Training here

How do I qualify as a patent attorney?

Firstly, and importantly, you will need to have a STEM degree. This is a regulatory requirement in order to sit patent examinations.

UK Qualification

The UK qualification involves sitting five foundation examinations and four final examinations. Study towards the qualification consists of attending in-house tutorials under the supervision of our Training Academy, as well as some external courses.

Unlike some other IP firms, we do not send our trainees on university courses for the foundation level qualification. We believe our internally run tutorials and sitting the exams set people up better for the final examinations. The success of our internal training is evidenced by our higher than average pass rates. Additionally, year-on-year, our trainees win prizes for achieving some of the highest marks.

Within three years of UK qualification, attorneys also complete a litigation skills course. This course is run by an external training provider at one of our UK offices, over a period of four days, with an examination at the end.

European Qualification

The European qualification consists of a pre-examination followed by four examination papers, which are sat the following year. You need to have two years’ professional experience to sit the European examinations.

It typically takes between 4–6 years to become UK and European qualified (‘Dual Qualification’). By this time you will have the skills and experience to take on much more responsibility with more autonomy, but be confident that you have the support of our partners and other experienced attorneys if needed.

Our Training Academy

We are very proud of our Training Academy. Year on year our trainees outperform the national average for exam pass rates and frequently win prizes for the highest marks awarded in exams. This is achieved by utilising our in-house expertise to train and develop our trainees to the highest standard. Additionally, the combination of Away Days, online learning, revision courses and peer support provides a comprehensive set of learning opportunities to develop our attorneys of the future.

Our 2019/20 cohort saw us welcome our 100th trainee into the firm. We celebrated with a party, inviting trainees, M&C exam tutors and others involved in the Training Academy. The Academy Away Days enable trainees to build a peer support network. Away Days are usually rotated around our UK offices and include dinner and an activity the night before. A technical training session is delivered the following day. Personal development sessions also focus on topics such as business development, personal effectiveness and interpersonal skills.

In addition to Away Days we have an online learning system with over 60 learning modules to help trainees prepare for exams. The modules are written and delivered by our qualified attorneys, in line with the exam syllabi. Mobile learning technologies enable trainees to study at a time to suit them – even whilst ‘on the go’ – and provides a comprehensive library of revision materials.

From June to September we focus on revision sessions for the UK exams. First year trainees attend a three day internal revision course, and our more advanced trainees attend external courses alongside in-house sessions and mock exams. For the European exams, trainees typically attend externally delivered courses.

Owing to our years of experience and comprehensive learning resources, we have been able to continue our Academy Programme throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Our trainees continue to receive a high level of support, with weekly training so they can work towards preparing for their exams.

Should Government restrictions continue throughout 2022, we are confident that we can continue to support and develop our trainees to the highest standards.

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