As part of the IP Careers series of  Employer Q&As, leading patent firm Appleyard Lees will be answering questions submitted by you.

About Appleyard Lees

Appleyard Lees is one of the UK’s leading patent and trade mark attorneys with offices in Manchester, Leeds, Halifax and the BioHub at Alderley Park.

We work with pioneering companies from a wide range of industries including the chemical sector, life sciences, electronics, software and engineering from all over the UK and overseas. We have an unrivalled reputation for quality and professionalism and are proud of our business.

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The questions

Is specific work experience within patent law required for me to become a patent attorney?

What is the office environment like at Appleyard Lees?

What kind of work will I be doing once I start? 

I graduated a few years ago. Do you accept applicants that aren’t recent graduates?

Do you have any international opportunities? 

Will I receive any support from you during training? 

Will you consider non EU candidates?

How can I stand out from all the other applicants?

Do you recruit throughout the year or is there a preferred period to apply?

What is the recruitment process like?

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The answers

Is specific work experience within patent law required for me to become a patent attorney?

It is not necessary to have experience of patent law, or any law qualification to become a patent attorney.  It is however crucial that candidates have a scientific and/or engineering background.  An excellent academic background is very important too.  What we do encourage is that students interested in the role of a patent attorney seek some work experience.

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What is the office environment like at Appleyard Lees?

All the offices have a similar vibe and culture; friendly and welcoming.  New employees are encouraged from day 1 to get involved and are supported in all aspects of their work and training.  It is a very positive and open atmosphere.  Appleyard Lees are a progressive, agile and flexible firm creating an interesting and varied environment.

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What kind of work will I be doing once I start? 

There is a good diet of work including meeting clients, advising clients, dealing with new enquiries, drafting, handling office actions, instructing foreign associates, managing the process of patent applications, helping with opposition proceedings, correspondence with the Patent offices, attending hearings (EPO in Munich) and dealing with patent infringement and providing advice on infringement.

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I graduated a few years ago. Do you accept applicants that aren’t recent graduates?

Yes, we would consider candidates from all backgrounds; post-graduates, PhD students, and those who have worked in industry.

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Do you have any international opportunities? 

We do not have an international office, but would consider this if it was beneficial to our clients.  Our attorneys make frequent international trips to visit clients, attend conferences and to develop our business abroad.  Trainees will often accompany attorneys on these trips.

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Will I receive any support from you during training? 

All trainees are fully supported at Appleyard Lees. There is an excellent network of colleagues and qualified attorneys who help with training, coaching and generally guiding trainees in all aspects of their study and their practical work. Financially, Appleyard Lees fund all registrations and examination costs. We also provide one day of study leave per exam. Whilst preparing for exams there is one day per month allocated to study time and the provision of in-house tutorials.

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Will you consider non EU candidates?

Yes, we would consider non EU candidates.  Appleyard Lees are not currently set-up as a ‘sponsored’ employer; however we would certainly consider attaining sponsorship status if it was business critical.

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How can I stand out from all the other applicants? 

Do your research!  Find out as much as possible about Appleyard Lees, look on the company website.  If possible try to speak with employees to get a feel for Appleyard Lees.  Find out about the profession.  Make your enquiry and cover letter specific to Appleyard Lees explaining why you want this career and why you are applying to us.

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Do you recruit throughout the year or is there a preferred period to apply 

With regards to trainee roles we recruit on a regular basis throughout the year, we are not restricted to recruiting at a set time. It is wholly dependant upon Appleyard Lees providing trainees with support in terms of both gaining qualification and, just as importantly, with work experience. The level of client work we have in each specialisation sector is another factor in determining when we recruit. We review all speculative enquiries, and do get back in contact with candidates when we have a suitable vacancy. We advise all interested candidates to keep a close eye on our website to follow specific vacancies as they are posted. Additionally, we also offer work placements for candidates, including a Work Placement Programme which candidates can apply for via our website.

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What is the recruitment process like?

It can be speedy! All trainee roles would normally involve a first interview which would include a couple of brief tests. One of a technical nature and one for spelling and grammar. Subsequent to interview we would invite selected candidates for a couple of days work experience to enable both parties to assess suitability to the role and to the firm.

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If you think you are a great match for Appleyard Lees send your CV with a cover letter to: hr.department@appleyardlees.com

If you want to find out more about what its like to work for Appleyard Lees check out the profile of one of their employees below:

Technical Assistant – Philippa Makepeace

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