From Oxford to Silicon Valley and back home

25 February 2016

Taylor Jane cropped2011 Law Scholar Jane Taylor has spent the past few years working for one of the biggest law firms in Silicon Valley, providing intellectual property advice and drafting contracts for startups, primarily in the life sciences area.

“It was a combination of a little bit of luck and a little bit of being in the right place at the right time.” Jane said. “I don’t have a science background, but fortunately for me they were open to hiring people willing to learn and work hard as opposed people with specific intellectual property/science experience.” She believes her time spent at Oxford was instrumental in helping her get the job in a competitive international market.

For Jane there were clear benefits to working with a Silicon Valley law firm for a few years. “Junior lawyers get a lot of responsibility and autonomy to interact with clients. They have a strong commercial focus and expose you to what’s going on in Silicon Valley.” She worked with clients ranging from small medical device startups to advising on a $300 million initial public offering for a cancer immunotherapy company. The work was challenging, and Jane said it was a great opportunity to build confidence and develop commercial skills.

Initially working in environment and planning litigation in Sydney, Jane returned to Australia in 2015 with the aim of progressing her career down the litigation path. She has been volunteering with the environmental litigation team at EDO NSW, and is planning to go to the bar later this year. Once at the bar, she is hoping to do a mix of commercial and public law work. “Silicon Valley was great and very business oriented. I learnt a lot from my colleagues and enjoyed transactional work, but missed the more academic side of litigation.”

While Jane will be busy building her career and preparing for the bar, she’s also making time for hiking and bushwalking – and she’s just signed up for a half marathon.

Tags: Menzies Scholar Law