At Fenwick, we are committed to the highest level of excellence, yet we value and maintain a collegial and fun work environment. We respect the individual and value team players. We seek out and hire individuals with diverse backgrounds and unique personal experiences. We believe it's that diversity of perspective that makes us highly creative problem solvers and a stronger team.
Our attorneys work hard and have fun doing it, but don't need to fit into any personality mold to succeed. Our firm's perspective mirrors that of the entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists who populate the rapid-growth companies of the West Coast—we have a passion for excellence and we value results, not conformity. Law firms definitely have personalities, and we very much value ours.
All employees and applicants are evaluated on the basis of their qualification without regard to race, religion, color, marital status, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, gender, genetic characteristics or any other classification protected by applicable local, state or federal employment laws. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all.
Patent Agent/Technical Specialist Program:
Fenwick & West has been a leader in technology and life sciences law since 1972. One reason for its success is its Patent Group, which is consistently ranked among the top patent practices in a general practice law firm in both the U.S. and internationally. The Patent Group has deep expertise in technology and life sciences. Our patent attorneys all hold technical degrees–many having Masters and/or Ph.D. degrees and many have substantial work experience prior to becoming lawyers. We have been further enhancing our technical expertise and depth through a patent agent and technical specialist program. Our patent agents and technical specialists have outstanding technical backgrounds and an interest in working in the area of patent law. Our patent agents and technical specialists focus on patent prosecution, although they also assist with litigation and corporate matters that require technical assistance. In addition, our patent agents and technical specialists are also eligible to participate in our tuition reimbursement program for law school.
Presently, we are seeking candidates with degrees or seeking degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Physics, or Computer Science. Candidates should have strong academic credentials and/or prior work experience. Candidates should also have strong written and verbal communication skills. Candidates need not have prior patent law experience and need not be registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Candidates that are willing to prepare for and take the registration exam to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are eligible for a reimbursement program for this exam.
To apply, please complete our online application.
Recognizing the value that judicial clerkships bring to both our firm and our clients, we actively recruit judicial clerks each year. To apply, please complete our online application.
At Fenwick, we are committed to the highest level of excellence, yet we value and maintain a fun and enjoyable work environment. Our attorneys mustn't fit into any personality mold in order to succeed. Rather, our firm's perspective mirrors that of the entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists who populate the rapid-growth companies of the West Coast-we have a passion for excellence and we value results, not conformity. Every law firm has its culture, and we very much value ours.
One of the traits that attract attorneys to Fenwick is that our firm culture promotes having diverse and important interests outside of work. We encourage all of our people to maintain a healthy balance between their working lives and their personal lives, and we provide avenues for them to do so. This includes reduced-hours options for associates and partners seeking increased flexibility, firm-paid vacations and dinners and telecommuting.
While law firms have traditionally been late adopters of technology, we believe in leveraging technology to allow us to be more efficient, responsive and creative. Whether its litigation or M&A support, helping our clients manage shared information or avoiding "reinventing the wheel," we routinely use technology to solve problems in creative, innovative and efficient ways.
Internally, our investment in technology helps our attorneys maintain good work-life balance and flexibility in their schedules and provides a service platform that allows all Fenwick offices to seamlessly work together.
Fenwick is frequently recognized for our innovative use of technology, including our leading industry approach to e-discovery. Our team of technologists and attorneys (known as the Electronic Information Management Practice) has developed a proprietary e-discovery process and tool set that is extremely efficient. Fenwick's e-discovery process enables us to tackle the biggest cases and provide quality results with dramatic savings of both time and expense.
Fenwick is committed to paying a competitive salary commensurate with major law firms in our market. The firm also provides a broad range of benefits that promote financial security, work/life balance and a healthy lifestyle.
Read more about our compensation and benefits.
Fenwick operates a Free Market System which provides associates with a significant opportunity to choose their work assignments and the partners with whom they will work.
Associates are actively encouraged to take the initiative to seek out the work they want, and they also have the right to decline work that they do not want. While many large firms have a central work assignment system in which associates are simply told what to do, Fenwick's Free Market System encourages associates to take ownership of their careers, develop the necessary contacts within the firm to find work that interests them and maintain positive work relationships. It also motivates partners and senior associates to be invested in junior and mid-level associates' professional development and to earn their trust and respect. Partners who don't learn that lesson may have trouble staffing their projects. The key to the Fenwick experience is actively shaping your own career.
