What brought you to the patent profession?
I started my degree thinking I’d want to pursue a career in pharmaceutical research after graduation, resulting in me electing medicinal and biological chemistry ancillary courses alongside my usual chemistry courses. As I was exposed to new aspects of chemistry, my interests kept shifting and resulted in me undertaking my MSci research project in synthetic nanochemistry, which had nothing to do with pharmaceutical research, at a partner university in Singapore.
Whilst I enjoyed my experience in research, I realised that it wasn’t for me as I am much more engaged by opportunities to experience a number of different technical areas; this is what lead me to pursuing a career in patents.
The patent attorney profession allows me to work for a number of different clients, large and small, which are innovating in a number of different spaces; I can be working on new gold extraction techniques for a small university spin-off one day, and ground-breaking cancer treatments the next.
How close are you to qualifying?
I am coming to the end of my third year at GJE having passed the Queen Mary PGCert in Intellectual Property Law in early 2016, which provides exemptions from the UK Foundation Examinations, and the EQE Pre-Examination in early 2017; I will be sitting my EQE and remaining UK Finals next year.
GJE are incredibly supportive in the preparation for all professional exams by offering internal tutorials, sending us on external training courses and providing study days outside of holiday allowance.
What have you experienced so far at GJE?
In terms of professional experience, I am very fortunate that GJE makes a concerted effort to expose its trainees to all aspects of patent law at an early stage. In addition to the requisite experience in drafting and prosecuting patent applications, I have also had the opportunity to get involved with the more contentious side of the patent profession; I have already had the opportunity to attend oral proceedings at the EPO (Munich) multiple times and present arguments under the supervision of a partner.
Something else that GJE does very well is to encourage their trainees to get involved with direct client work from the outset; this means that I regularly attend client meetings and I am the first port-of-call with queries or instructions for some clients. I believe this sort of experience is invaluable in forming a rounded attorney, and isn’t something that every firm offers early in a trainee’s career.
Why did you choose GJE?
In all honesty, legal rankings are what pointed me towards GJE when I applied as a graduate. However, it was the people I met during the interview process, the feel of the office and its location (right next to Shoreditch) that clinched the deal for me and led to me accepting the offer.