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  • Role: Technical Assistant
  • Career Sectors: Patents
  • Location: London
  • University: Oxford
  • Degree: MEng (Hons) Materials Science

Jennifer Brown

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I remember when researching the patent profession and reading a number of graduate profiles that an extremely common reason for entering the profession was “I love science, but research was not for me”. Having not done a PhD I was not exactly in this situation myself, however, having been in the profession for nearly three years I can see exactly why the patent profession can be such a good fit for people with this outlook.

In my opinion, a career as a patent attorney offers the opportunity to be involved with science combined with a large number of other advantages. For me, the most important aspects of the job, aside from the strong science focus, are that the job offers variety both in the work performed on a daily basis and the technology you deal with. It also provides a daily academic challenge (I never leave the office feeling like I haven’t been intellectually stimulated), and the opportunity to have a more commercial aspect to your work.

The training at Dehns is very hands-on and you are given your own cases from day one. I remember being very daunted by this at first, but I have quickly come to realise that this is the best way to learn. I work for an associate and four partners which I believe is invaluable as it gives me insight into different people’s perspectives on the job and has allowed me to formulate my own working style. It also increases the variety in my work as it ensures I am involved with a broad range of technologies, a number of different clients and a range of types of work. Although of course, working for so many different people requires me to manage my time effectively and ensure that I am on top of all my upcoming deadlines!

As mentioned, I am involved with work for a number of different clients and this includes overseas clients, in particular in Norway. This has provided an opportunity for travel both within the UK and to Norway.

At Dehns, trainees attend the Brunel or the Queen Mary course to obtain exemption from the UK foundation exams. I am now at the stage in which I am starting to prepare for my UK and European final exams. Whilst this requires studying outside of work hours, Dehns run in-house tutorials and there are a large number of people who have recently taken the exams who are willing to help and advise where possible.

Dehns, and the profession in general, is very friendly and sociable. Twice a year Dehns holds firm-wide social events, which are a good opportunity to meet everyone from the different offices. I have also met trainees from other firms at CIPA lectures, playing inter-firm softball and at monthly CIPA drinks. From my experience, the career as a patent attorney is a varied and stimulating career with a good work/life balance.

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