The Patent Engineer’s Role At HFZ
Patent Engineers are key members of the Hanley, Flight & Zimmerman team. Becoming a Patent Engineer is the first step in our mentorship program along the path to becoming a licensed Patent Attorney. As an HFZ Patent Engineer, you will work under the direct supervision of senior Patent Attorneys on real world patent prosecution projects seeking to patent inventions in cutting-edge technologies for a wide range of clients. You will receive direct guidance and mentorship as you assist patent attorneys with:
- Interviewing inventors
- Searching for and evaluating Prior Art
- Drafting Patent Applications
- Preparing Office Action Responses
- Supporting Attorney Interviews with Patent Examiners
- Preparing Briefs for Appeals before the USPTO
- Preparing Strategies for Patent Counsel around the World to assist with Prosecution of Patents in Foreign Jurisdictions
Benefits of being a Patent Engineer at HFZ:
- Exceptional Compensation Package.
- Health insurance, 401(K) and other benefits
- Interesting work on a variety of cutting-edge patents and patent prosecution under constant mentorship and guidance from HFZ Patent Attorneys
- Working with Fortune 100 companies on exciting, new inventions
- An Open-Door Policy that invites Patent Engineers to ask questions and gain insight and training from our seasoned Patent Engineers and Patent Attorneys
- Professional, Friendly Firm Culture
- Exciting career path to partial firm ownership
Career Path at HFZ
As a Patent Engineer at HFZ you may follow a career trajectory such as:
- Patent Engineer/Law Student – Patent Engineers work with HFZ full-time during the day and attend a part-time evening or weekend law school program in Chicago. Patent Engineers typically take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) within 6 months of beginning at HFZ and start law school within approximately 1 year of joining HFZ.
- Patent Agent – while working as a Patent Engineer, you may take the Patent Bar exam. Patent Engineers can take the Patent Bar exam within 2 years of beginning at HFZ. Patent Engineers who pass this exam become Patent Agents and are registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- Patent Associate – HFZ Patent Agents who finish their law school program and pass the Illinois Bar exam become registered HFZ Patent Attorneys.
- Capital Member – HFZ is a Limited Liability Company. A Patent Associate who completes HFZ’s mentorship program is considered as early as two years after graduating law school for the next step toward ownership in the firm. Thus, the years spent in the HFZ mentorship program count toward HFZ’s ownership track.
What our Patent Engineers say:
After nearly six years in industry as an electrical engineer, I knew it was time for a change. Unlike in my previous career, every day at HFZ is unique, from learning hands-on practical legal skills to learning about the vast spectrum of technologies that are entrusted to HFZ by its clients. I am grateful for the flexibility and resources that HFZ provides to its Patent Engineers to succeed both academically and professionally, and I am fully confident that I will hit the ground running Day 1 of being a Patent Attorney.
BSEE, MSEE 2016
I look forward to coming into work every day because each day is an opportunity to learn something new, ask new questions, and experience professional growth through mentorship and excellent leadership. I appreciate that this role encourages learning and that everyone at the firm not only has a mentoring attitude but facilitates a teaching environment by providing constructive feedback which motivates me to improve. I can undoubtedly say that it is an exceptionally rewarding feeling once the process is complete and makes me work harder every day.
I like that I can work with different technologies every single day and learn about the corporate strategies behind the development of these new cutting-edge technologies. I enjoy the mentorship environment at HFZ because it is not a pressured environment and focuses on actually learning how to do the work of a patent attorney.
BS Physics 2020
I specifically chose HFZ as my firm because of the people here. I feel like I am part of a team, and we all work to accomplish the same goal. The culture is cordial. It is not like other law firms where you work for two different partners who want different things from you. I like that I get to use my science background and still argue with the patent office about claims.