Monday, April 11, 2022

What I Learned from my Legal Externship on the Trademark Team at an Intellectual Property Firm

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I just finished working 168 hours at an intellectual property law firm in Manhattan.

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What is an extern or externship?

It’s an intern that gets compensated for working in academic credit. I worked 168 hours and received four credits towards graduation.

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What is intellectual property?

There is real property which is tangible possessions like a house or jewelry. Intellectual property is possession and ownership over nontangible things. Intellectual property is most commonly known for trademarks, patents and copyrights. Those are the big three intellectual property umbrellas. 

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What did I learn? (A lot of things they don’t teach you in law school)

            How to prepare for trademark litigation and how to analyze and organize discovery

            How to assist in filing USPTO ethics violations

            How to write an opposition letter and cease and desist letters

            How to conduct anti-counterfeit searches

            I learned how to conduct more efficient research on a wide variety of IP topics

-      I learned how to present my research to the partner

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Tips for others?

-       Always carry a note pad or notebook and pen with you when you are going to meet with a partner or associate

-       Have a positive attitude

-       Ask a ton of questions but only after you try to figure it out yourself first because you don’t want to be too annoying 

-       Practice researching and writing memos whenever you can

-       Collaborate with coworkers not on your direct team 

-       Always say yes with a big smile on your face (this is my big tip from last year’s post)

-       Go to social work events when you are invited (I was lucky enough to be invited to a black-tie gala and some great happy hours) and mingle with other coworkers

-       I don’t like to use the word “network” because it sounds fake. So instead of “networking,” try to make genuine friendships and connections with people you work with.

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