• Role: Trainee Patent Attorney- Chemistry
  • Location: Leeds
  • University: Sheffield
  • Degree: Master of Chemistry

Ashley Wragg

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Why I chose to become a patent attorney

I first gained experience of the patent profession during my PhD. While in a postdoctoral research role I came to the conclusion that although I enjoyed a lot of aspects of academia, there were many which I didn’t. Luckily for me, by that time a few friends and acquaintances had moved into the patent profession, and after meeting (informally) with a number of them I was convinced that the profession was a good fit for me. I was sold by a career which involved complex new technologies, and importantly, would offer daily challenges, not to mention long term career prospects. My first year in the patent profession has flown by, and although training can be hard work (as expected), I can happily report I am not disappointed in choosing to work in the patent profession.

What is the day to day job like?

As a trainee patent attorney, when you start you initially spend a lot of your day reading, and using your science expertise to analyse and understand inventions (which can be harder than it sounds!). As you progress you are provided with a steady stream of work which challenges you to explain how these inventions work, or perhaps convince an Examiner what makes them an invention compared to some other prior art! On a day to day basis, I work closely with multiple qualified patent attorneys in the Chemical team, who are always happy to answer a constant barrage of questions. The work is very varied and I have been exposed to a wide range of subject matter, from plastics and catalyst to non-chemistry based subjects such as sports equipment.

Why I chose to work at Appleyard Lees?

Appleyard Lees is an excellent firm to work at and are extremely friendly and supportive. A big reason I chose Appleyard Lees is because of how I was treated during my interview process. Appleyard Lees has a great reputation, but so do a lot of firms. What really stood out at Appleyard Lees was the people. I also encourage any new applicants to have this in mind when you go for an interview. You should see interviews as a two way street, and make sure the firm is the correct fit for you too.

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