Career News, Updates & Insights

A not so typical day in the Intellectual Property Practice

by Catherine Mariam

It’s hard to describe a typical day as an analyst for the Intellectual Property Practice because each day usually looks very different from the last. Your day depends on the type of projects you are staffed on and other initiatives you are involved in. Most of the work in our practice is litigation-based, which is part of the reason why there is no typical day. Schedules and deadlines are constantly shifting, and with that, your workload. This week, I’m working on a false advertisement project with an associate and vice president. The last few weeks, I was working on a patent infringement case with a team that consisted of a consulting associate, senior associate, and two vice presidents.

The Intellectual Property Practice has presence in three offices: Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC. One of the biggest reasons why I accepted my offer to CRA and why I have loved it so much since joining is due to the culture of the firm and my practice. Everyone is incredibly friendly and supportive, which has provided me mentorship and helped me grow professionally and personally. I’m always able to find help when I have questions, and my transition from being a student to a full-time employee has been that much smoother.

My day usually involves informal meetings with my project managers as well as junior to mid-level staff working with me on the project. At these meetings, we map out the path to take to reach our objective and the type of analysis that would be most useful for our clients. Everyone I have worked with has included me in these discussions and asked for my suggestions on how to approach some of the analysis. Being part of the work from the very first analysis is rewarding because you get to see how everything you have contributed to helps shape the final product that delivers value to the clients.

I have been an analyst in the Intellectual Property group for almost 4 months, and each day comes with an opportunity for growth. Like all consulting, there are ebbs and flows to the work, and even the downtimes have been an opportunity for me to ask questions and learn more about CRA and my practice. The busy times have helped me learn about the type of work we do and how to manage my time effectively to add the maximum value. I have gained confidence in my abilities, and that is because my team members trust me with more responsibilities. Having this trusting and supportive environment has played a crucial part in my career and personal development since I started.

Outside of project work, I am involved in a Business Development initiative within the practice. We are tracking Trade Secret cases to be more up to date on the issue and increase our expertise and knowledge in that area to better serve our clients. These business development initiatives are important because they contribute to the growth of the practice outside of project work. It has given me an opportunity to gain new skills while helping my practice. I am also involved in recruiting efforts within the IP practice. We also have many social events, including an all-practice outing, planned and impromptu happy hours, and a much-anticipated holiday party. Junior staff usually eat lunch together in the kitchen every day, and depending on everyone’s work schedules, we manage to fit in a game or two of ping pong. These social events help to create a tight-knit culture within the practice, which is definitely one of the best aspects of working for CRA.