Graduate Opportunity

Trainee Patent Attorney - Mechanical Engineering


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Life as a trainee Patent Attorney means using your academic background in a stimulating and varied way. Working on innovations and inventions at the forefront of your scientific field.

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 LLP webinar, click here.

“Working with different offices ensures that we get to work with technology in a wide range of fields and get to know everyone really well.” Lucy, Attorney

At Mewburn Ellis we’re collegial, supportive and progressive. With an industry-leading training programme and a rotation scheme that keeps learning fresh and insightful we ensure that you’re set up to develop quickly and learn about the profession from a variety of partners from day one.

“I have found attorneys at Mewburn to be approachable and easy to get along with - they are really great people to learn from.” Dan, Attorney

Trained for Excellence is one of our key values that permeates our firm, the impact of which is evident at every level, indeed over 90% of our partners trained with us.

The training program underpins who we are and our forward-looking, ambitious approach. And as it’s delivered in a structured and focused manner it means that everyone at Mewburn Ellis is able to develop their full potential as a high-level attorney. 

Engineering at Mewburn Ellis – electrical, mechanical, materials

Innovation across the fields of engineering is changing how we live our lives in new and exciting ways. This change covers a wide range of areas from materials engineering which could involve developments in medical devices, graphene or next generation batteries to electrical and mechanical engineering as well as critical new environmental areas such as renewable energy and cleantech.  

We deal with future inventions in an increasingly interconnected world of humans, devices, robots and vehicles which is involving at pace! As Mewburn Ellis works at the very forefront of this change, we have the expertise to advise and help our clients to use intellectual property rights to nurture and protect their innovations, ideas and inventions and deliver them to market.

Engineering and electronics are particularly fast-moving dynamic growth areas for our business and the team is growing quickly due to our reputation for quality, the expertise of our people and our strong client relationships. Join us and you could work in these fields with a range of clients from well-known companies such as Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, PING through to new start-ups and innovation leading universities such as Cambridge and Imperial.

“Disruption is an overused term in the media, but we really do see it driving some exciting innovation across all areas of engineering. As such these are particularly stimulating and challenging times to be a patent attorney in this field, and we have an important role to play in supporting technological advances towards securing a clean and sustainable future for our planet.” Simon, 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 program 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 engineering 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. 

What’s in it for you?

  • A friendly, inclusive and team-based working culture
  • A blended office and home working approach
  • 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 patent 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 rapidly in the last few years, now with over 330 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.

Read about out Forward Community Programme to find out more on how we're giving back to the community, our commitment to sustainability and how promoting and nurturing diversity and inclusion is a top priority.

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 is essential and having an open-minded personable approach to learning will also serve you well!

If the role sounds appealing and you could start your career journey with us in Bristol, Cambridge, London or Manchester we’d love to hear from you.

We’re committed to equal opportunities and welcome a broad diversity of talent to apply.

Your privacy

As part of our recruitment process, Mewburn Ellis collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants. Read our Job Applicant Privacy Policy for more details.

We've signed the Gradcracker feedback pledge.

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


How to Apply

Please 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

    4. In the email you send to us please specify where you heard about our vacancy, from the list below:

  • University - please specify / IP Careers / Gradcracker / LinkedIn / CIPA / BB Stem / STEM Women / Referral / Word of Mouth / Other - please specify
  • Please also provide any dates you are unavailable for interview

If you have questions about your application, please contact us at Since we prefer to use e-mail to arrange interviews, please send your application email from the address to which you would like us to reply.

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

  • Deadline: December 9th, 2022
  • Multiple vacancies
  • Starting Salary: Competitive + benefits
  • All grades
  • Bristol, Cambridge, London and Manchester
    (Show map)

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Control & Instrumentation
  • Electrical
  • Electronic
  • Materials & Minerals
  • Materials Science
  • Mechanical
  • Mechatronics

Also Accepting...

  • All STEM disciplines

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