• Role: Technical Assistant
  • Location: London
  • University: Surrey
  • Degree: PhD Physics

Paul Critchley

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After graduating with a PhD in Physics, like many others, I was uncertain of what my next step would be. I found physics extremely interesting, however I decided early on, that academe wasn’t for me. I wanted to be in a profession where I could utilise my technical knowledge and understanding, whilst furthering other skills such as analytical writing and verbal reasoning. The patent profession seemed like the most logical step. It is a career that is as challenging as it is rewarding, and which is always intellectually stimulating.

Being a patent attorney requires an individual to be good at more than just science; a solid understanding of law, alongside excellent communication skills, and business acumen are also required. This diversity within the profession has kept me interested since joining, as well as the opportunity to pursue a career in science, or at least closely related to it, in the heart of central London. I have also found studying law a refreshing change from the mathematical drudgery of physics, a surprising outcome as I had always seen myself as a hard scientist.

The firm

I have found Page White and Farrer to offer a friendly atmosphere, which is as encouraging as it is nurturing. The partners definitely seem to appreciate that there is such a thing as a ‘work/life balance’, and unlike many other professions, working late into the night is a rarity. It is laudable that members at every level of the firm, are also able to set aside considerable amounts of time for one to one training. Much of my time is spent with my supervising partner, a director at the firm, a relationship which I have found to be informal, yet productive. I have also been given opportunities to make a direct impact on the firm’s marketing and recruitment process, something which would be unlikely, if working for a large faceless organisation.

Training

Having joined Page White and Farrer in late 2014, I was sent on the Certificate in Intellectual Property Law course at Queen Mary University of London the following year, with three other trainees from the firm. Now I am looking to complete the next stage in my training by completing the Highers. Page White and Farrer has been very supportive, and I do not feel pressured into taking the Higher exams before I am ready, which I know other firms may desire. The firm also offers in-house tutorials to help its trainees work towards full qualification.

My experiences at Page White and Farrer have been extremely positive, and I advise anyone applying to the profession, to put Page White and Farrer at the top of their list!

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