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  • Name: Thomas Dickson
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: London
  • University: Southampton
  • Degree: MPhys Physics with Astrophysics
  • Career Sectors: Patents

I have been a trainee patent attorney in the physics, electronics and engineering department at Beck Greener for 9 months. I have always been interested in physics but I had not considered working in the legal sector until I started temping in a law firm. Not wanting to entirely leave science and technology behind, and after some research, I discovered that a career as a patent attorney could tick all the boxes.

Since joining Beck Greener, I have found the work that I do to be an interesting blend of problem-solving, understanding new and cutting-edge technologies, and learning about the patenting systems of the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.


Getting the Job
I would advise anyone considering applying to be a trainee patent attorney to do some research and work out the kind of firm you would like to join. What is it about the firm, their ethos and areas of work that appeals to you? With regards to preparing for interviews, familiarise yourself with how a patent is written by reading one or two in an area of technology that interests you. Also in the interview, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Working and Training
From my initial research, Beck Greener stood out as somewhere I could see myself working. Everyone here has been very welcoming and I felt at ease during the interview process. Beck Greener is one of the longest established firms in the UK (and the world). They have a fantastic variety of clients and work, ranging from private inventors to SMEs to large multinationals. Variety like this is important when you are training. I feel I am part of a team made up of people who take great care in the work they do. I work on cases at various stages of the patenting process, from initial drafting of an application right through to final examination. I have regular meetings with my supervising partner, in which I learn the skills required to work on a broad range of patent cases.

Beck Greener has a forward thinking attitude towards environmental issues and social responsibility within the local community. The “STEM: Branching Out” project is a huge success and was awarded a Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award in 2018.

In addition, there are regular monthly socials and I am looking forward to getting involved with the softball team during the summer months!

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