Mindful of the
fact that September is the time when young and newly qualified
lawyers in many countries are starting new jobs, we devoted
this month’s IP Clinic
to career advice. The September
issue is now online, and you can read what they have to
The contributors were Mayank Vaid (IP director,
Asia-Pacific, Louis Vuitton), Anna Carboni, a solicitor with
the law firm Redd in London (and former barrister) and Bob
Baechtold, who is a patent lawyer with Fitzpatrick Cella in New
Coming from an in-house perspective, Mayank (left) singled
out the importance of planning your career, as IP has become
more specialised: "You must really drill down to focus on what
interests you." He also highlighted understanding your
business: learn about the industry, read the annual report, get
an MBA. "This will help lawyers connect with their clients, who
are often non-legal people, and understand what is important to
them," he said.
Bob Baechtold (right) said there are three basic skills
essential for patent specialists, which you have to constantly
work to improve: technology, legal and communication skills.
The last of these can be the toughest, he added: "People with
technology backgrounds are very good at communicating with
other people with similar backgrounds, but find it hard to be
persuasive to non-specialists."
Anna (left), who specialises in trade mark and copyright
work, highlighted the importance of listening to clients ("not
all clients want the same type of work product, so you have to
be a bit of a chameleon") and developing the business.
"Partners and senior staff should be encouraging junior staff
to develop their knowledge and network, including by attending
events and lectures, reading and writing on subjects that
Diverse advice from practitioners in three different areas
– but one common theme was the need constantly to
reevaluate your professional aims and skills. Bob described how
patent lawyers should take courses to keep up-to-date in
technology, read the latest cases and solicit advice from
colleagues, while Anna said: "Don’t be afraid to
try different things and stretch yourself."
Read all three articles (
IP Clinic: What advice do you have for someone starting out on
a career in IP?) in our September issue –
subscription or free trial required.
What advice would you give someone starting out in IP? Click
on the comment button to share your professional wisdom.
Finally, if you are starting a new job, or even embarking on
a completely new career this year, good luck! And click on the
comment button to let us know the best piece of advice