More generally, I'm not sure if you need to be in the area where the biotech companies are located/whether this is an important factor. Does anyone have any insight/opinion about this?Yes, I have an opinion, and I am a patent litigator.Just look for the firms that have well-regarded IP practices. Generally, they're near their clients (an exception to this is the EDTX, where defendants are routinely being sued by non-practicing entities). Then look at the attorneys' credentials to see whether you'd be a good fit. Generally you can tell that a particular firm does a lot of practice in a particular technological area by looking at the attorneys' undergrad degrees and at some of the cases they've handled. If you're going to a top 10 school, there's really no need to go to school in the area where biotech companies are located. If you do well enough in school and you pass the patent bar, you should be able to land a decent job anywhere in the country.
Thanks for your comment.Okay, now for some new information. Just today, I interviewed for a position with a technology transfer office in the medical school of a university. The position involves managing the technology coming out of the academic labs at the school i.e. writing contracts, material transfer agreements, licenses, business development etc.I still intend on going to law school to actually become a lawyer and practice IP law with a firm, but I'm now curious (as I think I have a good shot at this job, and its in NY, a major location of most of the top law firms) about whether this position might be extra value to my CV with my PhD, academic research and industrial/biotech research experience? I'm going to contact some firms in the market to get the opinions of the IP lawyers working there. But I thought I'd see what you guys might have to add. Any thoughts?
Thanks for your opinion, again very helpful.The school does use outside counsel for the patent searching, writing and ultimate application process. So my thoughts were along those you highlight i.e. that it could provide some useful in roads, contacts with a future employer. One concern I have, and it's not a huge one, is that the school whilst good is not a 'top ranking' research institution and the tech transfer office is relatively small. Even though they have one or two success stories, they are small in number compared to other schools I'm familiar with. As law school is my goal, I'm not too worried by this fact. I guess I'm just trying to decide whether staying put in my current R&D position is the right move, if this tech transfer opportunity really will enhance my CV considerably.
Prior experience in your practicing field is highly valued in the legal market.