I am considering a career change and I want to know what percentage of time is spent on writing vs other activities if you work as a patent prosecution lawyer in the United States? How do these time allotments change if you begin as a patent litigation lawyer?
I prosecute in-house. Most patent attorneys and agents, during their working hours, are either writing, reading, or trying to find clients. If you start your own practice, much of your time will be spent finding clients at first. If you work for a law firm or in-house, most of your time will be writing or reading. There is some administrative time spent managing your docket task list and, if in private practice, entering information for billing. You will also have occasional discussions with inventors about solutions to difficult problems. That is what makes it all worthwhile.
In terms of writing, I spend about 40% of my work time writing. That can include drafting a new patent application, but also writing replies to rejections from the patent office or writing emails providing advice to a client/boss. All are fairly cerebral and require a sharp mind and drawing on experience.
I spend about 40% of my work time reading. That include inventors' descriptions, prior art, patent office rejections, case law, and legal blogs. There is usually enough variety to keep work stimulating.