During my time at university, I participated in a mentoring programme offered by a law firm. I initially only had an exploratory interest in how the law affects scientists, but this developed into a more committed interest when I learned about the role of patent attorneys in commercial science. The idea of being continually exposed to new research findings and gaining experience in advising clients so that research efforts are rewarded appealed to me. Soon after, I applied to join J A Kemp’s Oxford office.
There is a lot of variety in this career; there is variety in the people whom you interact with, in the science with which you engage, and in the legal and commercial challenges that you help clients overcome. Much of my day-to-day is spent reading and writing, and the work often involves some creative thinking and games of spotting the difference. Occasionally, I attend in-person or virtual inventor meetings and showcase events hosted at various institutions in Oxfordshire. Regardless of what I am doing, time always seems to fly and the day is often over before I know it.
The transition from academia to this profession is not the easiest, and it may involve a shift in mindset and having to quickly pick up new things relating to science as well as intellectual property law and practice. Knowing this, I am glad to be at J A Kemp, where some of the most experienced in the sector work. From day one, I was assigned a mentor, who has become my rock and continues to dedicate a lot of effort to my training. Others in the office, from secretaries to senior trainees to partners, have also been involved in my training and offer their time generously to look after me as a trainee and as a person.
At J A Kemp, those based in the regional offices regularly work in the London office. This has made me feel part of the firm as a whole. Although many of my cases come from my mentor, it is also arranged for me to assist partners and associates in other offices. As a result, I have been able to experience different styles of working and work for different clients, all the while enjoying the smaller community feel of being in a regional office.