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Author Topic: Getting a foot in the door  (Read 945 times)

jlo12

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Getting a foot in the door
« on: 03-14-18 at 02:52 pm »

I am a registered patent attorney.  I have great difficulty getting my foot in the door to law firms in the hopes of practicing as a patent attorney.  I did work at the USPTO long ago and have since worked for different patent search firms.  The majority of patent attorney jobs require a minimum of 3 years experience.  This seems like a catch 22.  Do any practitioners have any advice to overcome this problem?
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novobarro

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Re: Getting a foot in the door
« Reply #1 on: 03-14-18 at 02:59 pm »

Are you applying and not getting interviews/offers or just not applying if they require experience?

I read most postings as they prefer the experience, and apply anyways.  You could interpret your PTO time as experience. 

Do you have connections you made while at the PTO who are at law firms?  Hit up those connections and see if they are hiring. 
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jlo12

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Re: Getting a foot in the door
« Reply #2 on: 03-14-18 at 05:52 pm »

Yes, I am applying and just not getting interviews/offers.  I agree that regardless of the experience requirement, I apply anyways.  As for connections, most of the people I met, left before I did.  There are a one or two, I know that still work there that are now primary examiners.
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smgsmc

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Re: Getting a foot in the door
« Reply #3 on: 03-14-18 at 06:06 pm »

Yes, I am applying and just not getting interviews/offers.  I agree that regardless of the experience requirement, I apply anyways.  As for connections, most of the people I met, left before I did.  There are a one or two, I know that still work there that are now primary examiners.
By connections, I believe novobarro is not referring to other Examiners at the USPTO, but to attorneys and agents whose cases you handled. Perhaps you handled several cases for the same practitioners, had Examiner's Interviews with them, and developed a rapport with them.  As an agent, I developed friendly rapport with several Examiners, and if they asked me for help in getting a job with a firm, I would.
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smgsmc

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Re: Getting a foot in the door
« Reply #4 on: 03-14-18 at 06:17 pm »

I am a registered patent attorney.  I have great difficulty getting my foot in the door to law firms in the hopes of practicing as a patent attorney.  I did work at the USPTO long ago and have since worked for different patent search firms.  The majority of patent attorney jobs require a minimum of 3 years experience.  This seems like a catch 22.  Do any practitioners have any advice to overcome this problem?
A lot depends on your individual circumstances.

(1) What technical degrees do you have?  In which fields?  When did you get them?

(2) Did you have any work experience in industry before you became an Examiner?  If so, what, when, and for how long?

(3) How long ago did you work as an Examiner?  For how many years?

(4) When did you get your law degree?

Unless you have special value to bring to the table (or special personal connections), you'll have a hard time convincing a firm to spend the time and money to train you in patent prosecution. 
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novobarro

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Re: Getting a foot in the door
« Reply #5 on: 03-14-18 at 06:36 pm »

Quote
As for connections, most of the people I met, left before I did.  There are a one or two, I know that still work there that are now primary examiners.

You mean left the PTO? where did they go? maybe they went to a law firm.

Quote
By connections, I believe novobarro is not referring to other Examiners at the USPTO, but to attorneys and agents whose cases you handled. Perhaps you handled several cases for the same practitioners, had Examiner's Interviews with them, and developed a rapport with them.  As an agent, I developed friendly rapport with several Examiners, and if they asked me for help in getting a job with a firm, I would.

If you Examined a bunch of apps for a particular applicant for a particular technology, and a particular firm handles that particular applicant and that particular technology, that may get you in the door regardless if you know someone there.  But, of course, if you do, that helps too.

Quote
A lot depends on your individual circumstances.

(1) What technical degrees do you have?  In which fields?  When did you get them?

(2) Did you have any work experience in industry before you became an Examiner?  If so, what, when, and for how long?

(3) How long ago did you work as an Examiner?  For how many years?

(4) When did you get your law degree?

Unless you have special value to bring to the table (or special personal connections), you'll have a hard time convincing a firm to spend the time and money to train you in patent prosecution.

Agreed, and technical degree is important as well as the area you examined.  If your degree and area you examined is very niche and not in demand, your pool of potential employers will be very small.

Firms are also going to wonder why you went from an Examiner to a searcher.  Quit, fired?  I think this is a potential red flag. 
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