US Patent Paralegal Manager

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Wilson Sonsini is the premier legal advisor to technology, life sciences, and other growth enterprises worldwide. We represent companies at every stage of development, from entrepreneurial start-ups to multibillion-dollar global corporations, as well as the venture firms, private equity firms, and investment banks that finance and advise them. The firm has approximately 1,200 attorneys in 19 offices: 14 in the U.S., three in China, and two in Europe. Our broad spectrum of practices and entrepreneurial spirit allow our staff exceptional opportunities for professional achievement and career growth.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is seeking a US Patent Paralegal Manager. This position will support our Patents and Innovations Department and can be based in our Austin, Boston, New York, Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco, or Washington DC offices. This newly created opportunity requires a high-energy individual with a passion for cutting-edge technologies and processes, and a commitment to excellent client service, adherence to best practices, and minimizing risk.

The US Patent Paralegal Manager assists the Patents and Innovations (P&I) Chief Practice Officer with day-to-day management of the US Patent Paralegals across all offices. Will also collaborate with Office Administrators on onsite management of staff timekeepers. Supervises US Patent Paralegal work assignments, conducts training, and assigns new work as necessary. Implements processes, policies, and protocols in executing assigned work to minimize the risk. Mentors the US Patent Paralegals and provides guidance with respect to best practices. Motivates team members to maintain a high, efficient level of service to the Firm’s internal and external clients.


  • Collaborate with the P&I Chief Practice Officer to establish, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures, workflows, employee learning paths and training resources.
  • Partner with the P&I Practice Group Leadership, the Chief Practice Officer and the Firm’s administrative departments to develop and enforce best practices and process improvements to ensure high-level service is consistently provided and risk management is achieved.
  • Serve as a first level response to questions and issues from assigned staff and departmental practitioners and support staff. Serve as a representative voice and leader for the team.
  • Work with the US Patent Paralegals to monitor daily docket coverage and ensure filings are handed in a timely manner.
  • Approve timecards and PTO. Coordinate caseloads when US Patent Paralegals are on extended leave or leave the firm.
  • Responsible for staff management and integration; training and employee development; conflict resolution; organizational planning; and process improvement across all offices.
  • Improve support and provide opportunities for cross-training in all areas of prosecution.
  • Supervise US Patent Paralegal workflow and assignments; coordinate workloads/responsibilities.
  • Assist with integration of new staff and attorneys; provide ongoing support for current staff.
  • Support development and implementation of optimal support structures to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of department, review billable hours, evaluate staffing requirements, and make recommendations regarding staffing needs.
  • Conduct interviews with US Patent Paralegal candidates for employee selection; work with HR, and the P&I Chief Practice Officer to determine job and compensation levels for candidates.
  • Supervise the performance of the US Patent Paralegals and assist the P&I Chief Practice Officer with the annual performance review process as well as new hire evaluations. Conduct performance evaluations and provide feedback on performance, productivity, merit increases and bonuses.
  • Ensure appropriate records are maintained for departmental activity in compliance with the firm’s requirements for liability management.
  • Research IP patent prosecution laws, regulations, and fees and advise attorneys and staff regarding regulation changes.
  • Monitor paralegal billable hours to ensure they are on target to meet their annual requirement.
  • Consistently achieve 500 billable hour goal (including approved non-billable time).


  • Bachelor’s degree in related field or equivalent education/experience.
  • 11+ years of IP work experience either in a law firm, in-house legal department, consulting firm or comparable experience elsewhere.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience as Patent Paralegal Lead/Manager or similar role preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Advanced procedural document writing skills.
  • Advanced knowledge of US and foreign patent procedures.
  • Advanced knowledge of IP Management and Document Management Software and understanding of IP docketing software.
  • Advanced proficiency in use of basic to advanced forms, including IP Management Software generated forms.
  • Proficient knowledge and use of domestic and foreign patent databases, e.g., MaxVal, Global Dossier, etc.
  • Advanced reference management proficiency including searching, procurement of patent references (U.S. and Foreign patents, journal articles) and familiarity with reference linking within IP management software or document management system.
  • Must have a “hands on” tactical approach, with ability to be a strategic thinker.
  • Up to date knowledge of trends, developments, and legislative and USPTO rulings impacting practice procedures. Strong change management leadership.

The primary location for this job posting is in Palo Alto, but other locations are also listed. The actual base pay offered will depend upon a variety of factors, including but not limited to the selected candidate’s qualifications, years of relevant experience, level of education, professional certifications and licenses, and work location. The anticipated pay range for this position is as follows:

San Francisco and Silicon Valley: $123,250 – $166,750 per year

Austin, Boston, Boulder, District of Columbia, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Seattle, and Wilmington: $110,925 – $150,075 per year

The compensation for this position may include a discretionary year-end merit bonus based on performance. We offer a highly competitive salary and benefits package.

Benefits information can be found here. Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

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