How did I get into IP and why did I choose HLK?
A friend of mine told me about the nature of the IP profession, the career progression and the breadth of scientific concepts that I would learn about. I was sold! I applied to HLK, where I had a face-to-face interview and then was tasked with completing exercises testing skills important for the job (written & verbal communication, analytical skills, scientific knowledge etc.).
The recruitment process for me was very pleasant, from HR answering all my annoying questions, to how friendly my interviewers were. The deciding factor for me was when a trainee took me out for coffee after my interview. Our conversation reassured me that entering this profession would be an amazing opportunity, and HLK would be an excellent place to do so.
What is the job like?
The day-to-day has been fascinating. The range of technical topics that I have been exposed to has been massive! I have improved my ability to assimilate technical information quickly; a skill that is useful in several professions. I have also learned that attention to detail is very important, as the quality of work that HLK ask for is very high. That might sound stressful, but I love that I am constantly pushed to achieve my best work. It has definitely been challenging, but HLK have great infrastructure for supporting mental health, so I have never felt overwhelmed.
HLK are very serious about maintaining a good work-life balance; you are never expected to work crazy hours. Our in-house training programme (HLK Academy) has been incredibly helpful too. It has allowed me to ease myself into the job (rather than being thrown in at the deep end) while giving me a chance to get to know the other trainees and colleagues from all corners of the firm.
Advice to applicants/incoming trainees?
For those applying to the IP profession, doing more than just applying goes a long way. Reaching out to a current trainee (myself included) is a great way to find out more about the job, if you are suitable, and what it is like to work at a particular firm.
For those just entering the field, don’t be afraid to say if you are stuck on something or if you are feeling overwhelmed. I feel like I speak for the majority of attorneys when I say that we have all found aspects of the job difficult. Speaking about it really helps to feel more assured that you aren’t alone.View Haseltine Lake Kempner's Website