I'm a Patent Agent, When Should I Start Searching for a Job? | BCGSearch.com

I'm a Patent Agent, When Should I Start Searching for a Job?


Print/Download PDF

Font Size

Rate this article

66 Reviews Average: 4.4 out of 5


I am a patent agent who has not yet taken the patent bar exam, but I plan to take it within the next several months. Although I would be a stronger candidate after I (hopefully) pass the patent bar and become a Registered Patent Agent, I want to get started on my job search now. However, I am afraid that if I get rejected by the major law firms that I apply to now, then I may “burn my chances for the future” if I want to again apply to these same firms after I pass the bar exam in a few months. Should I wait on my job search, or is it OK to start it now?
I'm a patent agent, when should I start searching for a job?


As you note, if you start your search now, you will be at a disadvantage because you have not yet passed the patent bar. However, if you wait and pass the exam, you can then go on your job search as a stronger candidate. That is a good reason to wait. On the other hand, if you wait you will miss out on the good opportunities that exist now, and that likely will be closed later. Another good reason to start your search now is the one you gave – your desire to get a job as soon as possible. If you prefer to start right away, the question then becomes whether you will penalize yourself by applying to firms now that you might apply to again after you pass the exam. The short answer is “no.” As an initial matter, it is unlikely that there will be many firms that have opportunities that fit your credentials now will then have new ones that also fit your credentials several months later. Once these firms fill their current job opportunities, they will most likely have filled their needs in that particular area for at least the next few months. However, even where firms may have a new similar opportunity in the future, the rejection of your first application should not “burn your chances” on your second application as long as it is for a new and different opportunity. (Firms will not, of course, react well to multiple applications for the same opportunity). In other words, if you get turned down the first time, it will most likely be because you are lacking in a certain requirement (like passing the patent bar exam) or even more likely because your credentials and/or experience are not a sufficiently good “fit” for what the firm is looking for. On the second round, however, the firm may decide to interview you either because you “fixed” the missing requirement (like passing the exam) or because your credentials are a better “fit” for the new opportunity. Only if the first decision was based on something unusual and necessarily fatal anyway – such as severely deficient credentials or a criminal record – should you expect a firm to refuse to ever consider a candidate again. Firms generally want to encourage good candidates to apply, not discourage them. Nevertheless, you still need to avoid creating any conflicts in your applications, which are caused by using different parties or recruiters for the same firm during the same 12 month period. This means that you need to make sure that if your resume gets sent to the same firm multiple times in the same 12 month period, it is done by the same party or recruiter each time.


About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.

With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.

Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.

Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.

One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog, HarrisonBarnes.com, and BCGSearch.com, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.

One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.

Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.

Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.

In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

Article Categories

AGREE/DISAGREE? SHARE COMMENTS ANONYMOUSLY! We Want to Hear Your Thoughts! Tell Us What You Think!!

Related Articles

We've changed thousands of lives over the past 20 years, and yours could be next.

When you use BCG Attorney Search you will get an unfair advantage because you will use the best legal placement company in the world for finding permanent law firm positions.