I first became aware of the patent profession when a Patent Attorney came to speak at a careers event in the first year of my undergraduate degree. I had originally intended to pursue the career immediately after finishing my undergraduate Masters degree in Chemistry, but a love of research unexpectedly hit in my final year and I decided to take a 3 year PhD shaped detour to play with lasers.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed my PhD research project, I always knew the monotony of day-to-day life in research, trying to make uncooperative experiments behave for 5 minutes, was not for me long term. I therefore attended open days at several different patent firms and was lucky enough to be offered a place on the Dehns Summer Placement Scheme. After completing the two-week scheme, where I spent time in many of Dehns UK offices getting an insight into the different aspects of the career, and what it would be like working for Dehns, I was thrilled to be offered a full time position in the very friendly and sociable Oxford office where I have been working since.
The learning curve as a trainee is steep, but my colleagues at Dehns have been nothing but supportive, with the partners and associates working very closely with me to develop my understanding. Dehns also ensures that junior trainees share an office with a more experienced trainee so you can ask all those “silly” questions without fear. The Firm is also very supportive towards (the notoriously challenging) exams, offering in-house tutorials and seminars to assist with preparation.
Dehns is a very friendly and sociable firm. Although everyone works very hard, there is no pressure to work long hours and being social outside of work is just as valued as being sociable within the office. Everyone I have the pleasure of working with is always willing to help, no matter how obscure the problem. I feel very thankful to work at Dehns.