Help me choose a firm!

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Help me choose a firm!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:46 am

Hi guys, I have a few offers (some firms I'm about to list I only have interviews or nothing at but am curious about/adding for added anonymity)

For patent litigation, where should I go? Fish/Finn, Fenwick SV, Quinn LA/SF, Kirkland Ellis LA, Irell. Should I consider good secondary market IP firms like Alston in ATL or Kilpatrick Townsend ATL? (I care about lifestyle/culture)

I have about 30 other interviews, do you guys think it is worth taking them just to see if I like them when I think the firm/firms that offered me already have a better reputation.

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:39 pm

Ha, if you value lifestyle cross Quinn and Kirkland right off that list.

Fish has a good reputation for high quality IP work, good culture, and not crushing associates. That’s just by rep though, I have no first hand experience at any of these.

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys, I have a few offers (some firms I'm about to list I only have interviews or nothing at but am curious about/adding for added anonymity)

For patent litigation, where should I go? Fish/Finn, Fenwick SV, Quinn LA/SF, Kirkland Ellis LA, Irell. Should I consider good secondary market IP firms like Alston in ATL or Kilpatrick Townsend ATL? (I care about lifestyle/culture)

I have about 30 other interviews, do you guys think it is worth taking them just to see if I like them when I think the firm/firms that offered me already have a better reputation.


I had a callback with A&B and a couple interviews were with IP partners. They spent most of the time talking about how they are best friends with their colleagues and seemed like they loved what they did and also had a great life style. KT seems to be a lot more relaxed too for a couple informational interviews I've had.

One consideration though is that neither pays a patent bar bonus in ATL, both start at $165k. I'm pretty sure Fish pays $190k in ATL, but very small office. either pay scale goes really far in Atlanta, much further than market rate + patent bar bonus goes in big markets.

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys, I have a few offers (some firms I'm about to list I only have interviews or nothing at but am curious about/adding for added anonymity)

For patent litigation, where should I go? Fish/Finn, Fenwick SV, Quinn LA/SF, Kirkland Ellis LA, Irell. Should I consider good secondary market IP firms like Alston in ATL or Kilpatrick Townsend ATL? (I care about lifestyle/culture)

I have about 30 other interviews, do you guys think it is worth taking them just to see if I like them when I think the firm/firms that offered me already have a better reputation.


I had a callback with A&B and a couple interviews were with IP partners. They spent most of the time talking about how they are best friends with their colleagues and seemed like they loved what they did and also had a great life style. KT seems to be a lot more relaxed too for a couple informational interviews I've had.

One consideration though is that neither pays a patent bar bonus in ATL, both start at $165k. I'm pretty sure Fish pays $190k in ATL, but very small office. either pay scale goes really far in Atlanta, much further than market rate + patent bar bonus goes in big markets.


I don't think most firms actually give a patent bar bonus. Usually just a stipend to take the test with. The only one I have heard that gives a bonus is Paul Hastings, but attorneys have advised me against starting there for patent lit. Unfortunately Fish is out for mw, juat heard they don't plan on making any hiring decisions til mid August and I don't have the time to wait. Tbh though idk how I feel about Fish ATL. I've noticed a lot of attorneys in ATL that started there and ended up elsewhere (even tiny firms with 1st year compensation I'll on below 100k). Not sure why anyone would voluntarily lateral away from fish in a market where they have a massive payscale advantage, so the attrition rate of that office may be unusually high. The upside of A&B and Kilpatrick is that they are HQed in ATL while the higher paying firms are satellite offices too so lateral options may be better down the road from the other two.

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:57 pm

Why are you even looking at Atlanta to begin with, when most of your other applications seem to be to firms in LA/SF/SV? Atlanta's a tiny legal market compared to the likes of CA. If your only reason for looking at Atlanta is because you think the lifestyle'd be better there... don't do it.

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:33 pm

QContinuum wrote:Why are you even looking at Atlanta to begin with, when most of your other applications seem to be to firms in LA/SF/SV? Atlanta's a tiny legal market compared to the likes of CA. If your only reason for looking at Atlanta is because you think the lifestyle'd be better there... don't do it.


All my family lives in CA and I lived there for a long time which is why most my firms are in CA (though I prefer SoCal over SV). ATL was purely for COL and I know I could stomach it since I lived there for 9 years. I have a condo there already too which makes it cheaper. Honestly though if I ended up starting in ATL I would probably end up lateraling to CA down the line anyway. Guess that may be harder and I shouldn't do it, but was thinking I would save money with lower cost of living early on and lateral when I can actually afford to live in CA (do something like start at Kilpatrick and move to their SD office which doesn't even take entry level attorneys).

I
Anonymous User wrote:Ha, if you value lifestyle cross Quinn and Kirkland right off that list.

Fish has a good reputation for high quality IP work, good culture, and not crushing associates. That’s just by rep though, I have no first hand experience at any of these.


