Welcome to a new AIPLA website feature - our Career Blog. On this page, you'll find information, tools and career advice that you can use to navigate your career as an IP law practitioner.
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How Do You Like Your Eggs? Or – How to
Find Your Preferred Job in IP
by Amdie Mengistu, Managing Partner - Legal
Division, Lucas Group
There is a
surge of in-house demand for attorneys in the Big Law IP space, and associates
are looking for ways to position themselves to land these coveted roles. I’d
like to share hiring trends and offer guidance for success.
point is managing the legal practice for a national recruitment firm. While I
focus on answering talent needs in the New York and Tri-State areas, the reality
is that IP is a dynamic, growing area of practice everywhere. IP-intensive
industries operate nationwide and are a
major contributor to the overall U.S. economy.
What do eggs
have to do with it? I’ll get to that in a minute.
It’s a candidate’s
economy and jobs come roaring back from the 2008 recession, the world has
become an oyster for IP attorneys – and for law school graduates who made it
through the ‘08 downturn. The classes of 2009 to 2012 are maturing into the
mid-level associate era of their careers and entering a window of strong
marketability, laterally among Big Law firms, and in-house to a range of companies.
Do you prefer hard or
soft IP law?
to how you like your eggs, your preference in career direction is pretty
important, too. Big Law is full of IP needs on behalf of its clients, and not
just hard IP needs like pharmaceutical or engineering patents – but also soft
IP needs, such as licensing and distribution agreements. Soft IP legal services
are a huge area of growth in entertainment, including in the television and
cable network industry, as well as tech industries and others.
The field is
expanding, so explore and identify your interests.
Going from corporate
practice to Big Law IP
some advice for associates looking for ways to prepare for these opportunities:
- Advocate for yourself in your existing company or firm.
If opportunities exist to gain experience doing IP
portions of the work, ask for them. For example, in every M&A deal there
are lawyers doing analysis of IP in the transaction. Do all you can to get into
that space. It will make you more marketable to more in-house roles.
- Be open to a two-step process.
At Lucas Group, we help associates at general corporate
practices make savvy lateral moves to IP boutiques. They pick up experience
that makes them more marketable to Big Law.
- Talk to a good recruiter.
It’s never too soon to establish a relationship with a
legal recruiter. Specialists have relationships with Big Law firms nationwide
and real access to sought-after in-house jobs. Plus, they want you to succeed
and that means delivering golden career eggs – the way you like them.
About the author:
Amdie Mengistu earned his J.D., cum laude, from Hofstra
University School of Law, where he was a Dwight L. Greene Scholar and a New
York City Bar Diversity Fellow. At Lucas Group, he works with clients from Big
Law to small legal firms and Fortune 500 corporations to find the legal talent
they need. For assistance finding top legal talent, please reach out to Lucas