Associate Life

Owen Allen


August 30, 2012 4:43 PM | Permalink | Print

My name is Owen Allen, and I’m a fifth year associate in the Intellectual Property Department at WilmerHale, in the Washington DC office. This is my first ever blog post, and since I’m really not sure of what to write, I’m going to go the stream-of-consciousness route. Hopefully this won’t get me in too much trouble.

I’ve been at WilmerHale for my entire legal life. I was a summer associate in 2006 and started as a first-year associate in 2007. My alma mater is George Washington University Law School, which is only two blocks away from the office. (I actually walked by the WilmerHale office every day on my way to/from law school, so it seems that there was a little bit of fate involved in my working here.) I chose the IP Department for a number of reasons. First, as a summer associate, I had the opportunity to work with and meet most, if not all, of the people in the IP Department here in DC. I found a group of professional, brilliant, friendly, fun, and collegial people who were all passionate about their work. Most importantly, I got a good vibe from the people I worked with.

I also chose the IP Department because of the variety of work and the opportunity to build skills in multiple areas. Members of the IP group get to try their hand in all kinds of different areas. For example, I have had the opportunity to work on patent prosecution, inter partes and ex parte reexaminations, interferences and due diligence work. I have also spent a considerable amount of time working on litigations, where I have been able to fully participate on IP litigation teams and have had great litigation experiences, including going to trial and taking depositions.

Now that I’ve fluffed up the IP Department, I should probably say that when I was a summer associate at WilmerHale, I had no idea what practice area I wanted to work in. I really didn’t know what the different practice areas were like, or what sort of work they really did. I entered my summer at WilmerHale with a completely open mind, not knowing what I would find interesting or dreadfully boring. As I found out, I was not the only person who wasn’t already dead set on a particular practice area. The firm encouraged me to take on projects in virtually every practice group, including litigation, IP, corporate, securities and even tax. I was able to meet people from a broad cross-section of the firm and really see what they did on a day-to-day basis.

One major reason I chose the firm is because of its strong commitment to pro bono work. I recently had a great pro bono experience that I’ll share in my next post.