I am slightly dubious about them lately though they used to always be my top choice.They seem to have a good culture and lifestyle at first glance, but if you look deeper their attrition rate seems to be a lot higher than you would expect. In terms of hours alone, they had the highest average hours billed per attorney out of any law firm last year which probably says something about the lifestyle. Are Quinn and Kirkland really that bad?Thought Quinn actually had a pretty good culture/perks like no dress code. Is the ridiculously high PPP at Kirkland/Quinn worth starting there just in case you are lucky enough to ever actually get partner?

TBH I think I actually like Fenwick the most and would be happy working there, but I am not 100% sold on living in SV. All the clients are there which is a major career boon, the attorneys are really nice and seem like great people, and it is the tech hub of the US and the area is beautiful. That said, I don't even really know anyone there and it is ridiculously expensive. I would very likely try to switch to their Santa Monica office down the line, but am kind of worried it will end up being a small satellite office and being there will hurt my future career prospects. Idk, maybe I should just start in SV see how I like it and work from there? I guess I could work out some sort of arrangement where I split between offices/go back and forth too (have actually been told some minimalist versions of that are ok/it would be fine to switch offices to SoCal as soon as they expand their practice groups). I definitely think starting in SV would probably be beneficial though so I don't think I can really go wrong. Also Fenwick has a 56% 5 year retention rate and 50% 7 year retention rate for home grown associates which is really incredible and likely makes them an amazing place to be (based on February 2018 stats).

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby totesTheGoat » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thought Quinn actually had a pretty good culture/perks like no dress code.


The rumors that I have heard have made Quinn a no-go firm for me (if I ever wanted to go back to a firm).

I've heard decent things about Fenwick, and the alums from there that I work with are cool, but they're not from the SV office.

Everything I hear about Kirkland is that it depends on the practice area and the office, but generally the rumors aren't great.

I know some on the patent pros side at Fish, and they are all good folks. I don't think I know anybody on the lit side, though. Fish's reputation is top notch in the IP world.

Should I consider good secondary market IP firm?


Absolutely. Although, I can't even think of a single IP attorney that I've met who worked in ATL. I could be forgetting somebody, but it just doesn't come to mind as an IP city. The IP lit hotspots are in Delaware, SV, N. TX*, Seattle, and a few other places.

*N. TX is losing its 800 lb gorilla status, but there is still plenty of action in the ND and ED.

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:24 am

totesTheGoat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thought Quinn actually had a pretty good culture/perks like no dress code.


The rumors that I have heard have made Quinn a no-go firm for me (if I ever wanted to go back to a firm).

I've heard decent things about Fenwick, and the alums from there that I work with are cool, but they're not from the SV office.

Everything I hear about Kirkland is that it depends on the practice area and the office, but generally the rumors aren't great.

I know some on the patent pros side at Fish, and they are all good folks. I don't think I know anybody on the lit side, though. Fish's reputation is top notch in the IP world.


Any chance you'd feel comfortable elaborating on the rumors you've heard about kirkland and quinn?

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby totesTheGoat » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any chance you'd feel comfortable elaborating on the rumors you've heard about kirkland and quinn?


Sorry, most of the stuff would dox me and/or the person who told me. One thing I heard for Kirkland was that their IP group in Chicago was cutthroat and a bit dysfunctional. I don't remember the exact story that was relayed, but I remember walking away from that conversation lumping Kirkland in with Quinn on my no-go list. As with all rumor and innuendo, I caveat all of this with "it could all be BS and/or one-off issues trumpeted by unhappy exes."

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:21 pm

I'm at Irell and like it. There is a ton of patent lit work to go around, the pay is solid, culture is fairly laid back and the hours expectations aren't too bad. Definitely worth a look.

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm at Irell and like it. There is a ton of patent lit work to go around, the pay is solid, culture is fairly laid back and the hours expectations aren't too bad. Definitely worth a look.


Unfortunately they are more the only one I'm interested in that I have gotten radio silence from. No response from recruiter/can't seem to catch her on the phone. Think they are more grade selective though and my strengths lie elsewhere. They would be in my top two if I hear anything back. Just heard Quinn has a 2100 hour requirement which makes me question choosing them. Kirkland is hard to get a feel for without seeing I think, but do know someone there that is happy. Not having set hours is also a bit scary. Fin is great but doesn't have a SoCal office. Fish is out because they don't make offers until mid August.

Can't actually think of a single con for Fenwick. More manageable hours expectations at 1950 with a part time track at 1800 if necessary. Extremely high 5 and 7 year retention rates at 56 and 50. People there seem to love it and they are on a hot streak this summer. High revenue growth last year and expansion. Guess I have my answer unless I hear back Irell in the next week and they give me something to consider.

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Re: Help me choose a firm!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at Irell and like it. There is a ton of patent lit work to go around, the pay is solid, culture is fairly laid back and the hours expectations aren't too bad. Definitely worth a look.


Unfortunately they are more the only one I'm interested in that I have gotten radio silence from. No response from recruiter/can't seem to catch her on the phone. Think they are more grade selective though and my strengths lie elsewhere. They would be in my top two if I hear anything back.

Totally fair, but I will say when I sent them a cover letter and resume I also got radio silence, and then got a callback/offer through OCI. Either way, good luck!



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