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  • Name: Nina Szamocki
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: Bristol
  • University: Cambridge
  • Degree: Civil/Geotechnical Engineering

I started working as a Trainee Patent Attorney at Haseltine Lake in 2015 after having previously worked in Engineering consultancies and a management consultancy. I decided to move into the field of Intellectual Property to obtain a better work life balance whilst doing an intellectually challenging and varied job. Two years into this career I am very glad I made the switch.

During my first few months at Haseltine Lake I spent around half of my time with three other newly recruited trainees attending training sessions of the Haseltine Lake in-house training program ‘HL Academy’. This is a structured program which is run by Haseltine Lake attorneys throughout your career as a trainee with the aim of helping you obtain UK and European chartership. As well as providing useful training, I have thoroughly enjoyed the training scheme as it is a regular opportunity to meet with my fellow trainees with whom I’ve built strong friendships.

The majority of my time is spent working for the attorneys within my seven person team, and primarily for my direct manager who supervises my work and development. This approach enables me to experience different ways of working, and being part of a team makes the office environment a very sociable and enjoyable place to be.

On a day to day basis I spend my time understanding inventions, writing up patent applications, writing letters to convince Patent Examiners to grant patents, and talking to clients about their intellectual property. I have visited clients in the UK and the Netherlands with my manager, and I recently spent two months working in the US within the Intellectual Property department of one of our clients. As well as a great opportunity to live in another country, this enabled me to build great links within the company and to learn about the industry from the client’s perspective.

As well as providing support to trainees, Haseltine Lake has a great work/life balance and working environment. We are regularly treated to cakes in our kitchen, monthly beer and wine on a Friday, pub trips, and have fun activities organized with our colleagues, resulting in a feeling of comradery within the firm.

Overall, training as a patent attorney is by no means easy, but it is a very rewarding career with Haseltine Lake and offers fantastic prospects, as well as great people to work with in a relaxed and supportive environment.

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