At undergraduate degree level I studied Biological Sciences at Warwick University, and following that I obtained a PhD in Developmental Genetics at Sheffield University.
After having worked in the relaxed environment of academia, I was concerned that starting work in an office would be a difficult transition. However, Potter Clarkson is not the ‘stuffy’ office that you might expect in a law firm. Since day one everyone has been very welcoming, which has made the change easy.
Unlike many patent firms, Potter Clarkson has all the technology groups in one location. This has provided me with opportunities to work on cases in a number of fields (including textiles, chemistry, product packaging, and biotechnology). Whilst working on cases directed to various technologies was daunting at first, it has provided me with the confidence to take on any challenge placed in front of me, and has meant that I have developed skills not limited to my specialised technology area. Also, the majority of attorneys within the firm operate an ‘open door’ policy which means that, if needed, help is never hard to find.
It is no secret that the exams you need to pass to become a qualified patent attorney (for both the UK and Europe) are difficult. However, Potter Clarkson has provided me with a supportive environment in which to train. The training starts with tutorials with a qualified attorney months before the exams, and continues with paid-for residential study courses. The company also allows you to take the day of the exam off as well as an additional study day for each exam you have to take, which means that you don’t have to use your own holiday in order to sit the exams.
Lastly, Potter Clarkson is a very social company, which helps you settle into your new job and life in Nottingham. The social calendar includes a yearly summer work outing and Christmas party. There are also chances to mix with other colleagues in the firm with informal weekly lunches, Friday pub trips, and five-a-side football.