• Name: Anna Bools
  • Job Title: Part-Qualified Patent Attorney
  • Location: London
  • University: Exeter
  • Degree: BSc Physics
  • Areas of Specialism: Physics

Gaining a job at Slingsby Partners LLP involved a concise application process consisting of submitting a CV and covering letter via IP Careers and attending a single interview. Having already submitted preliminary tasks, completed psychometric tests and attended multiple interviews over a number of months as part of applying to other firms, I was delighted to receive an offer from Slingsby Partners in the week following my interview.

The interview itself was comprehensive and included a number of challenging tasks, which I now realise were chosen to provide an indication of my ability to carry out the everyday work of the firm. I found the interview to be very thorough, but the friendly and relaxed atmosphere of the firm certainly came across, so I did not hesitate to accept my offer.

From day one at Slingsby Partners, I was encouraged to hit the ground running. Starting in May, I had a few months in the office to get my bearings before beginning the Queen Mary course in September. Following a whirlwind drafting masterclass in my first month, under careful supervision I was involved in drafting three applications by the time I attended my first lecture. This is certainly unusual for a new trainee.

The majority of the firm’s work is direct client prosecution. I believe that one of the benefits of working for a smaller firm is that you are encouraged to be involved in client communication very early on. I was fortunate to participate in client meetings and phone calls within just a month or two of starting the job.

Being thrown in at the deep end definitely resulted in a steep learning curve and the first few months involved a lot of adaptation to my surroundings. For example, a significant amount of reading is required for each new case.

However, I feel that the skills developed during a science degree do stand you in good stead in this job. For example, the perseverance required to understand a new technical invention even when, at first reading, the relevant patent specification doesn’t seem to make any sense.

Being a trainee at Slingsby Partners involves working with all senior attorneys and partners which I think helps to yield a very cooperative environment. However, this does mean that no one person is responsible for your workload so time management definitely plays a big part of this role.

Having now completed the Queen Mary course, over the next few years I will be aiming to sit some of the UK and European qualifying exams and through experience also hope to develop my ability to advise clients on a wide range of IP matters.

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