We are inspired by the innovations and creativity of our clients, which has led us to do some tinkering of our own by creating a more engaging law clerk program that will prepare you for a career with our firm.


How Long is Our Program?

First, we got rid of the whole notion that clerkships are just for summer. Our clerks are welcome to work the entire year and as many hours as they want. Many work out a full-time commitment in the summer and go part-time during the school year. This gives our clerks a five-month edge over their classmates and the real work experience deepens their grasp of what’s being discussed in class.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

Next, we decided that our clerks should have real work to do. Our program allows them to dive right in on tasks like research, drafting patent applications and Office Action responses, conducting litigation research, and helping with business development initiatives. We also pair each law clerk with not one, but two mentors. An associate and a partner mentor are there to show our clerks the ropes, review their work and help them forge relationships with other attorneys at the firm. Our clerks are well trained and treated as professionals.

Do We Hire Law Clerks?

The number of clerks we invite into the program directly reflects the number of associates we plan to hire. Almost 50% of our current attorney team started at the firm as law clerks. Inviting all of our clerks to join us as associates is the norm, not the exception. Offers are extended in the fall and those who decide to join our team will continue as clerks until they graduate and pass the bar.

What Else Can You Expect?

Yes, we are patent attorneys (and engineers), but we’re fun too. Our law clerks take part in many of our social events, which over the years have included curling, lawn bowling, wine tastings, baseball games, and our annual holiday party, as well as professional and networking events that we sponsor. If you’re here, you’re part of the team.


While not a given, we have found opportunities to arrange special opportunities for our law clerks, such as visiting the USPTO and even international travel. Read about a recent example here.


Learn more about us by contacting our Recruiting & Diversity Committee at recruiting@ptslaw.com. Also, check back here for details about our annual IP Career Prep After Hours event where we conduct mock job interviews and help aspiring IP attorneys sharpen up their resumes.


Jameelah Haadee

I have been a law clerk with Patterson Thuente since the summer after my first year of law school. By the time I transition to an associate position at the firm, I will have had 2.5 years of experience as a clerk. Having the ability and flexibility to continue work during law school on my terms has set me up to hit the ground running as an attorney, with practical skills and experience I would not have had in a traditional summer-only clerk experience. I have gotten real, substantive work relevant to practicing as an IP attorney, while still a clerk, which has set me up for success as a future attorney.

Jameelah Haadee, former Patent Counsel at John Deere (Patterson Thuente Associate 10/2013 – 6/2016; Law Clerk 10/2012 – 10/2013)

Daidre Burgess

The clerk program allowed us to do work similar to what a newer associate would be doing. From day one, I was treated as a peer and was able to work directly with associates and partners, as well as with clients. Because of the rigorous clerk program, the transition from a clerk to a first-year associate was very smooth and I hit the ground running.


Daidre Burgess, Principal at Patterson Thuente IP (Law Clerk 1/2005 – 10/2006)


J. Paul Haun

What I valued about the program was the year-around aspect, which enabled me to do several long-term projects, build upon past experiences and work with a variety of attorneys. The firm was very flexible; my school work did not suffer and I took extra time off around finals. I also enjoyed the work — it was important and interesting, not just “grunt” work.




Contact us at 612-361-0309 or fill

out the form to the right.

Minnesota Office

4800 IDS Center

80 South 8th Street

Minneapolis, MN 55402

Phone: 612-361-0309

Montana Office

2066 Stadium Drive

Ste. 101

Bozeman, MT 59715

Phone: 406-851-9836


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