• Role: Trainee Patent Attorney- Chemistry
  • Location: Leeds
  • University: Leeds
  • Degree: Medicinal Chemistry

Amelia Barton

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How did you get your job at Appleyard Lees?

I first considered a career as a patent attorney in my second year at university, after a qualified patent attorney gave a talk about what Intellectual Property is and what being a patent attorney involves. I found it very interesting and proceeded to look into the role more. I was lucky enough to gain a weeks experience at both a private and in-house law firm, which confirmed I wanted to pursue a career in IP.

I applied for Appleyard Lees even though they were not recruiting at the time, and they kindly got back to me saying they would keep my CV on file. I would definitely recommend applying to firms that aren’t advertising vacancies, as a few months later I got an email from Appleyard Lees telling me a position had come up and would I like to come in for an interview. The interview itself consisted of a technical test and a spelling/grammar test, both of which I was informed about before the day, and a general interview with HR and the Chemistry Partners. The next stage of the process was a ‘work experience’ day in the office, undertaking a couple of tasks that would be expected day to day on the job. A few days later I was offered the job, and of course I said yes!

What’s it like to work at Appleyard Lees?

Appleyard Lees is a great firm to work for. There is a lot of support for trainees and you never feel like you can’t ask questions to improve your learning. A lot of the time you work individually, but are surrounded by other trainees and qualified attorneys so help is never far away. The work is very varied, and even as a trainee you get experience in everything from drafting, prosecution and advising clients to helping with opposition proceedings (including the opportunity to go to hearings at the European Patent Office!).

There are of course examinations you will need to pass to become qualified. Even though a lot of the work for exams is self-study, Appleyard Lees is very supportive of revision courses and providing the materials needed to help pass. They also allow you to move at your own pace, and choose how many/ which exams you want to sit each year, with a little guidance.

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