• Name: Matthew Holt
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: London
  • University: Bristol
  • Degree: MSci Chemistry with Industrial Experience
  • Areas of Specialism: Technology

How did you get your job at Forresters?

After sending off my CV and cover letter, I was invited to attend an in-person interview. The interview was conducted by two partners at the firm, one of whom would later become the partner I worked most often with. It began by assessing my motivations for applying for the role and the firm, and moved onto more technical questions assessing my ability to communicate technical subject matter. After this, I completed a written task, and got the opportunity to speak with one of the trainees already at the firm.

The interview process felt thorough, but coming away from it I got the impression that working at Forresters could suit me well. The working environment felt supportive, which I was sure, would be important in the process of becoming a fully qualified patent attorney. Having spent 9 months at Forresters I can safely say that my initial impressions were correct.

What are your main duties/role?

Much of my day is spent preparing responses to official communications concerning patent applications. This involves a lot of research, both scientific (reviewing prior art documents, assessing technical arguments made by an examiner) and legal (reviewing the relevant statutes and guidelines); then formulating arguments based on both aspects.

Another role related to this would be the reporting of communications to clients. This may not seem as involved as preparing a response, but using an appropriate level of detail to match how much knowledge of the patent system a client has, whilst maintaining brevity, can be quite tricky.

This being said, as a trainee my work is closely supervised by a partner at the firm, and you’re not expected to know everything from the start.

In addition to “live” work, as a trainee at Forresters I am given time each day to study. This may involve attending lectures or webinars; or as exams approach, time spent revising.

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