What was your first ever job?
One of my first ever jobs was marking exam papers for a company doing private assessments for primary schools.
How did you get involved in intellectual property and what first attracted you to the field?
I did not originally set out to do intellectual property law specifically. Rather, I read English literature at Warwick University for my undergraduate degree. Like so many others at the time of doing A-levels, I was not sure exactly what I wanted to do, so I followed my passion in literature.
After joining Potter Clarkson, I found the litigious work I became involved in fascinating, with opportunities in complex patent and trade mark matters. The depth of the technical subject matter demanded skills in analysis and targeted reading that I had sharpened throughout my degree and law conversion course.
When did you join Potter Clarkson and why?
From my initial research into the firm, I knew it had a stellar reputation across Europe and had ambitious aims to grow - which is always a key consideration when joining a firm as a junior looking to progress. After interviewing, I was impressed by the opportunity for diverse work, its renowned client base and beautiful office space.
Potter Clarkson was true to form. I joined the firm in September 2017 as a secretary but was able to quickly immerse myself in more substantive legal work. Within a short period, I officially became a paralegal and in 2019 began my training contract.
What is your area of speciality and why did you choose it?
I am presently training in the litigation and licensing team to become an intellectual property solicitor. I am engaged in High Court and Court of Appeal patent litigation, trade mark litigation and the drafting of complex licensing agreements.
I chose to pursue a career in law because I wanted a role that would be unpredictable, stimulating and rewarding. Specialising in intellectual property fulfils that criteria for many reasons, one being that intellectual property law provides insight and access to cutting-edge contemporary innovations, and gifts clients with the commercial edge they need to exploit those innovations.
What does a typical day in your role entail and what do you most enjoy about it/find most challenging?
No day is ever the same, but by way of example the work undertaken might include drafting pleadings and correspondence, carrying out research, corresponding with the client, attending conferences with clients or counsel and attending court hearings.
What I most enjoy about the role is that it is variable as opposed to systematic, which is dissimilar to other areas of law. For example, even if a client were to approach our department with a familiar issue, the client’s innovation and business needs are always unique. The more challenging elements of this role include the demand for meticulous attention to detail and meeting strict deadlines.
What has been the highlight of your career at Potter Clarkson so far?
I think finding out I had been successful in obtaining a training contract and could progress from paralegal to trainee was a highlight for me. It demonstrated both the firm’s and my department’s belief in my ability, as well as the scope of the opportunity for progression in the firm as a whole.
What advice would you give anyone looking to enter the field?
For anybody looking to get a training contract I would recommend spending a lot of time on individual applications and tailoring them to each firm you apply for, ensuring you elaborate on what drew you to that particular firm and how you meet the requirements for the role. Whilst it can be time consuming, and often comes coupled with the pressures of exams and coursework, a generic or unspecific application will not stand out amongst the many.