Can Patent Attorneys Work from Home? 20 Tips to Find a Patent Lawyer
Can Patent Attorneys Work from Home? 20 Tips to Find a Patent Lawyer
With rising costs of running and maintaining an office, as well as the current restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many patent attorneys are increasingly asking themselves if they can be able to work from home. As the gurus over at runrex.com will tell you, this depends on how your firm is set up, as well as your job description. This article will look to highlight 20 tips designed to help you answer the question of whether or not a patent attorney can work from home.
Some of the tasks that can be handled from home
If you decide to work from home, then as is revealed in discussions over at guttulus.com, there are certain tasks that you can comfortably do at home, and there are others which you can’t. Some of the tasks that you can handle at home include replying office actions, payments, among others.
Tasks you can handle from home
Even if you decide to work from home, you need to know that there are certain tasks which you really can’t handle from home. One of these is meeting with clients, with the gurus over at runrex.com pointing out that meeting clients in your home doesn’t professionally portray one.
Your document management system
The document management system at your firm will also determine if you can work from home as a patent attorney or not. As is explained over at guttulus.com, if your firm has a good and modern document management system, it will allow you to access all the requisite documents remotely, which will make it possible for you to work from home.
Those who still work on paper files
It is worth pointing out that not all firms have a digital document management system in place, and as such still work on paper files. In such a situation, while it is still possible to work from home, it means that you will have to carry lots of documents to and from the office to your house, and may have to make repeat visits in case you forget something. There is also the risk of documents being misplaced due to the movement involved.
You will have to find a place to meet clients
As stated above, it is not professional to meet your clients at your house, which means that, if you are to work from home, you will have to find a place to meet your clients. Some of the reasons to see your clients face-to-face include the need to look at prototypes, among others.
Leverage your clients’ R&D centers
If a client has a research and development center at their company, then you could be meeting them there for one-on-one meetings, allowing you to do all the other activities from home. You can head over to their R&D center for activities such as invention harvesting, drafting, and so forth as highlighted over at runrex.com, and then do all the other activities from home.
Partners have more leeway
It is also important to point out that partners in most cases, as is explained over at guttulus.com, are the ones that have more leeway to work from home. This is because, if you have made partner as a patent attorney, you will be trusted more to work on your own at home, and your seniority also allows you to do so as well.
Junior attorneys are more restricted
On the flipside, according to the gurus over at runrex.com, junior attorneys are more restricted when it comes to working from home. This is because of the higher degree of supervision that comes with being a junior attorney who is starting and learning what can a difficult and complex profession.
Rise of virtual law firms
The rise of virtual law firms also means that patent attorneys can increasingly work from home without any issues. When working at a virtual law firm as a patent attorney, save for the occasional on-site meeting, usually to check out the prototype, you will mostly be working remotely.
If you have built a solid reputation
One of the biggest challenges that come with working from home as a patent attorney is finding clients. Therefore, if you have already built a strong reputation, then you can easily work from home, as with your reputation, finding new clients shouldn’t be hard.
If you are starting
On the other hand, as is discussed over at guttulus.com, if you are just starting up with your law firm, you will be best served to operate out of an office rather than working from home, to allow you to first build a reputation and name for yourself. Working from home if you have just started up may lead to prospective clients thinking that you lack the resources required.
A patent attorney working in a legal firm
If you are working as a patent attorney in a big legal firm, then the chances of you being able to work from home are not great. In most cases, as covered over at runrex.com, you will only get to work from home as a result of carrying extra work with you to be done during the weekends or at night.
While working from home hasn’t caught up yet in the legal industry as it has in other industries, certain firms encourage and allow employees to work from home. Therefore, if this is an important consideration for you, the gurus over at guttulus.com recommend that you look for a firm with a culture of promoting working from home.
A patent attorney working in the legal department of a non-legal company
Many companies nowadays set up legal departments that handle the acquisition of patents as well as the litigation of infringement. Patent attorneys who work in such companies may have a better chance of working from home, with the occasional office visit, although this too depends on the company culture and policies.
There is also some element of seasonality when it comes to the filing of patents, which means there are low and high seasons. Here, the chances of you working from home during the high seasons are close to nil, with the opposite also being true.
A patent attorney working for the USPTO
If you are a patent attorney working for the United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, then as is pointed out in discussions over at runrex.com, working at from home is close to impossible. The presence of a patent attorney working for the USPTO is almost always requested as you will need to be in the office to personally evaluate patent and trademark applications.
A patent attorney working as a solo practitioner
Of all the options out there, this is the one that affords the most space to work from home as a patent attorney. As a solo practitioner, you will be in charge of your schedule and will be your own boss as per discussions on the same over at guttulus.com, which will give you enough leeway to be able to structure a work-from-home arrangement.
If you live in a geographically convenient location where it is extremely convenient to work from home and then meet with clients for face-to-face meetings elsewhere, then it may be feasible to work from home. As the gurus over at runrex.com will tell you though, if you live in a location where it will be a major inconvenience to travel and meet clients, then working from home begins to make less sense.
If you have specific clients on retainer
If you already have a couple of clients in the books, who you have on retainer, and are not looking for any other new clients, then working from home can be an option that may appeal to you as a patent attorney. With clients who you have already worked with, and who you continue to work with, you may only need to see them one or two times every month, and as such, you may be able to work from home.
Last but not least, your self-discipline as a patent attorney should also govern whether or not you work from home. If you can be able to stay productive and professional, even in the face of all the distractions and comfort that comes with working from home, then you will have no problem working from home. If, however, your performance levels dip due to the home comforts and distractions, then you should reconsider working from home.