Share this article:

Stand Out From the Crowd

By Natalie Owen, HR Advisor

Here are our top four tips to ensure that you stand out for all of the right reasons!


When considering your future as a patent or trade mark attorney, do your research! Not just into Haseltine Lake Kempner (HLK) as a firm, and what separates us from other IP firms but into the qualification routes, changes in the industry and timelines to apply for these positions. As a general rule most IP firms hire a year in advance for trainee roles! If possible, try to get a glimpse of what the role looks like, as a trainee and beyond, this may be in the form of work experience, otherwise take a look at the below articles from a couple of HLK attorneys:

Chris Hall – A Day in the Life of a Partner

Grace Wood – Trainee Profile

Nick Davies – A Day in the Life of a Trainee Patent Attorney

Luke Jones – An Insight into Trainee Patent Exams

Choosing firms to apply to

When choosing which firms you would like to apply to, it is important to know what training and support is offered. If you’ve done your research, then you’ll know that the qualification route is very demanding. Finding a firm with a formal training structure will assist in your transition to the IP industry and is reflective of an employer who invests in your development. Here at Haseltine Lake Kempner we have the HLK Academy, which is now in its seventh successful year. The academy is run over two semesters and starts from a trainees first week with us. Ran by a faculty of Partners and Senior Associates from across our fee earning teams, and managers from the operational side of the firm, it provides a great induction to IP and to HLK. We are very proud of the Academy and all of its HLK graduates, but our support only begins with academy and continues right through until qualification and even beyond.


Your research will tell you that you need to apply a year in advance (generally) for trainee attorney roles. Giving yourself enough time to write an outstanding application is priceless; it’s your chance to display your technical ability and enthusiasm for science and technology in the IP industry, communicated in a clear, concise and confident manor.

Top Tip: Check and double check your CV, cover letter and application for any errors!

Your application is your only chance to get your foot in the door, and it must stand out for the right reasons.

Selection days

If you’ve made it through to a selection day then well done. This is an opportunity for you and the firm to get to know one another so it’s important to be prepared to discuss your technical ability/knowledge in detail. Regardless of your discipline, whether it be Chemistry, Physics or Engineering, we value those who are able to confidently communicate technical ideas – this is a key part of the role, whether you’re dealing with clients, colleagues or coaching your own trainee once you’re qualified. As for getting to know the firm, don’t leave the selection day having unanswered questions. The interview process is as much for you as it is us.

Good Luck!