I am trainee patent attorney at EIP working in the life sciences sector. Before joining EIP, I did a PhD in immunology and bioinformatics.
A day/week in the life of a trainee patent attorney
I first check my emails and diary and then write a to-do list for the day. I usually meet with my line manager and other attorneys to discuss the cases we are working on. There are also times where I attend meetings with clients. Our team mainly works on patent oppositions and other patent challenges, such as freedom to operate opinions and due diligence reviews. So typical tasks for me include researching patents and scientific journals.
My career path to date
I started my career as a scientist, having studied Biomedical Science at University and then a PhD in immunology and bioinformatics. I also completed an internship as a bioinformatician at Galvani Bioelectronics before joining EIP as a trainee.
While I was doing my PhD, I realised that no longer wanted a career in research, but I still wanted a job where I could use my science background. I decided to go into patent law as I would be able to look at various topics within life sciences. I have so far enjoyed my first year as a trainee at EIP as I have been able to look at a variety of technical areas and gained experience in various aspects of the role.
My future plans are completing all the UK and European patent law exams and becoming a Qualified Patent Attorney!
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?
My advice for future students is to find out as much about the profession before applying. Some firms hold open days at their offices and some firms also visit Universities to give talks or host stands at career fairs (where I first met EIP!). The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys also have useful introductory videos on the profession.
For students with a life science background, I would advise to try and gain some experience in bioinformatics if you have the opportunity. I found that that was an area that employers were increasingly looking for.