Towards the end of my PhD at the University of Cambridge, I started feeling more and more tempted by a career outside research. I was drawn towards patent law as it seemed that I could still make use of my scientific skills, but in a more ‘real-world’ application. I also thought that I would enjoy learning about the law and how patent protection can be used strategically, e.g. to fit clients’ commercial interests. Luckily, all these turned out to be true!
For my current role, I applied online and was then invited to an interview where I met with quite a few senior people, all incredibly friendly, who were also happy to answer all my questions about the job and the firm. I distinctly remember one of the partners explaining some of the lesser known opportunities (at least to me at the time…) to be involved in, such as business development, which made me even more excited about this role!
Working at Potter Clarkson
From the very start (day 1!), I have been working on real cases for a number of different partners and senior associates, which has been useful for experiencing different working styles, types of clients etc. After about a year in the job, the trainees can also answer general enquiries sent to the firm, which despite being slightly terrifying at first, I have found to be great training, in particular for building confidence.
The firm has been incredibly supportive throughout the current pandemic, and adapted remarkably well to remote working (I even worked abroad for a few weeks at some point). When we go back to the office, we will definitely work more flexibly and hopefully return to the busy social calendar that the firm has had in recent years. Personally, I most look forward to being able to visit our other offices in Stockholm and Copenhagen as soon as we are allowed!
Part of training as a patent attorney is sitting professional exams, for which we receive great support from the firm, such as study-leave days, tutorials delivered by highly experienced attorneys, as well as external revision courses, all of which help us pass the exams – and win prizes too!
Beyond the 9 to 5
Potter Clarkson is a very sociable firm and normally there are many firm-wide events throughout the year (Christmas party, summer away-days), a variety of sports clubs, as well as regular trips to the pub… I am also glad that during the pandemic we have managed to adapt our social life, with virtual coffee breaks, virtual quizzes, virtual escape rooms, all of which have been very popular and helped retain a great sense of community.