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  • Name: David Al-Khalili
  • Job Title: Technical Assistant
  • Location: Southampton
  • University: Southampton
  • Degree: MEng Electronic Engineering

Upon first hearing of a career as a patent attorney, I thought it sounded fascinating; being able to marry disciplines of science and technology with law, communication and business, as well as other areas. I was able to get an interview at a few firms, including DYC, through a specialist IP Recruitment Agency. Having been living in Southampton at university for four years, the location was obviously a big selling point for DYC, though it wasn’t until my assessment morning where I met several partners and experienced their enthusiasm and warmth that I knew it was my favoured destination. I was fortunate enough that I was offered a job shortly afterwards, and haven’t looked back since!

My favourite part of working at DYC is undoubtedly the people I work with, although the variance of the job, the relatively low stress levels, the variation of interesting technologies and the broad range of clients (I could go on…) all score pretty highly for me. A typical working day will often be filled with the prosecution of one or more patent applications in the United Kingdom or Europe, and often I’ll have meetings or liaison with clients regarding general advice, updates on their cases, and requests for drafting new patent applications. Aside from the day job, I’ve been getting involved with the CIPA Informals, sitting on the committee as a representative for the South Coast and then Treasurer and getting to know a number of my contemporaries around the country, which I love.

In terms of skills, particularly useful are those relating to written and verbal communication, which are vital for a good attorney, but general team working skills and analytical problem-solving abilities always prove important. In the next 2-3 years, I will (hopefully!) be a qualified attorney, and progressing upward in my career. I fully intend to remain at DYC, due to feeling very settled both in my work life and home life.

My biggest challenges have been exam related – when trainees say these are hard, they are right! However, support at DYC for training is brilliant, both in terms of in-house tutorials and advice, and generosity in paying and allowing time for trainees to attend external courses.

Overall, DYC is a great place to work – especially if you value the people you work with as much as the work itself. I would certainly advise any prospective attorneys to consider DYC!

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