Graduate Opportunity

Trainee Patent Attorney – Physics and Computer Science

Bristol, Cambridge, London & Manchester. Multiple vacancies.

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Exciting developments in computing and physics are driving disruptive innovation in the fields of artificial intelligence, information and communications technology, robotics, medical technology and the Internet of Things. As these developments continue to transform our daily lives, it’s never been a more exciting time to be part of the world of physics and computer science. At Mewburn Ellis we are the forefront of this change and we advise and help our clients use intellectual property rights to nurture and protect their innovations, ideas and inventions and deliver them to market.

"I spent a long time looking at different options"

Isobel, Patent Attorney in Engineering at Mewburn Ellis, describes how she discovered her ideal career path. To watch the full Gradcracker/Mewburn Ellis webinar, click here.

The accelerating development seen in these fields involving big data, machine learning, software development are challenging the legal limitations surrounding the patentability of computer-implemented inventions. This often means we are involved in pioneering work at the very forefront of innovation. These emerging areas include optics and photonics, bioinformatics, quantum computing, Blockchain and extended reality. Join us and you could work in these fields with a range of clients from well-known companies such as Unilever and Mitsubishi Electric through to new start-ups and innovation leading universities such as Cambridge and Imperial. 

“As the fourth industrial revolution gathers pace, innovation in computer science is booming.  Computer-related inventions arise from a diverse range of technical fields and patent work in this area is exciting, fast paced and challenging.” Emma, Attorney

The role

Reflecting the exciting technology spaces in which our clients operate, you will work closely with colleagues across our engineering, technology and physics practice group but also with attorneys from our life sciences and chemistry practice groups, as well as our solicitors and trade mark team. We take a holistic approach to IP and that will be a theme throughout your training and beyond.  

Our training programme is varied sometimes challenging but always rewarding. You will be invested in to grow personally and professionally. There’ll be lots of learning and opportunities to put your physics or computer science background to good use. 

Our unique rotation scheme gives you the opportunity to work with different mentors and across different areas allowing you to develop as an attorney and find your niche.

You will sit with a qualified patent attorney and assist them with all parts of their work, including drafting and prosecuting patent applications and advising clients about various aspects of intellectual property law. Essentially we provide you with all the tools you need to become a Trusted Advisor to clients, helping you use your scientific background in a legal context. 

About You

We look for individuals with a curious, enquiring mind. Excellent communication skills, especially in writing, are vital. General commercial awareness is valuable but no prior knowledge of patent law is required. A strong academic background with a relevant STEM degree (for example Computer Science or Physics) is essential and having an open-minded personable approach to learning will also serve you well!

What’s in it for you?

  • A friendly, inclusive and team-based working culture
  • A generous remuneration and benefits package
  • Enhanced pension scheme 
  • 30 days' annual leave (not including bank holidays & additional study leave days)
  • Wide range of domestic and international clients
  • The possibility of working abroad

You’ll be well supported to pass your exams as well as develop your all-round skills as a trade mark attorney through our internal and external tutorials and regular input from experienced partners, backed up by feedback on your progress to inform and assist your development. And because we’re merit-based, your career progression is truly in your own hands.

We are a leading, top tier European intellectual property law firm and have expanded by 50% in the last 3 years to 290 colleagues. In many ways our successful growth story is down to our training and our long-term commitment to the wellbeing of our people.  As part of this we have a variety of informal sporting and social events as well as running various charity initiatives. 

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How to Apply

Candidates wishing to apply for a graduate vacancy should apply by email to with the following attachments:

1. CV (which should include):

  • Full name (inc. any middle names)
  • Current address
  • Secondary School and KS4 (e.g. GCSE) subjects and results
  • 6th Form College and KS5 (e.g. A-Level) subjects and results
  • Degree (course, University, and results), and details of any higher degree
  • Nationality and if work permit to work in UK is required*

2. Covering letter (which should include):

  • Reasons for applying
  • Activities and interests – what you enjoy doing in your spare time
  • Any other relevant information

3. Two pieces of written work explained below

  • In the email you send to us please specify where you heard about our vacancy
  • Please also provide any dates you are unavailable for interview

Written work

We require the following pieces of written work:

For applications for trainee patent attorney vacancies

  1. A short description of a kitchen implement having moving parts, which explains what the implement does, how it is constructed and works and which explains any clever features it has.  (No more than 600 words, and not an electrical appliance such as a toaster or microwave)
  2. A single sentence which defines the essential features of a pair of scissors and which distinguishes scissors from a pair of cutting pliers (e.g. wire cutters). For example, one might define the distinction between a “door” and a “sash window” as a cover which is positioned by an opening in a wall and which can be pivoted to vary the extent to which it blocks the opening.
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