Thank you MBHB, Hello Missouri!

I have been a part of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff (MBHB) for the past six years. First as a law clerk, then an associate, and finally in an of counsel role while teaching at Boston University Law School.  Like many of my UChicago classmates, I could have taken a job at almost any major firm in the country. I chose MBHB because I enjoyed and respected the people and fit-well with the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit.  And although I hate to admit it, the firm’s over-generous payscale was also a draw. I want to thank all of my friends at MBHB for your mentorship, faith in me, and for the freedom-to-operate these past six years.  Your support has been a daily affirmation that my decision was correct.

A year ago, I had no intention of staying in academia — we were simply enjoying a sojourn in Boston.  But I have loved this year of teaching and writing at BU Law School and the opportunity to think a little-bit deeper about the law.  I recently accepted a position as an associate professor at the University of Missouri Law School in Columbia Missouri.  We chose Mizzou for a few reasons: I really like the faculty — there are at least four other engineer-law-professors, several others who are also interested in IP law, and even a few bloggers. (Lambert, McGuinness, and newly Sokol).  MU’s location is also excellent because many of our family members live nearby. Columbia regularly ranks as one of the best places to live and raise a family — this is largely driven by the low cost of living and the plentiful spots for hiking & fishing.

My plan is to focus primarily on teaching and writing for the first few years, although I hope to keep my hands a bit dirty as well. Thanks MBHB, and Hello Missouri!

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30 thoughts on “Thank you MBHB, Hello Missouri!

  1. Missouri is far from misery. A bit conservative for my taste, but the low taxes, the great education system, the phenomenal people, and the lack of traffic make up for it.

  2. Dennis, congratulations and best wishes in your new position. I continue to look forward to reading of your adventures and patent law reporting and musings.
    Bill

  3. I also am a Mizzou Law grad (’77) and a patent attorney. I want to congratulate both Dennis and Mizzou.

  4. There is a god bit of Patent Law in Missouri. I can attest personally! Enjoy the low cost of living – it is amazing the kind of housing and food you get for your dollar in the Midwest!

    How about some pharmas moving out there so more can escape the large East Coast overpriced, horrendous traffic cities?

  5. Congratulations and best of luck. I do hope you’ll keep the blog going — I’m a manager of an IP Library and your blog has kept me one step ahead of the attorneys.

  6. Shakespeare’s for pizza, Booches for cheeseburgers and billiards. Both right downtown, a short easy stroll from your new office.

    – Mike Crapenhoft
    Mizzou, B.S. Mechanical Engineering 1987

  7. Perhaps a certain geographical distance from the cities that are hot beds of the patents business will give you even better opportunity quietly (while fishing?) to distill comments that continue to be fresh and full of insight. Good luck from Europe, and best wishes.

  8. You’re honest, Gideon? I notice you don’t post your full name below such cowardly, undeserved insults. Dennis wasn’t bragging about himself — he was complimenting his firm. Shame on you.

    Congrats, Dennis, and best of luck at Mizzou. Please keep the blog going. I hope you’ll write the headline and summary about my upcoming win in Biomedical Patent v. State of California. Of course, you might be writing about my loss in that same case. Time will tell.

  9. Congrats Dennis and Best of Luck!
    I hope your duties in academia still afford you enough time to keep up with the O. It really has been useful over the years.

    As for the negative comments of others. We all know how the system works. People with strong academic credentials get offers at major law firms. People from lower ranked schools have a more difficult time getting noticed by the big firms, regardless of anything else. We didn’t invent the system but all know how it works.

    If you ever tire of academia please consider the major firm where you were a summer associate. We could use your talent here in San Diego.

  10. Glad to hear the blog will continue. It is great. Good luck at Mizzou– it is a great place. I was an undergrad in Physics an hour or so down the road at the University of Missouri at Rolla.

    I highly recommend the fishing and canoeing on the Current river, especially in the fall when the leaves change.

  11. “Hopefully the stories about the mosquitoes being the size of small birds prove to be exagerated.”

    They are. But the woodpeckers are the size of small dinosaurs. ;)

  12. I agree that this post sounds pretty obnoxious, but he’s just trying to give his firm a nice plug before he leaves. The post will read well to current law students who read his blog and are making difficult career choices this year.

  13. Ah, enjoy Mizzou and Columbia, MO! I had an undergrad research fellowship there, and it was an amazing experience! It’s a far cry from Boston (where my grad school is) and Chicago (where I’m at now). But very fun. Congrats and enjoy!

  14. Congratulations and best wishes to you and yours on your move and related changes, Dennis…

    …and thanks for continuing your excellent PatentlyO.

    The “IP internet” just wouldn’t be the same w/out it.

    ps Hopefully the stories about the mosquitoes being the size of small birds prove to be exagerated.

  15. Somebody wrote: “You can’t fool me — I cannot image you having contributed squat to the IP world.”

    I haven’t.

    “Why must you act so unprofessional?”

    Because I’m far too honest.

  16. As a Mizzou law grad, I am so very happy that they will have you as a professor. You are, of course, going to be a wealth of information and surely excite and invigorate the students. I hope this is the beginning of many fellow Mizzou patent attorneys!

  17. Gideon, You’d have done well to stop after “You should do well.” You can’t fool me — I cannot image you having contributed squat to the IP world. Why must you act so unprofessional?
    An old lesson: People, smart people, should know when to shut up. Here’s some advice to cheer you up, since you obviously woke up on the wrong side of the rock:
    Lawyers should never ask a question if they aren’t prepared for the answer.
    In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grand-motherly, elderly woman to the stand.
    He approached her and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?” She responded, “Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a big shot when you haven’t the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.”
    The lawyer was stunned! Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?”
    She again replied, “Why, yes, I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He’s lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can’t build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.”
    The defense attorney almost died.
    The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, “If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I’ll send you to the electric chair.”

  18. Thanks for the Blog – it’s been very useful to me. I hope you enjoy your new home.

    You should do well.

    I mean, you were so in-demand you were able to dictate terms to Big Law, you’re an entrepreneur, and you make more money than your peers.

    Hell, who needs humility and modesty when they’ve got that complete package? Not you.

    “Like many of my UChicago classmates, I could have taken a job at almost any major firm in the country.”

    “I chose MBHB because I fit-well with the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit.”

    “the firm’s over-generous payscale was also a draw.”

  19. Dennis,

    All the best at Mizzou, you no doubt will make valuable innovative contributions to their teaching programs and otherwise. You’ve a brilliant mind — joining Mizzou sounds like an ideal setting for you to continue to think deeper about law and who knows what else. There’s only one Mizzou, and there’s only one Dennis Crouch.

    I’d guarantee that there would be strong objections from at least untold thousands in your crowd if you didn’t continue Patently-O. You’ve created the most pragmatic resource — what you’ve created is absolutely incredible, and uniquely beneficial to the IP community.

    Thank you for Patently-O
    All the best!

  20. Congrats! Best of luck . . . and what happens to Patently-O? I’ve learned a great deal reading this blog – I hope it continues in some incarnation.

  21. You aren’t kidding about the cost of living
    (see link to cgi.money.cnn.com )

    Salary in Boston MA: $150,000
    Comparable salary in Columbia MO: $98,064.52

    If you move from Boston MA to Columbia MO…

    Groceries will cost: 24.939% less
    Housing will cost: 53.002% less
    Utilities will cost: 27.997% less
    Transportation will cost: 14.773% less
    Healthcare will cost: 34.23% less

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