To become a successful attorney, we believe that education can't end when attorneys leave law school. We also believe that Fenwick is responsible for providing meaningful training opportunities to its employees, and we commit substantial resources to our multifaceted professional development program to do so.
Through our innovative Fenwick University program, associates learn how to build a career with programs focused on developing soft skills like networking (internally and externally), making presentations and client pitches and drafting personal business plans. Associates learn to build on and reinforce these skills as they progress through the junior, mid and senior levels of the Fenwick University curriculum.
We also have an amazing array of opportunities to develop substantive legal skills and knowledge. We provide our junior attorneys with intensive skill building "boot camp" courses within individual practice groups to cover foundational knowledge and skills. We have additional stand-alone formal training programs for associates and many practice group-specific presentations that touch on practical teachings, as well as on breaking developments and hot issues in the technology and life sciences legal practices. It is not at all unusual for there to be three different lunch-time CLE programs in a single week. As such, our attorneys can easily meet their CLE requirements through our internal programs and save on lunch expenses!
At Fenwick, we believe that partners and senior associates can contribute significantly to the development of junior associates (those in their first or second year of practice). Our Confidential Advisor Program ensures that junior associates benefit from the experience of their more senior colleagues by providing them an advisor to help enhance their career development and experience with the firm.
By taking time to listen and understand the experiences, aspirations and concerns of associates, advisors can provide guidance and support to enhance a first- and second-year associate's professional development. Specific goals of the Confidential Advisor Program include:
As junior associates begin their third year of practice, they will transition out of the Confidential Advisor Program and into the Professional Development Mentoring Program. In the new program, each associate is paired with a partner within the associate's own practice group. Pairings are made by asking the associates which partners they would most like to be paired with, and every effort is made to pair every associate with his or her first choice.
This program provides a second formal mentoring relationship for each associate as he or she progresses at the firm. Whereas the Confidential Advisor Program seeks to foster integration and acculturation, for mid-level associates, the Professional Development Mentoring Program focuses on increasing and broadening work assignments and opportunities, gaining access to a variety of partners and expanding one's internal networks. For more senior associates, the program offers opportunities to explore career options and to discuss professional development opportunities, including business development, with partners.
Once in place, these relationships may remain unchanged for several years. However, either party may request a change at any time and requests will be handled promptly, with sensitivity and without judgment.
Fenwick University for First-year Associates
This interactive one and one-half day program for first-year associates will begin with an evening of cocktails and dinner with practice group leaders, advisors and members of firm management. A panel of second-year associates will share with their more junior colleagues an entertaining rendition of "What They Wish They'd Known" when they were first-year associates. The following day will feature a series of activities designed to facilitate learning about their colleagues through sharing, collaborating and working as members of a team.
Fenwick University for Mid-level Associates
As associates begin the transition from junior- to mid-level associate, it is expected that they are well on their way to developing strong, practical legal skills. At this point they need to start to consider which direction to take, both substantively in the law, as well as in their practice development.
To assist them in this transition, the Fenwick University Mid-level Program examines the realities of large law firm practice, including law firm economics, management and the firm’s expectations of associates. Participants will learn the importance of developing both internal and external networks, as well as various approaches to building and strengthening them. They will develop personal business plans, receive presentation skills coaching and present their plans to the group.
In 2006 we established our Women's Leadership Initiative, recognizing that women lawyers face unique challenges that can prevent them from realizing their full professional potential. It is important to us that our women attorneys enjoy the benefits that flow from a supportive network of colleagues with whom they can confide, share their experiences, tell their stories and listen to one another.
Our programs are designed to provide regular opportunities to discuss issues that are relevant to women in the firm and legal community, to foster learning and career development, and to provide a supportive network for talented attorneys as they find their paths to leadership.
Some programs are purely social, designed to bring colleagues together from different offices and practice areas and to give summer associates a feel for the esprit de corps that permeates our culture. We've hosted events ranging from tea at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, to indoor rock-climbing and yoga events.
We also offer programs that focus on professional development and mentoring, including one-on-one communications skills coaching, and networking and business development training.
Finally, we host events that include our women clients, which have been very well received and have helped to strengthen these professional relationships.
Fenwick enjoys abundant awards and recognition showcasing our nationally and internationally ranked practices in complex financial and commercial transactions, intellectual property protection and licensing, “bet-the-company” litigation, and tax planning and tax controversies.
We represent companies that have changed, are changing, and will change, the face of technology, life sciences and cleantech.
Learn more about our core practices and industries.
View Fenwick’s profile on the NALP Directory of Legal Employers.