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  • Name: Ronan Dorrepaal
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: Birmingham
  • University: Birmingham
  • Degree: MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering

As a student I found science subjects to be the most rewarding and after completing my undergraduate degree (BA (Hons) in Medicinal Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin), I chose to stay at university to pursue an MSc. I enjoyed my time in university but did not want a career as an academic or research scientist. Working as a patent attorney offered the chance to continue being involved in science and technology, but from a more commercial standpoint.

I joined Barker Brettell in 2012. Established c. 1850, it is one of the largest intellectual property firms in the UK, evidenced by the tremendous depth of experience and expertise present. It was reassuring to know that I would have experience in a wide variety of technologies and that the capacity existed to involve trainees in all of the many facets of the profession.

Despite the size of the firm, the experience is not impersonal; much of my time is spent with my supervising partner and other professional and support personnel, who are actively involved in my development. There is a great atmosphere amongst the staff and everyone is friendly and welcoming. There are social events and some of the staff also make use of the local squash courts and golf courses together.

A career as a patent attorney is one of few where you will experience genuine lifelong learning. The combination of science, law and linguistics is probably equally as rare. The profession is challenging and rewarding, but a good work/life balance can be maintained.

I recommend the career to you and Barker Brettell as a place to start it.

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