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  • Role: Technical Assistant
  • Location: London
  • University: Imperial
  • Degree: Physics

Sam Giles

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Applying

I began to consider a career as a patent attorney before finishing my Physics degree at Imperial College, London. I decided to try to get some work experience in the legal profession and was lucky enough to land a role with a leading firm of IP solicitors. I enjoyed my time there but realised I wanted to combine my interest in law with my scientific background so started making applications for TA roles.

I had an interview with Mathys & Squire which resulted in an offer the same day! I had offers from other firms but chose Mathys because it was larger, had a great reputation and appeared to offer the best training. I wanted to join a firm where I’d have a broad range of work and knew that at some smaller firms I might be stuck working for just one client.

The job

It’s been a year now since I joined Mathys and I’ve been really pleased with my decision. It’s very busy and at times I’ve done some long days but it’s also been incredibly varied. I attend Monday evening lectures at CIPA where I meet trainees from other firms and I find I’ve done infinitely more varied work than most of them. A typical week will range from drafting a claim for a piece of software through to assisting with the defence of a patent relating to heart valve replacements. Our clients operate around the globe so they and the others professionals we work with could be based in the US, Europe or Asia.

Is being a patent attorney for you?

This is a challenging career – I have lots of tough exams ahead of me and in the early days I saw a lot of red pen on my work (there’s still quite a bit but I’m getting better!). However, the firm has been really supportive in terms of my professional development – making mistakes is never great but I know it is all part of the learning process and I’ve been given lots of constructive feedback to help me identify areas for development. I’m looking forward to the next year which will involve studying on the Queen Mary IP law course, hopefully getting less red pen on my work and increasingly getting more independence.

If you are looking for a career that combines an interest in science and how things work with a desire to write, analyse, argue and persuade then this might just suit you.

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