• Name: Khushbu Solanki
  • Job Title: Technical Assistant
  • Location: Reading
  • University: Queen Mary London
  • Degree: BSc Biochemistry
  • Areas of Specialism: Chemistry

When I graduated with a degree in Biochemistry, pursuing postgraduate research appeared the natural path to follow.

That was until I stumbled upon the Patent profession at a careers talk. I found the concept of mixing science and law intriguing, leading me to consider whether this might be the career for me.

How did you get your job at Cleveland Scott York?
Rather than applying for trainee positions immediately, I opted instead to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Intellectual Property Law at Brunel University. The course equipped me with a strong insight into Patent law and gave me the opportunity to speak to a lot of trainee patent attorneys. It also exempted me from the foundation exams that you must pass in the course of training to become a patent attorney.

Pursuing this route into the career meant I was able to learn much more about the profession before committing to it. It also gave me an advantage when it came to the highly competitive process of applying for trainee roles.

On completing the course at Brunel, I sent speculative applications to several different firms, including Cleveland Scott York. The interviews were very challenging, but they also helped me understand the differences between firms and what they offered.

Cleveland Scott York seemed very friendly and they had a great life-science team working on a variety of technologies.

What are your main duties/roles?
My role encompasses every aspect of filing a patent application; meeting clients, drafting patent specifications, filing patent applications, prosecution and Opposition, and collaborating with foreign attorneys.

I have also worked on design applications and advisory work. Of course, most of my work is carried out with the supervision and support of qualified attorneys, but my confidence is growing with every day that passes and I know it won’t be long before I am much more independent, and that one day I’ll be training my own trainees.

Additionally, I am responsible for studying the emerging case law and sharing the information with the other attorneys in my firm. We also have weekly trainee meetings where we trainees discuss our learnings of the week and have monthly tutorials on various topics from patent law and drafting to business development.

Beyond my day-to-day work, I am preparing for the UK and European qualifying exams, which are long and challenging.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into the profession?
If you are passionate about science and willing to work hard, then this is may be a good career choice for you. It may seem daunting at first, but everything makes sense as you progress.

The application process is tough but just try your best and do not give up. It is worth seeking work experience at different firms and making speculative applications to those firms which have not advertised a role. Good luck!

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