Our Network Recruiters in the Northeast are informing us that IP Life Science Associates are departing to in-house, as Pharma and Biotech companies are ramping up their hiring.

Our Recruiters informed us that they are seeing this mainly happening in the Boston marketplace. Despite the nationwide cuts in the AM 100, AM 200, and middle market, many of the Boston law firms are still hiring in life sciences, but the pharma and biotech companies are presenting growth and stability in a time of uncertainty in BigLaw. 

This is causing concern among our Recruiters in the Northeast. They informed us that there was a shortage of high quality life science Associates in the Boston marketplace even prior to COVID-19 and with Associates transiting to in-house, the number of quality IP Associates will continue to shrink, driving Associate compensation upward. 

Currently in Boston it is not uncommon for an IP life science Associate to have multiple offers, forcing firms to compete. Our Recruiters informed us that they have the positions in Biglaw, but there are more jobs than qualified candidates to fill them, even in light of the current virus situation.

This shortage of life science expertise also exists in the Patent Agent ranks. IP leaders will take an Agent if they cannot secure an Associate. The problem now is that Patent Agent salaries are driving upward, with base salary ranging from 140K to 185K and for life-time Patent Agents over 200K. In some firms the Agents are receiving year-end bonuses on the Cravath Associate scale. A typical 3 to 4 year Agent could receive a 185K base salary, and a bonus of approximately 45K to 50K. Our Recruiters are even more concerned that when the country opens back up in full force, IP life science leaders in growing practice groups are going to be facing major challenges on the recruiting front, and some firms may not have the capital to compete.