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The world's largest pharmaceutical company began modestly by providing tartaric and citric acid out of a single Brooklyn building. Pfizer now produces some of the world's most popular drugs including Celebrex®, Viagra®, and Lipitor®. Pfizer's current dominance in the pharmaceutical industry was sealed in the late 1920s with its decision to help Alexander Fleming fund his research on some mold juice, later known to the world as Penicillin. In order to protect its lucrative research and its annual revenue of $32 billion, Pfizer hires some of the best legal talent and relies on 330 in-house lawyers for corporate and intellectual property expertise.
With an impressive resume that includes a clerkship with U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. and a partnership at Williams and Connelly, Jeffrey Kindler serves as Pfizer's Senior Vice President and General Counsel. In addition to handling the operations of its in-house lawyers sprinkled all over the world, Kindler is also responsible for hiring firms like Arnold & Porter, Kaye Scholer, and Skadden to handle its outside counsel needs. Recently, Pfizer has won two major legal battles, including dismissals of a patent infringement lawsuit regarding COX-2 inhibitors and a lawsuit alleging the possible suicidal effects of the antidepressant Zoloft®.
Well-known for being a conservative company, Pfizer keeps its workplaces structured, and most employees prefer it that way. Pfizer is often named as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" by Fortune and as one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine. Additionally, the corporation provides many international opportunities for attorneys with offices in places like Hong Kong and Denmark.
Pfizer is constantly looking for corporate and intellectual property lawyers, but competition for a position is still high. The corporation mainly favors graduates from good law schools with strong academic backgrounds. Most positions also require previous experience with either a law firm or corporation. Positions for patent attorneys demand the greatest requirements, including higher education in organic chemistry and experience with the U.S. Patent Office.
Although Jeffrey Kindler's salary is near $2 million, most attorneys are paid in the competitive corporate range. But Pfizer proves there are more ways to compensate its employees than with salaries. Perhaps in an effort to fulfill the company line of providing "longer, healthier, happier lives," Pfizer strives to provide one of the most comprehensive benefits programs. In-house attorneys and the other 30,000 U.S. employees of the corporation enjoy full medical, vision, and dental coverage for domestic partners as well as reimbursement for Pfizer prescription drugs and smoking cessation programs. In addition to health care, new employees start off with 3 weeks of paid vacation and are further compensated for higher education, jury duty and military leaves of absences.
Pfizer currently has several openings in its Ann Arbor, Cleveland, Denmark, New Jersey, and New York offices including opportunities for experienced corporate associates and patent counsels. More information regarding attorney positions at Pfizer can be found in the LawCrossing job database.
LawCrossing has the most listings of any job board I have used. It's actually a great site. The website had a lot of detail. It’s nice that you don't have to go through a recruiter if you don't want to. You can actually contact the law firm directly for the positions listed. LawCrossing had a ton of great features.