I got into patent law through what is probably a fairly standard route. After graduating with a degree in Physics, I decided to try out the world of research and undertook a PhD in Photonics. I really enjoyed my time in the lab, but after continuing as a Post Doc for a year and a half decided it was time for a new challenge. And perhaps a bit more stability than a career in research could offer!
I had friends who’d gone into patent law, so I got the low-down from them and did some research of my own. I applied to a few firms whose websites (and IP Careers guide profiles!) I liked the look of, and was invited to interview at Keltie. I was initially a bit worried about moving from a relaxed university atmosphere to what I thought might be a very formal one, but these fears were eased after meeting future colleagues. Keltie is a very friendly place, and this was reflected in my interviews, where it was clear that getting to know me was just as important as testing my technical ability. I was offered a position in the Generalist (Engineering) group, and have been here for nearly three years now.
As a trainee at Keltie you will get to work with a number of different supervisors, for a number of different clients, and doing various different types of work. So you will not be short of variety! I’ve found that people are very willing to get you involved if you show interest in a specific type of work, so you really do have a say in shaping the make-up of your work load. Working with multiple qualified attorneys is also a big positive for me, as it’s helpful to see how different people approach things.
My typical day might include, for example:
- Chatting with a supervisor about a case. Everyone at the firm is very approachable, and willing to help when needed.
- Writing arguments to submit to the patent office. This often forms a big part of my day.
- Corresponding with a client about their portfolio. At Keltie we get to interact with clients from day one which is great for building confidence.
Training as a patent attorney can be challenging, but is ultimately very rewarding. Keltie offers a supportive environment, which is important for such a demanding job, and I would definitely recommend it as a great place to begin and develop your career.