalize a cover letter or email intro paragraph to show each individual firm that you are interested and a good fit for them.

(Also, I didn't mean to come off negative in my first comment, I'm sorry if I did.  1L summers are fairly rare, but not unheard of.  Good luck, and don't give up.)

I agree with not simply blasting emails to firms.  Make sure they are actually hiring 1L's.  Your career services should be able to cover these general dos/donts.  I got a 1L gig by applying to a posting asking for 1Ls with my degree.  I had a few years of work experience between UG and LS, but not directly engineering related.  I did not have a PTO reg no either.  The firm cared mostly about my UG degree, my UG grades, (my technical knowledge) my LS grades, I believe in this order.

You mentioned you were CS.  If you happened to take some EE or ME courses, put that in there to show you are familiar with other technical areas.  Firms want to know you can understand the applications they are working on.

I'm not sure how tailored your cover letter can get for specific firms.  Mine was essentially the same for all firms since I was applying the same position doing the same type of work and I was only a 1L.
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170orDie

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Re: 1L Student Patent Resume help
« Reply #8 on: 12-28-17 at 05:56 pm »

Thank you all for your great advice! I'll definitely apply them to my job-search process. Would any of you that are currently in practice mind taking a quick look at my resume to see if there is anything glaringly wrong? Please send me a message if you are willing and I will send over an anonymized copy.

Thank you again!
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