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Law student FAQ


  1. How do I apply for a summer associate position with Fish?
    If we do not visit your school for on-campus interviews, check open positions for law students listed on our Careers page and submit your online application along with your resume, transcripts, and a writing sample.
  2. Does Fish hire summer associates who have an engineering or science background only?
    We require a scientific or technical background for summer associates working in the Patent Litigation Group and the Patent Prosecution Group. However, other groups, such as the Trademark & Copyright Group, regularly hire outstanding students who do not have a scientific or technical background.
  3. Does Fish hire first-year law (1L) students?
    Yes, hiring 1L summer associates is an important part of our recruiting plan. We encourage 1L students to submit their applications in late fall, following their law school guidelines. In addition, the firm hosts a 1L Diversity Fellowship Program for 1L students. We are committed to encouraging diversity among the firm and across the legal profession.
  4. Does Fish hire third-year (3L) students for summer associate positions?
    3L hiring is driven by practice group and office need. We do not typically interview 3Ls during on-campus interviews but may consider a 3L who submits an online application in response to an advertised position on our Careers page.
  5. What if I am interested in a summer associate position at more than one Fish office?
    If you are interested in a summer associate position at more than one of our offices, only one application is necessary. When you apply online or during your on-campus interview, let us know the offices in which you are interested and the order of preference. Each office makes individual decisions concerning callbacks and offers based on their size, practice areas, and hiring needs.

Callbacks and offers

  1. What is the callback process?
    If you are selected for a callback interview, you will receive an invitation from our recruiting department. During the callback interview, students typically meet with a member of the recruiting department and four to six attorneys. Morning interviews may conclude with a lunch with a couple of attorneys.
  2. How soon after a callback should I expect to hear from Fish, and how long will I have to respond if I receive an offer?
    After callback interviews, candidates can expect to hear back in approximately one to two weeks. We allow a reasonable deadline to respond to offers, with efforts to adhere to your law school offer policies.
  3. May I split my summer between Fish and another firm?
    We handle requests to split the summer on a case-by-case basis. While some offices allow splitting summers, we strongly encourage students to spend the entire summer with us. If a split summer is approved, we require you to spend a minimum of eight weeks within the dates of our program so that you benefit from the full experience of our program, including attendance at our firm-wide summer associate retreat.
  4. May I split my summer with another Fish office?
    Our offices make independent hiring decisions, so students who are interested in two offices must interview and receive offers from both offices of interest. At that point, we review and approve requests to split the summer between two offices on a case-by-case basis.
  5. What are the compensation and benefits for summer associates?
    In 2023, we will pay $4,135 per week to summer associates firm wide. We will also reimburse students up to $800 for necessary round trip travel between their law schools and Fish offices at the beginning and end of the summer.
  6. How can I receive an offer to return as an associate, and when are such offers extended?
    Our hiring committee evaluates many factors when deciding whether to extend an offer, including work product as well as personal characteristics such as motivation, judgment, interpersonal skills, and initiative. Generally, we make decisions by late July.

Time off and expense reimbursement

  1. Does Fish pay state bar exam expenses?
    We reimburse new law school graduates for one standard bar review course and bar registration fees for the bar in the state in which they will reside and work for our firm. They are also eligible for a $15,000 salary advance to help with expenses while studying for the bar exam.
  2. Does Fish pay for state bar membership?
    We cover the cost for mandatory state bar fees in the jurisdiction in which our attorneys reside and work for the firm. We also pay Virginia bar dues for attorneys in our Washington, D.C., office who practice on behalf of our firm on a regular basis in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
  3. Does Fish reimburse attorneys for moving expenses?
    Yes, we pay for relocation expenses for new attorneys from outside the area in which they will practice, including a house-hunting trip, subject to our relocation policy.

