Mission: In 1978, Robert Greene Sterne set out to create a different kind of law firm - one that would recognize the contribution every person makes and one that would place a high value on technical competency and service. Today, guided by the principles of teamwork, respect and quality ...
Jeremiah B. Frueauf, a director in the firm's Biotechnology/Chemical Group, was selected by Bisnow for inclusion in the 2016 "Trending 40 Lawyers Under 40."
Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox is dedicated exclusively to the protection, transfer and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Our team of diverse attorneys, registered patent agents, students, and technical specialists includes some of the United States' most respected practitioners of intellectual property law. A majority of our professionals hold an advanced technical degree, including more than 50 masters degrees and 55 doctorates in science or engineering. For 15 consecutive years, our firm is one of few that ranks among the top-tier of IP firms in Washington, DC by Chambers & Partners USA.
Sterne Kessler’s client base includes both emerging and established companies, venture capital firms, individual entrepreneurs, and universities. Our clients are innovative companies in a wide array of sectors, ranging from bleeding-edge technology fields like carbon footprint technologies, pharmacogenomics, and biofuels to next-generation electronics and other consumer products.
Additionally, we have an unbridled passion for exploring the bounds of technology and the law. We like what happens, every day, when 170+ IP professionals come to work in a firm that combines the focus of a boutique with the resources of a ”Big Law” firm. And it shows, Sterne Kessler has been recognized by The Washington Post as a “Top Workplace” in the Greater, Washington, DC area for four consecutive years.
Our goal, in the professional development department, is to make the lives of those we serve less stressful and more productive. We are dedicated to your professional growth and helping you achieve your career goals. Some of our cornerstone programs are highlighted here. We look forward to working with you!
We believe the secret to success in today’s competitive market lies in acquiring all of the pieces that make for a completed puzzle: exceptional substantive skills, business savvy, the ability to form productive relationships, and acting as a good firm citizen.
Feedback is a crucial part of professional development at Sterne Kessler. Our performance evaluation process offers a highly structured and balanced framework for assessing development during the year. We provide substantive and practical performance-related feedback with the goal of helping you hone all essential skill sets. Directors and other senior level attorneys actively participate in the process by contributing feedback, assessing progress against existing developmental goals, and assisting in mapping future goals.
Training is essential to meeting career goals. We offer programming designed for each phase of your career. For example, those new to the firm participate in programs to help them quickly learn the substantive and procedural elements of patent prosecution and litigation. For junior and experienced professionals alike, we offer programs that focus on core skills such as legal writing, oral communication, legal research, and management. These programs are taught by both in-house professionals and outside experts.
The takeaway - - we offer unlimited training opportunities - - from enrollment in external seminars to private coaching sessions!
Strong mentoring relationships are key to career development. At Sterne Kessler, newly hired professionals are assigned a “point person,” a director in their practice group who helps smooth integration into the firm and helps manage work flow. For many, this is a relationship that lasts throughout their tenure with the firm. We encourage, and there is the option, to change the point person at least once during your career.
Associates also have the option to be paired with a career coach, a director or of counsel, who provides guidance at each career stage. Career coaches provide advice on navigating the firm and taking full advantage of developmental opportunities. Our career coach program is another resource designed to provide you with a personalized professional development experience.
Balanced Hours and Flexible Working Arrangements
Finding balance between the demands of career and a fulfilling personal life can be challenging. We believe both are essential to growth and satisfaction. That’s why we offer balanced hours schedules as an alternative to an annual billable hour goal of 1900 hours. Such schedules require a reduced number of billable hours and are designed to meet the needs of the individual, the firm, and our clients.
Sterne Kessler is committed to diversity and inclusion. We believe that true diversity is about understanding one another and moving beyond basic tolerance to embracing and celebrating differences. Everyone at the firm is encouraged to voice their ideas and to be themselves. Our firm aims to provide a workplace that is reflective of our global client base and the diverse cultural mix of the greater Washington, D.C., area in which we live and work. In doing so, we place a premium on talented individuals that can contribute to our work environment and service to clients irrespective of their race, gender, religious views, sexual orientation, or other personal attributes. We value the quality of the individual and the unique capabilities and experiences they bring to the table.
Our firm’s Diversity Committee is a specific steering committee charged with furthering Sterne Kessler’s vision of diversity and inclusion. The committee is comprised of employees from every tier within the firm, including staff, attorneys of all levels, our managing director, and one of our founding directors, Robert Greene Sterne. The Committee supports a broad array of initiatives and programs, including recruiting and mentoring, programs for career development and advancement, targeted outreach and affinity groups and firm-wide programs that are both social, educational, and simply fun.
Our work environment is one of the highlights of coming to the office every work day. Our architecturally heralded space, nestled in the heart of the city’s downtown, is flooded with natural light and full of collegial energy. A favorite feature of our office, by our team and visitors alike, is our full-service barista bar and game room, where surprise treats, like donuts, fresh baked cookies, and even delicious fruit are known to pop up!
Our attorneys and professional staff are top notch, and they think our culture is too. The Washington Post selects companies for the "Top Workplace" recognition based solely on employee feedback from across the Greater Washington, DC area. We’re very proud to have been recognized for the fourth consecutive year in 2017.
Our associates participate in the annual anonymous surveys administered by The Vault and Chambers Associate, and they consistently give the firm high marks for work-life balance, culture, quality of work, training and diversity. We think those aspects of work life are important and strive to maintain an environment where our attorneys can thrive.
At Sterne Kessler, we believe that community and culture are as integral to our continued success as the depth of our technical and legal knowledge. This is why we pride ourselves being a different kind of law firm, one dedicated not only to doing our best for our clients, but equally dedicated and focused on the happiness and well-being of our team.
We like to have a little fun in and outside of the office, and we have some great traditions -- from our director-hosted Valentine's Day luncheon and staff appreciation banquet to our semi-annual events, including a hiking excursion in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains and a grand crab feast.
Giving back is an important part of the culture at Sterne Kessler. We aim to touch the lives of those in our local communities and in far off places. Because our team is made up of people with a diversity of talents and interests, we reach out to a wide array of organizations to make a difference in many ways.
Through our charitable committee, we've supported The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program with toy and clothing drives for almost two decades, raised awareness about Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and helped to rebuild local homes through Habitat For Humanity's Buildable Hours program.
In March 2012, we formally launched our Intellectual Property and Human Rights Pro Bono Practice. It is the first of its kind and is singularly focused on the interplay of intellectual property principles and human rights.
I have been working at Sterne Kessler Goldstein and Fox PLLC full-time (More than 3 years)
-Sterne Kessler is a cutting edge law firm.
-Very interesting and high level intellectual property work.
-Great people and atmosphere.
-Strong mentorship programs.
-No complaints. I have really enjoyed my time working at Sterne Kessler.
Advice to Management
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Sterne Kessler Goldstein and Fox PLLC in May 2016.
I had a phone interview with an HR rep first, then a phone interview with a director, then an in-person interview. It was all pretty standard. I do wish they would have someone who actually does your job speak to you, especially for technical specialists because you are typically coming from an entirely different field of work, so there's a lot of questions to be asked, but the in person interviews were only with directors. Nothing too technical, just trying to get a feel for any knowledge you have, and what your background is.