Intellectual Property Legal Secretary – Life Sciences

Build your big career with the Firm that does Big Law better. McDermott Will & Emery is a leading global law firm that brings together more than 1,400 lawyers and 1,200 business professionals. We celebrate excellence, collaboration and community and have been recognized as a top workplace by The American Lawyer, Working Mother Magazine, Vault and the Human Rights Campaign. 

At McDermott, we don’t just invest in your future, we accelerate your career – wherever it may lead. That includes supporting you both in and outside of the office.

With us, you’ll find:

  • A Firm where everyone belongs: Our award-winning culture prioritizes warmth and authenticity we encourage you to be yourself!
  • Enthusiasm for diverse perspectives: We’re smarter and stronger when everyone has a voice and a seat at the table. We welcome unique viewpoints and ideas, and we make opportunities for you and your career to thrive.
  • Support to feel your best and do your best: Wellness is integral to building a successful career and a rich life. That’s why our benefits program supports your physical, emotional, mental and financial health, with an emphasis on work/life balance.
  • Real rewards for real work: We offer generous compensation packages that recognize hard work and excellence.

Seeking an experienced Patent Prosecution Secretary to provide administrative and secretarial support for attorneys and patent agents in our Intellectual Property Practice Group.

As a Patent Prosecution Secretary, you will:

  • Prepare patent prosecution specific documents for filing with the USPTO, including patent applications, responses/amendments and appeal briefs; prepare USPTO forms for filing documents with the USPTO, including application data sheets, powers of attorney, inventor declarations, terminal disclaimers, extensions of time, and all other formalities
  • Handle client correspondence, including reporting to client documents filed with and received from the USPTO; preparing and collecting client signatures on assignments, inventor declarations and powers of attorney
  • Provide legal and non-legal administrative support to attorneys/patent agents and clients
  • Request drawings from draftsperson for review and revision and request preparation of sequence listing
  • Maintain dockets on a regular schedule and send reminders to attorneys/patent agents as necessary; confirm all statutory deadlines are handled
  • Process intake of new clients; create client electronic files/workspace; organize, update and maintain client electronic files/workspace
  • Work with billing specialist to prepare client invoices, create cover letters, and send client invoices
  • Coordinate meetings including reserving a meeting room, equipment, and catering
  • Organize and maintain contacts and calendar
  • Schedule travel; process expense reports and check requests; assist with business development activities, including slide presentations

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred but not required
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience working as a Patent Prosecution Administrator or Patent Prosecution Legal Secretary and 5 years in a professional services environment
  • Strong knowledge of steps involved in patent prosecution from application filing to issuance of patents
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Office (Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word), Outlook, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Pro, Document Management, time entry systems and Patent Prosecution specific databases including Inprotech or CPI
  • Life science experience preferred
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Professional interpersonal communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal
  • Excellent teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Self-motivated and able to effectively utilize time and resources
  • Client service/customer satisfaction oriented

As part of our ongoing commitment to be #AlwaysBetter for our people, clients and communities, we have created a culture of belonging that champions your individuality as both a person and a professional. From our competitive compensation, top benefits and award-winning professional development programs to industry-leading wellness initiatives, we support you through every stage of your life and career. With McDermott, you can live a life you love both in and outside of the office.


Successful candidates will be provided with outstanding career opportunities and will receive a competitive total rewards package with the opportunity to earn performance-based bonuses. ​

   Expected Pay Range in Los Angeles & Orange County $60,000 – 115,000

   Expected Pay Range in San Francisco & Silicon Valley $75,000 – 130,000

Please note that quoted salary ranges are not guarantees of what final salary offers may be. Base pay is based on market location and may vary depending on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. Base pay is only one part of the Total Rewards that MWE provides to compensate and recognize our staff professionals for their work. Full time positions are eligible for a discretionary bonus and a comprehensive benefits package.