• Name: Thanishta Mungur
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: London
  • University: -Other UK-
  • Degree: Dphil Chemical Biology, University of Oxford; MSci Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry, University of Glasgow
  • Areas of Specialism: Chemistry
AA Thornton Thanishta Mungur

Why Patent law?

I chose to study chemistry at the University of Glasgow, with the aim of later pursuing a career in research and development. During the course of my degree I had the opportunity to spend a year in industry working for a pharmaceutical company. This experience soon made me realise that I wanted a career outside of a traditional laboratory setting. While exploring career options, I came across the field of Intellectual Property (IP) and after talking to several professionals, I was immediately interested. I later decided to do a PhD in chemical biology which allowed me to explore my interests at the interface between the chemical and biological disciplines. However, my choice of research meant that I was working in a highly specialised field.

I found myself becoming more interested in the broader aspects of general Chemistry such as the synthesis of complex organic molecules and the study of the fundamentals occurring during chemical reactions. Towards the end of my doctorate, I was certain that a laboratory career was not for me and the idea of combining my chemical knowledge with legal practice was what interested me the most. More importantly, a career in IP would allow me to use the breadth of knowledge I gained during my degree without necessarily being restricted to one niche area.

Why AA Thornton LLP?

I have worked for AA Thornton for almost a year now. My experience has been highly rewarding and fulfilling. From day one I was given real cases to work on and I was fully supported by my team. Trainees at AA Thornton have the opportunity to work with various senior attorneys as well as Partners and are actively involved in intellectually challenging work including prosecution, drafting, conducting IP audits, Freedom-To-Operate (FTO) searches, and opposition matters. AA Thornton’s broad range of clients provides Chemical trainees with the opportunity to work in different technical areas such as pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, food technology, and materials science. AA Thornton fosters a collaborative and inclusive culture, where teamwork and knowledge sharing are highly valued. They also have a strong reputation for providing exceptional client service and placing great importance on tailoring strategies to specific requirements for clients and delivering effective solutions. These values reflect perfectly on the firm’s mission statement: “It’s our people that make the difference”. AA Thornton strives to prioritise the needs of their people; both their employees and their clients.

Any advice for someone wanting to train as a patent attorney?

If you hold a STEM degree and you are keen on applying your technical knowledge in a legal field, then training to qualify as a patent attorney may be the right career path for you. Prior to sending out applications, I did a summer internship in one of the IP firms, which I found very helpful for getting an overview on the job and discovering more about ‘life as a trainee patent attorney‘. I would highly recommend applying to internships or work experience programmes if possible. Before sending out applications, I would suggest researching the firm that you are applying to, making sure your values align and finding out how you will be supported during training. Finally, you may find it helpful to review the core principles and fundamentals of your technical degree and develop a high-level knowledge of basic patent law in preparation for interviews.

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