Our paralegals and business support staff are what make this firm tick. They keep our clients happy, keep everything running smoothly and manage not only their own work but also the workflows of our attorneys, monitoring key deadlines and ensuring work is completed on time.
So, we’ve developed a new 2 year programme, our Paralegal Academy, designed to give you the skills you need to prepare you for a fast-paced role as a patent paralegal.
From day one you’ll be involved with clients, attorneys, partners and other members of the firm working on real cases. We’ll expect you to speak up if you see opportunities for improving things, be proactive in finding solutions to problems and work as part of a team to get things done.
Phase 1: New Starter
Timing: for up to 1 year after joining the firm.
Key activities: induction, introduction to patents, European patent process; billing and finance; tools and system
In your first year you will rotate through 3 placements covering various aspects of the European patent process along with one placement in our finance department. During this time you’ll be mentored by a qualified attorney who will help guide you in your training.
As well as on-the-job experience on your placements, you’ll spend part of your time completing your specific paralegal training through a combination of courses, online and self-guided learning. In this first year this will be focussed on understanding the fundamentals of how we protect our client’s IP in Europe, learning about the financial aspect of our business and becoming an expert in our internal tools and systems.
Timing: second year after joining the firm.
Key activities: UK and overseas patents, introduction to trade marks and designs; business development and client care; joining CIPA as an IP paralegal member.
By now you’ll have a sound understand of how European patents work. You’ll start expanding this knowledge by looking at how we support our clients in the UK and other countries as well as extending your understanding of intellectual property with an introduction to trade marks and designs. You’ll get involved in understanding how we meet our clients’ specific needs as well as how we grow our business. By the end of the year you will have a solid understanding of how all aspects of our business fit together.
From September to January you’ll attend the completing the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorney’s (CIPA) Patent Administrator course and sit the exam in January. Successful completion of this will result in you joining CIPA as an IP paralegal member.
Phase 3: Qualification as a patent paralegal.
Early in your third year, you will complete the last of your training modules and qualify as a patent paralegal.
You’ll then be ready to move on to your next role. For this, we’ll work with you to find your strengths and the areas you enjoy most. You’re likely to join our patent paralegal team, perhaps with responsibility for a particular client or alternatively specialising in a particular area of patent procedure or law. If available, you may also elect to take a role in another area of our business, such as in the finance or marketing team.
Your training will be such that you should slot in easily into whichever position you take, making a full contribution from day one. With the breadth of the paralegal training programme you will also be mobile within the firm, allowing you to move smoothly between teams as work priorities and your own interests change.
Your contact with the Paralegal Academy won’t end there though – we’ll ask you to help the course evolve and to assist with training our new round of paralegals.
Phase 4: Paralegal and beyond
With a track record as a patent paralegal, your next steps await you. You could find yourself becoming the firm’s expert in a particular area of the patent process or heading up a paralegal team. If you really shine, you could eventually end up joining our management team.