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Attorney FAQ

  1. How does Fish handle state bar exam preparation?
    We give attorneys paid time off and reduce billable goals to allow them to study for and take the bar exams for their local jurisdictions after they have started work. We also cover the costs of one exam, one standard review course, and one state bar admission fee.
  2. What is Fish's policy on taking the patent bar exam?
    Certain positions at the firm require attorneys to take the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examination for registration to practice in patent cases before the USPTO. We allow paid time off for employees who are required by the firm to take the examination after they have started work.
  3. Does Fish pay for state bar membership?
    We cover the cost for mandatory state bar fees in the jurisdiction in which our attorneys reside and work for the firm. We also pay Virginia bar dues for attorneys in our Washington, D.C., office who practice on behalf of our firm on a regular basis in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
  4. Does Fish welcome inquiries from individual lawyers or groups of lawyers interested in a lateral move?
    Yes, we encourage those interested to contact our recruiting department directly. We keep all such inquiries confidential and handle them on a case-by-case basis. Principal-level positions and group hires are not listed on our website but are handled on a case-by-case basis. Search firm representatives typically reach out to our recruiting department on behalf of this level of candidate. We ask that search firm representatives contact our recruiting department rather than our attorneys directly.
  5. Does Fish pay for relocation?
    We pay for moving expenses for attorneys if relocation to another city is necessary to work at the firm and the move meets the IRS distance requirement.
  6. Does Fish allow office transfers?
    While we have allowed interoffice transfers, we consider each request on a case-by-case basis.
  7. How does Fish distribute work assignments among attorneys?
    In general, we manage assignments for attorneys at both a practice group and an office level. Staffing is done on a case-by-case basis. Associates may work directly with a principal and on larger matters, the associate may be part of a team. We cross-staff some cases among offices, providing associates with the opportunity to work with a variety of attorneys at all levels across the firm. We are proud to provide early responsibility and client contact to our junior associates. Our group leaders play a large part in making sure that associates are exposed to the practice areas and experiences they desire.
  8. Does Fish support pro bono work?
    Pro bono work an integral part of our professional culture. We strongly encourage all attorneys to do pro bono work, support their efforts, and partner with several highly regarded public interest and legal services organizations around the country. Read more on pro bono at Fish.
  9. Does Fish allow part-time schedules?
    We have a long-standing tradition of flexibility and recognize that some attorneys may prefer a reduced-hours arrangement. We will consider a reduced-hours arrangement for any attorney who is joining the firm or in good standing with the firm. We encourage all attorneys to set their minimums at a level that is reasonable and attainable given their personal and professional circumstances.
  10. What professional development does Fish offer?
    Our professional development team works with leaders and experts to provide superior onboarding, training, and career development resources. These help our legal professionals acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to excel. Examples include our renowned Patent Prosecution Lab training program for attorneys in our IP Group as well as NITA trainings, taught by our own certified Fish attorneys, on trial skills, direct- and cross-examinations, and depositions.

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Operations and Administrative Staff FAQ

  1. How can I stay up to date on future job opportunities at Fish?
    We are glad you are interested in joining our team! If none of our current openings matches your interests, you can sign up to receive an email when new ones matching your criteria are posted. To do so, sign into our application system, then search for a keyword or location. Next, click "Activate job alerts for this search," select a frequency for the alerts, then click "Create." To manage your alerts, click "Subscriptions" under your profile.
  2. I was referred by a Fish employee; where do I indicate that on my application?
    We love when our employees spread the word about Fish being a great place to work, and we want to ensure they get credit for doing so! Please navigate to our current openings and select the role in which you are interested, then click "Apply now." Under "How did you hear about this opportunity?," select "Employee Referral," then type the Fish employee's name in the field that appears.
  3. What are next steps after submitting my application?
    You will receive a confirmation email shortly after submitting your application. We will review your qualifications and if selected, contact you to schedule an interview.
  4. If I am hired, what can I expect in terms of onboarding?
    We know onboarding is critical to your happiness and success as a new employee and will work to ensure you feel welcome even before your first day. Upon joining, you will receive a training schedule customized to your role and firm-wide training needs. In addition, your manager and/or trainer will meet with you regularly to facilitate your integration into your team and the firm and ensure you have regular opportunities to ask questions.
  5. Does Fish offer tuition reimbursement?
    We support and encourage employees who wish to pursue certifications or degrees that promote growth within their professional careers. In keeping with this philosophy, we have established a reimbursement program for expenses incurred while taking approved job-related courses.

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