During my PhD, like many others who ultimately venture into the world of patent law, I started to realise that a career working in academia and/or the lab wasn’t for me. It was around the same time that I attended a careers talk given by a qualified patent attorney at my university and I was immediately intrigued by what I heard. As a patent attorney I would continue to have exposure to the latest cutting-edge technologies and the opportunity to use my scientific knowledge, but outside of a research environment – it sounded perfect!
After attending open days at various firms I was offered a place on the Dehns Summer Placement Scheme which runs for two weeks every summer. The Scheme provided me with wide-ranging exposure to the kind of work I would ultimately undertake as a trainee; from day one I worked on live cases and covered inventions relating to a variety of different subject matter, something I found especially interesting having been restricted to one narrow area of chemistry during my PhD. By the end of the two weeks I knew without question that I wanted to pursue a career as a patent attorney.
Following the summer scheme, I was delighted to be offered a position as a Technical Assistant in Dehns’ Oxford office. Since joining the firm I have received excellent on-the-job training and support from supervisors (partners and senior associates) who have ensured that I receive a varied diet of work to aid my development. Support is also provided through your buddy, who is a more experienced trainee, and who you share an office with. In addition, the firm is very supportive when it comes to the exams, offering in-house tutorials and seminars to give its trainees the best chance of success.
The firm has a friendly and relaxed working environment, and maintaining a good work-life balance is something that is actively encouraged. Various social events, including the annual summer and Christmas parties where the whole firm gets together, are also organised throughout the year. I would highly recommend Dehns to anyone who is looking to start a career as a patent attorney.