• Role: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: London
  • University: Oxford
  • Degree: DPhil Structural Biology

Eleanor Healey

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Although I really enjoyed my PhD, by the third year in the lab I’d come to the decision that a career in scientific research wasn’t for me. I was looking for an intellectually challenging career that would allow me to use my scientific knowledge but also learn new skills and tackle different challenges. It seemed that a career as a patent attorney met these criteria. I sent out a number of applications and was lucky enough to be offered a position as a trainee in the Biotechnology and Life Sciences Group at J A Kemp.

J A Kemp’s training programme starts from your first day at the firm. Every new trainee is assigned a partner as a mentor who has overall responsibility for your training and career development. You will also work with a number of different partners, which allows you to see different approaches to the job. As well as on-the-job training, the firm runs a programme of introductory tutorials to cover all of the key legal basics. This is supported in later years by dedicated tutorials in preparation for the European and UK exams.

At J A Kemp you get to work on real cases right from the start. I now work with a large number of different clients. These include world-class university tech transfer offices and a variety of businesses, ranging from biotech start-ups through to international pharmaceutical companies. In the course of a typical day my work might include writing a new patent application, preparing arguments to file at the Patent Office and discussing a case with a client over the phone. My cases cover diverse subject areas, including sequencing technologies, cell culture methods, antibody therapies and diagnostics. The daily variety of tasks and technologies is something I love about the job. The work is challenging, but there is always someone to ask if I need help.

As I learn the job and develop my skills, I look forward to interacting more and more with the firm’s clients and eventually taking a leading role. J A Kemp has a global client base and the firm’s qualified attorneys travel to the USA, Japan and many other parts of the world to visit clients and professional contacts.
J A Kemp is a sociable and supportive place to work. We have regular team socials, Christmas and summer parties and weekly trainee drinks.

In summary, I would recommend this career to anyone looking for an intellectually challenging job where they can apply their scientific knowledge in a commercial setting. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first three years at J A Kemp. Apply now!

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