• Name: Laura Brown
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: Halifax
  • University: Imperial
  • Degree: MEng Chemical Engineering
  • Career Sectors: Patents
  • Areas Of Specialism: Engineering - Other

Why did you choose Appleyard Lees?

I could tell during the interview that Appleyard Lees would be a good fit for me. Everyone was friendly and made sure to put me at ease, which in turn helped me to make a good impression. The process was straightforward – technical and spelling/grammar tests and an initial interview with HR and two partners from the Engineering & Electronics team. The interview tested me, although it felt more like an interesting conversation with clever people rather than like I’d been “interviewed”.

The second interview involved two days of work experience where I had the opportunity to meet the rest of the team and was given tasks from real cases. It was an effective way to experience the real world of being a patent attorney.

What’s it like working at Appleyard Lees?

The tasks that I’m given depend on deadlines and the workload of my supervising partner, as well as my training needs. I’m given opportunities to experience different aspects of the job, and everything I do contributes to my training. My personal favourite part of the job is meeting inventors!

The culture at Appleyard Lees is very open and supportive, so I feel comfortable approaching attorneys even outside of my team to ask questions or for advice.

What challenges have you come across and what support have you received?

Other than the shift to thinking and writing like a patent attorney (that happens gradually), the biggest challenge is preparing for qualifying exams, which are extensive and rigorous. There is overlap between daily tasks and exams so the learning process has the practical effect of making you a better patent attorney. At Appleyard Lees, I have benefited from in-house tutorials, practice sessions, and trainee-led study groups. Trainees have the flexibility to get support and organise whatever they need for exam preparation.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to work at Appleyard Lees?

IP Careers is a great resource if you’re considering a career in IP. I also encourage you to use your network and talk to patent attorneys for insight. Trainees are the best resource for information on interviews, company culture, and application tips. Patent attorneys are very enthusiastic about the profession and many will be more than happy to give advice and talk about their experiences.

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