Transitioning to a Big Law Firm

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Transitioning to a Big Law Firm

Postby Nathan » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:56 pm


After 16 years of research experience as a research associate, I found it difficult but not impossible. However, I decided to either go to law school or explore options as a MSL. The obstacle that you going to be faced with is that Partners in a firm like to tout the scientific expertise of their firm by say that they have X number of PhD scientists on staff. I felt that small biotechs and some pharma companies are more holistic in their consideration of BS/MS level experience. My advice is to get at least a MS and then get a JD degree. University of Minnesota has a great program. I am in a MS program at Southern Methodist University while doing my thesis at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for my PI who I have worked for the last seven years. Still applying to law school. They allowed me to keep my job while I went to school. Try to find something like this....experience at a BS level may not be appreciated by some whereas the MS/PhD degree will help with this mindset. Don\'t be fooled by this bias and make no apology for your will help you be a more productive patent agent. With your experience the MS degree will suffice with a JD. Also try to become a registered patent agent while you are waiting for law school or graduate school.

Good luck!
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Re: Transitioning to a Big Law Firm

Postby Claire » Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:22 pm

Hi Keven,

Your post is really helpful! I am graduating from my PhD study in 2015 summer and searching for technology specialist /advisor job in big law firms. I am very confused about the writing sample. I am not sure what the proper length is, how detailed it should be, whether it contains tables and figures, how it is different from research paper?

I searched online but couldn't find the writing sample specific to application of technology specialist for law firm. It would be so helpful if you could post an example or give some advice of any kind. Thank you so much!

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Re: Transitioning to a Big Law Firm

Postby WG » Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:56 pm

Hi Claire,

Just noticed that this thread is originally from 2007, but I hope the original poster Keven responds. I think you should aim for something that is not too long. A typical research paper might be overkill. But supposing you had written a long report that had a one or two page executive summary then you might consider using the executive summary as a sample. You might also consider writing something specific to the role or technology area you are interested in and using that as the sample.

Lastly, I assume that you are already talking to people who work in these jobs. That is another question to include in your informational interviews. What kind of writing style is preferred in these kinds of jobs? Academic writing can be different from that in other fields.
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Re: Transitioning to a Big Law Firm

Postby DKS » Sat May 30, 2015 3:00 pm

Hi Keven,

Thanks for sharing your experience of transitioning from a post doc to patent law. I am currently working on that, and sent in application to a firm in my area.
I was wondering if you could share some pointers about the interview process (the more formal day when you met the associates at the the firm). What kinds of questions were you asked (behavioral and technical)? Is knowledge of patent law important or helpful? Do you know of resources you'd point people towards to prepare for the interview?

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