I studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, specialising in (largely organic and biological) chemistry in my third and fourth year. Whilst I loved the theoretical side of my degree, I knew that research wasn’t for me. Unsure of my other options, I qualified as a science teacher after graduating and spent a year teaching in a challenging 11-18 school. While I enjoyed being able to talk about science all-day, every-day, I missed engaging with the subject-matter on a more intellectual level and utilising the skills and knowledge I had developed during my time at Cambridge. Keen to embark on a new challenge, I applied to J A Kemp and was delighted to be offered a position here.
In my relatively short time at J A Kemp, I feel like I have learnt so much. I have worked on lots of clever inventions for a variety of clients, ranging from university spin-outs to global pharmaceutical companies. Pharmacology (which I studied as part of my degree) is an area I find particularly interesting, and being a part of the Chemistry and Pharmaceuticals team allows me to engage with the latest developments in this field on a regular basis. My day-to-day jobs can include anything from drafting a patent application for a new invention (and maybe even meeting with the inventors in the process) to formulating arguments against objections raised by an examiner or possibly a third-party. There is never a boring day!
J A Kemp is a friendly and supportive place to train. There are frequent social events, with informal drinks, quiz nights and summer and Christmas parties, and the other trainees and our mentors (who are partners or associates) are always happy to help. J A Kemp also has an extensive structured training programme to help us prepare for our exams: in-house tutorials, often delivered by newly-qualified associates, form part of our training in our first year and provide a solid grounding before we go off to Queen Mary to complete a three-month course in Intellectual Property at the start of our second year.
I think that the patent profession can seem quite elusive, especially to those who know very few people in scientific or commercially-oriented careers, but I would encourage anyone with a flair for science and an interest in applying this in a business context to seriously consider a career as a patent attorney.