jhett wrote:cc1012 wrote:Thanks for answering these!
Thoughts on the following:
1. If a firm is Chambers-ranked in a lower band in a certain region than another firm, but has a higher Vault ranking in both IP and as an overall firm, is there a strong reason for either choice?
2. Differences between the Dallas and DC markets, specifically (EE/CS)? With TC Heartland, would I lose out on significant experience as a junior associate if I started in Dallas as opposed to DC if my long-term goal is to be in the south?
1. It's hard to answer your question without knowing the actual firm you are referring to. However, here are some factors to consider:
- The lower regional band ranking may mean that other, stronger firms in the region have the best clients/matters that originate in that region. That may impact the quality of work you will get, and may affect your exit options (you won't have a client relationship with certain companies in order to make a jump in-house).
- You may end up doing more working for clients that originate from other offices (the stronger offices of the firm) rather than from the office you are located in.
- The particular office may be limited in the technology fields or practice areas they can handle, leading to a lower band rating.
- Has the office been growing or shrinking? Does the office have any star attorneys, or are they located in other firms?
I suggest you find out more information about the particular clients and practice areas serviced by that office to evaluate whether or not you would choose it over other firms. If you plan on staying in the region (I assume it's Dallas based on question 2), then the regional rankings matter more than if you are flexible on location.
2. By referencing TC Heartland, I assume you want to do patent lit. TC Heartland is not a death knell for litigation in ED Tex, and it appears from the newest opinions that the judges there are trying to claw back venue. I think there will still be a fair amount of litigation activity in Dallas. Usually, you should start your practice in the city you want to end up in. DC is a prosecution hotspot, but there isn't actually that much district court IP litigation in DC. The only reason I think you should pick DC is if you get an offer from a firm that has a strong Fed Circuit appellate practice like WilmerHale, Fish, or Finnegan. Getting Fed Circuit experience would make you golden anywhere.