Associate Life

Owen Allen

Day in the Life

October 18, 2012 5:23 PM | Permalink | Print

Some of you might be asking the classic Office Space question, “What is it you say, you do here?” There really is no “typical” day here. First of all, what I typically do as an IP lawyer differs from what somebody in another practice group (e.g., litigation, securities or corporate) typically does. But I’ll do my best to give you a few examples of what I do on a regular basis.

On a typical day, I rotate between three and four different projects. I might spend several hours working on an office action response for a reexamination, several hours working on infringement or invalidity contentions for a litigation, and several hours preparing for depositions or a trial. Interspersed in the day are meetings and update calls with internal teams, as well as calls with clients. The truth is that everybody here constantly juggles multiple cases and projects, and one skill you absolutely must have (or be willing to learn very quickly) is the ability to keep track of multiple moving parts on different cases.

Some of my more exciting days have involved travel to various parts of the country to interview witnesses, prepare experts for depositions, or to take depositions of fact witnesses and expert witnesses. Luckily, most of the places I typically have to travel to are fun cities, e.g., Austin, Boston, New York or Los Angeles. Occasionally, I’ve extended these trips to take advantage of the city and visit friends who live there, or just to explore the city on my own, which is a nice perk.

I’ve also had the opportunity to work on a trial team for a two-week medical device patent trial in Cincinnati, which was a great experience. In addition to working on client matters, I try to find time to help out on other firm-related matters, including helping out with recruiting, taking summer associates out to lunch, or teaching “lunch-and-learns” on developments in patent law.