This recent academic study speaks for itself, so I don’t have a whole lot to add!
The study, to be published in the summer edition of Stanford Technology Law Review, researched actual filing and registration data from the USPTO. The authors’ conclusion is that having an attorney means an increased chance of having an application approved for registration. And having an experienced trademark attorney increases the odds even more.
Of course, I’ve known this all along, as have hundreds of clients who have received more than 1,800 U.S. trademark registrations. There are many nuanced reasons why having an attorney matters, perhaps I will go into my thoughts about that later. But many of those reasons are self evidence – because you are hiring someone with a great deal of knowledge, experience, and resources in the relevant arena.
Here is the full cite for the study:
Gerhardt, Deborah R. and McClanahan, Jon P., Do Trademark Lawyers Matter? (April 8, 2013). Stanford Technology Law Review, 2013; UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2246750. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2246750 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2246750