I joined Mathys & Squire as a trainee in 2009, after graduating from Cambridge with a degree in Neuroscience. I initially found working in the profession quite daunting, particularly when considering the number of exams I needed to pass in order to qualify and the practical knowledge needed in order to carry out my day to day job.
Trainees at Mathys work directly for one of our partners, who is then responsible for day to day training and supervision. From my first day at Mathys I was given real cases to work on and have now been involved in most stages of patent prosecution; from responding to issues raised by various patent offices around the world to drafting oppositions.
Although my background is in neuroscience, I have worked on patents spanning a broad range of biological and pharmacological subject matters. The variety of work is enormous: from getting to grips with new technology to the practical aspects of preparing the right forms for the filing of an application, or researching a point of law in response to a question from a client. This variety means that no two days are the same in the office and is also one of the things that I particularly enjoy about the job.
The firm is very friendly and there are always lots of people to ask if I have a question – one of the things that drew me to the firm was the large number of trainees, all at different levels. This means that more experienced colleagues are able to help with exam preparation by passing on their expertise.
If you have a genuine interest in science in a commercial context, and want to begin a challenging and rewarding career, then patent law may be for you. I have not regretted my decision to train to be a patent attorney (except perhaps when attempting to explain the profession to my friends and family!) and would recommend highly both the profession and the firm to anyone who is thinking of applying.