Rebecca McBride - CITMA Council Paralegal representative

RebeccaMcBrideHaving worked as a paralegal in various departments for Pinsent Masons, Rebecca completed the CITMA Paralegal qualification in 2017 and began working as an IP paralegal in January 2018. We spoke with Rebecca to find out why she wanted to join CITMA's Council as the Paralegal representative, the challenges facing IP paralegals and the impact of introducing a CPD requirement for CITMA Paralegal members.

Rebecca's role as a Council member is designed to offer more diversity and a broader representation of the membership on the Council. Although Rebecca will have no formal voting rights, she will engage with and be able to directly influence the discussions and decision making process.

What is your job title?

IP Paralegal at Pinsent Masons

When did you take the CITMA Paralegal qualification?

I took the CITMA Paralegal qualification in 2017, it was a great experience and something that I would highly recommend to those working or interested in trade marks. You leave with a valuable qualification, a deeper understanding of trade marks and a new network of friends.

What do you hope to get out of being on Council?

I am delighted to have been elected to Council for two years. I hope to contribute ideas and represent the voice of paralegals and bring about positive change that makes a real difference for CITMA paralegals. Paralegals form an increasing part of not just the trade mark industry but the wider legal profession, and therefore I hope to be able to share this broad experience. Ultimately, I would like to qualify as a trade mark attorney and therefore I would like to understand better the profession as a whole.

Why did you put yourself forward for the role?

Joining CITMA Council at a time when navigating through Brexit will be an interesting challenge for the trade mark industry and seemed like an incredible opportunity to be involved in!

What made you become interested in IP?

Intellectual Property was my favourite elective at University as I really enjoyed the dynamic nature and challenges of IP Law, particularly trade marks. I also completed work experience at the former Scott and York, and found the work of a Trade Mark Attorney fascinating. This inspired and encouraged me to pursue a career in IP.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for IP paralegals?

Brexit! Trade Mark Paralegals will face the challenge of handling the administration of trade marks when Brexit happens. I think more targeted guidance needs to be given to support paralegals in what will be a substantial change in the day to day work of trade mark paralegals.

Before your current role what were you doing?

Before my current role I worked as a paralegal in various departments at Pinsent Masons in London, whilst being proactive in building my experience in IP through further learning and work experience.

In the next 5 years, I hope to...

Qualify as a Trade Mark Attorney, and teach one of the topics on the CITMA Paralegal Course.

What impact will CPD for CITMA Paralegals have on the profession?

Paralegals will benefit from having a broader scope of knowledge, a greater sense of community and the opportunity to meet and learn from other paralegals.