Graduate Opportunity

Trainee Patent Attorney – Chemistry

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Advances in chemistry are central to cutting-edge technology in a huge range of industries. As well as examples from the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors (developing renewable fuels or recyclable plastics for instance), chemists today are also creating the novel materials building the technology of tomorrow, in fields as diverse as electronics, aerospace, automotive technology and medical devices.

Whether the subject matter is dyes or drugs, catalysts or composites, polymers or pesticides, flavourings or fibreglass our highly-skilled technically diverse chemistry team cover every aspect. The clients we work for are as varied as the technical areas we cover from well-known companies such as Unilever to start-ups, spin-outs and prestigious universities. 

What do you need to be a Patent Attorney?

We speak to Intellectual Property firm Mewburn Ellis about what you need to embark on a career as a Patent Attorney. To watch the full Gradcracker/Mewburn Ellis webinar, click here.

The role

Reflecting the exciting technology spaces in which our clients operate, you will work closely with colleagues across our chemistry practice group but also with attorneys from our life sciences and engineering, technology and physics 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 chemistry background to good use. Our unique rotation scheme gives you the opportunity to work with different mentors and across different areas of chemistry 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 in chemistry (relevant STEM degree) 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. 

We've signed the Gradcracker feedback pledge.

(This means that we will supply feedback if requested after an interview.)


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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Opportunity Overview

  • January 20th, 2022
  • Multiple vacancies
  • Competitive salary + benefits
  • All grades
  • London, Cambridge, Bristol and Manchester
    (Show map)

Disciplines accepted...

  • All STEM disciplines

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