• Name: Claire Angier
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: Birmingham
  • University: Leeds
  • Degree: MChem BSc, Chemistry
  • Areas of Specialism: Chemistry
HGF Claire Angier

Why did you choose a job in this profession?

After completing my Masters degree I knew that research wasn’t for me as I found the day-to-day lab work frustratingly slow and being confined to one niche specialism restrictive. I worked as a consultant and technical salesperson for almost two years but this didn’t feel quite right either. I knew I wanted something more interdisciplinary where I’d be able to apply the technical knowledge I’d learned in my Chemistry degree in a broader commercial capacity. IP had been on my radar for some time after studying modules on the patenting of pharmaceuticals and attending university careers fairs. I decided to find out more. I reached out to friends of friends in the industry. A few positive phone calls piqued my interest and led me to the IP Careers website. The chance to work at the cutting-edge of innovation and play an integral role in bringing new technologies from the R&D stage to market is what really sold the profession to me!

How did you get your job at HGF?

I applied for the role of ‘Trainee Patent Attorney – Chemistry’ via the IP Careers website. The application involved submitting a CV and cover letter, explaining my motivations for entering the profession, and a recent patent news story I’d found interesting and why. I received an email inviting me to an initial video interview with an in-house recruitment specialist. After this, I was invited to an in-person panel interview. The interview tested my lateral thinking skills and ability to communicate clearly and concisely. There were written and oral exercises alongside the general conversation.

What skills are useful in this profession?

The profession is extremely interdisciplinary and requires a broad range of skills. Being a patent attorney demands acute attention to detail and an analytical and methodical approach to work. It’s important to be able to grasp new concepts (both technological and legal). Effective communication, particularly written communication is key. Entering a legal profession from a scientific background involves a steep learning curve and requires drive, determination, and resilience.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?

The first piece of advice I have for anyone wanting to enter the profession is to do your research. The IP Careers Guide on the IP Careers website is a great starting point. I found talking to people in the profession, particularly helpful. Work experience in the industry is rare but a few firms do offer this so it is worth looking out for. When applying to firms and at the interview stage this research will serve you well when it comes to demonstrating your enthusiasm and understanding of the industry and company. Your application is a chance to demonstrate your written communication skills and attention to detail so use clear, concise language and make sure your application is free from errors.

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