EMILY PETERS IS AN ASSOCIATE SOLICITOR AT THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DEPARTMENT OF BIRD AND BIRD.
IN MY JOB I DO A RANGE OF DIFFERENT THINGS in both contentious and noncontentious patented litigation, online trading and brand PL licensing and the IP aspect of corporate exhibition and sales.
Before I became a solicitor I did a PhD and a conversion course part time, then I did a training contract for two years. For the final six months of my training contract I was sent out to Milton Keynes to work for Mercedes which was excellent, especially because they gave me a car. But that was a really good experience for me because it gave me a better understanding of the client and their pressures, and enabled me to get involved and understand the business side of things more. I joined Bird & Bird after my training contract.
Since I started, the market has changed quite a bit, and firms like it if you have some sort of experience. If you can, get onto a summer scheme or do pro bono work in an advice centre and get some experience. Even going to court and watching a case really helps to show that you’re committed and into a career in law. There’s so much competition to get a training contract, so you need to do anything you can to distinguish yourself. When applying think carefully about the difference between firms and make sure that you highlight the distinguishing features of that firm on your application.