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  • Name: Camille Terfve
  • Job Title: Patent Assistant
  • Location: London
  • University: Cambridge
  • Degree: PhD Biological Sciences
  • Career Sectors: Patents

Why this job?

As I was finishing my PhD and thinking about what I liked in a job, I realised that was:

  • Writing
  • Being intellectually stimulated
  • Being close to where science and technology gets out of the bubble and into the world
  • Deadlines (the one day to a few months kind)
  • Doing my job well, and that work really making a difference (to a client, a colleague, etc.)
  • Finishing my day feeling like I’ve made progress on things that needed to get done!

It quickly became apparent that a career as a patent attorney would fit me like a glove, so I started looking for the firm that would. I had a feeling from the Keltie website that there was something different about the firm. Keltie cares about people, both clients and employees. In interview (a mix of tests and chats), I felt that they genuinely wanted to know who I was about, what interests and motivates me. I enjoy coming to work every day, not only because of the work but also because of the people I work with.

This is also how we interact with clients at Keltie: we try to understand their business, their commercial goals, what their inventions mean to them and to their positioning in the field, and how to do the best job we can in view of these. I have found that utterly satisfying.

What’s my day like?

My typical day starts with a to-do list. The list contains tasks that I want to do that day, and the deadlines of the day. From there, I am in charge of setting my priorities, making sure that all deadlines are met, so I just get going on the work that’s most urgent. Most pieces of work will take a few hours to a few days and will involve reading documents relevant to a case and preparing the appropriate letter/draft/opinion. Partners and colleagues are always around to answer any questions I might have, so I never get stuck for long. Meeting with clients are regular but do not constitute the largest part of the job, although they do quite often populate the to-do list for the next days/weeks/months, so they are a very significant and exciting part of the job.

Where do I see myself in the next few years?

Training as a patent attorney involves a fair bit of studying, which is done on top of work. The partners in the firm provide excellent training on the job and mentorship, and other trainees provide peer support! The firm allows us to set our own training goals, so there is no typical time to qualification. 

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