• Name: Claire Webster
  • Job Title: Technical Assistant
  • Location: Southampton
  • University: Bristol
  • Degree: PhD in Chemistry
  • Areas of Specialism: Chemistry

Why did you choose a job in this profession?

Like many in the profession, during my PhD, I realised that a career in research wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. However, it was important to me to find a job where I was still utilising the scientific knowledge I had gained as well as combining the problem solving and analysis aspects of research that I had particularly enjoyed. The more I found out about patent law, the more I was convinced that the profession was exactly what I was looking for.

What attracted you to your role?

I was attracted to D Young & Co because I wanted to join a firm where there was a cohort intake of trainees. This has been beneficial in terms of settling in and having a group of people to go through the qualification process together with. I also found the offer of one-to-one mentoring appealing as I would be moving away from an environment that I knew and so a high level of support was important to me. In fact, I now work with multiple qualified attorneys on a one-to-one basis which has really helped me to experience different approaches and develop my own style of working.

How did you get your job at D Young & Co?

I applied to D Young & Co after seeing an opening advertised on their website and submitted my CV and cover letter. After an initial telephone interview with HR, I was asked to complete an online spelling and grammar test. Lastly, I was invited to an assessment day. The day had a number of components including time to chat with other trainees. Everyone involved in the process was extremely friendly and despite being an interview, I enjoyed the exercises and felt like I could really imagine myself working at D Young & Co. Therefore, when I received an offer it was an easy decision!

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?

My advice would be to speak to current patent attorneys to get an idea of what day-to-day life in the job entails, I found this really useful when I was considering the profession especially as experience in this field can be hard to come by. Furthermore, the training experience can vary widely between firms. Therefore, speaking to current trainees can be invaluable in finding out the culture and training programme at each specific firm. The exams are notoriously difficult and preparing for these will make up a large part of your first years in the profession so it’s worth considering what environment would suit you best.

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