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IP Practice Group Director

Fenwick & West, LLP
Mountain View, CA
United States

Fenwick & West is a top-tier law firm with an open and inclusive culture. With more than 400 lawyers and 400 employees in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Seattle and New York, we work with companies on the cutting edge of technology, life sciences and cleantech. For more than four decades, our firm has helped some of the world's most recognized companies become and remain market leaders. We are proud to have been named one of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area for the twelfth year.

We have an opening for an Intellectual Property (IP) Practice Group Director who will play a key role in working with the IP Practice Group Leader (“PGL”) and subgroup leaders to develop, advance and support the implementation of the practice group’s strategic plan and business operations. This role will enable the PGL and subgroup leaders to focus on the execution of the practice group’s strategy, client and new business development, attorney development and significant practice group management issues that truly require partner-level involvement. This position can be based in any of our office locations (with heavy travel to the west coast if based in New York).

Responsibilities Include:
Management and Leadership: Works closely with the PGL and subgroup leaders to develop the practice group’s strategic objectives and follow through with those objectives. Manages all operations related to the practice group by working with attorneys and administrative departments. Introduces innovative approaches to improve the overall operation of the practice group, including understanding the economics of the various subgroups and working with our Pricing and Finance departments on various initiatives.

Business Planning: Supports and advises the PGL in the development and implementation of annual business plans and practice group budget. Manages strategic initiatives and practice group goals by liaising with other administrative departments. Identifies trends and issues to be addressed and makes recommendations to ensure the practice group achieves its agreed-upon goals.

Talent Development and Workflow Management: Manages the workflow system and monitors work assignments for all non-partner attorneys and patent agents in the practice group and makes recommendations for improved workload distribution. Works closely with Legal Personnel and Training department to ensure the appropriate development, review, and training of practice group members. Works with Knowledge Management and Innovation Delivery department to coordinate appropriate knowledge and innovation delivery projects and training.

Legal Operations Management: Works collaboratively and effectively with all administrative departments, including IT, Finance, Marketing, Legal Personnel and Training, and Recruiting to ensure the departments are aware of and aligned with the practice group.

Communications: Works with the PGL and subgroup leaders to develop all meeting and retreat agendas and facilitate planning/logistics. Develop and disseminate internal communications and collaborates with the Marketing department regarding external communications as appropriate.

Practice Management: Works with the Practice Management team on providing operational and administrative support for firmwide initiatives and strategic projects.

Desired Skills & Qualifications:
- Established knowledge of the legal industry and law firm management.
- Aptitude for or exposure to law firm economics and business models.
- Ability to continually learn and grow, to quickly absorb the nature of the group’s practice and its sub-specialties and to regularly absorb new information about the practice group’s and firm’s legal practice, business practices and the industries and technologies of its clients.
- Executive gravitas and polish, with the ability to deal effectively with lawyers, staff professionals and peer administrators; and to influence people at all levels to respond and collaborate without overt use of authority.
- Self-motivated with proven ability to anticipate problems and move things forward with limited direction.
- Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion.
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, including the ability to oversee the development of new systems and processes and to suggest and execute solutions.
- Superior client service ethic, communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to gather information from a broad range of sources and to influence others to make changes.
- Highly organized, efficient and extremely detail-oriented, with the ability to stay productive under pressure with tight deadlines.
- The ability to keep cool in a demanding environment (a sense of humor helps, too).

Reporting to the head of Practice Management, the ideal candidate will have at least 8-10 years of management experience that is directly related to the objectives, and skills described above, 3-5 years of law firm experience and a solid track record of success in a professional services environment. Exposure to IP practice is preferred. Bachelor’s degree required; JD or MBA a plus.

To be fully considered for this position, please apply directly online: