Ruth Walker

What appealed to you about a career as a patent attorney?

Over the course of my physics degree I realised that mathematics was becoming my primary written language, and started to pine for English.  After meeting some patent attorneys at a careers fair I decided that joining the profession would be a good way of exercising my linguistic muscles while staying in touch with developments in science and technology.  Following four years of training at another London firm I was keen to spread my wings and learn more about the less academic aspects of the job.

Why did you choose GJE?

GJE’s emphasis on getting attorneys at all levels involved in business development and client management, as well as their collaborative approach to running the business and training new starters, made it the perfect place for me to develop the non-core skills crucial for career progression.

What’s your typical day like?

A typical day can involve giving a trainee feedback on their new patent application draft for a multinational payment technology company, meeting with a plumber to talk through how we might help him protect the business he wants to build around his neat new gadget, and writing up an IP due diligence report on an oil & gas start-up for their potential investor, occasionally followed by a few drinks with IP solicitors discussing the impact of the latest big court judgement at a networking event.

How would you describe the working culture at the firm?

As a qualified attorney I was given significant autonomy from day one, which was terrifying at first but lead to a very rapid rise in my confidence and breadth of experience.  The open door policy and lack of strict team divisions means that there’s always someone with more experience to discuss options with when I encounter something new.  It also means that trainees and my peers often drop by my office for a chat so I’m able to cement my own knowledge by answering their questions, as well as keeping up with what everyone else is doing, inside and outside work.  The fee earners here work closely with a top quality team of support staff too, which adds to the collaborative atmosphere and means internal procedures run smoothly.

What would you say to someone looking to join GJE?

I’d recommend GJE to anyone who is, or would like to become, the kind of patent attorney who enjoys meeting passionate inventors and bouncing ideas around with colleagues as much as getting into the meat of drafting a complex legal argument or understanding the intricacies of a cutting-edge invention.  In our growing practice you’ll find your days are always busy, but certainly never boring.