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From Science to Law: An Interview with Dr. Julie Nixon

2 Sep 2015

Changing Careers Law

An Interview with Dr. Julie Nixon

It’s not every day you meet a qualified scientist who turned her career towards commercial law, but that’s exactly what Dr. Julie Nixon did. A life scientist with a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh, Julie’s life science career led to her interest in the commercialisation of intellectual property.


After hearing the story of a US scientist turned lawyer, Julie realised that her scientific background provided a solid foundation and a suite of benefits to the legal profession.


We had the pleasure of sitting down with Julie who is an IP, Commercial and Corporate Solicitor at MBM Commercial to hear more about her exciting career journey and gain insight into what it takes to succeed in the dynamic legal world.


Name: Dr. Julie NixonMBM Commercial Julie Nixon

Title: Solicitor

Company: MBM Commercial LLP



James WithersLaw is not a 9-5 job, but if you enjoy being a solicitor the long hours are worth it for the satisfaction you get from your work.



What got you into law?

I always loved (and still do) science, but I felt an academic career was not for me. When I was a post-doc at the Harvard School of Public Health I attended a talk by a US lawyer who had been a scientist.

I realised that I could utilise my scientific knowledge as a solicitor, and in fact it could be advantageous when working with life science companies.

When I returned from the USA I discovered that Strathclyde University ran a part-time law degree course over five years, so I thought “why not?!” I think it has all worked out well for me.


What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I am really lucky that my firm, MBM Commercial LLP, encourages me to get out to events to network. During my three years at the firm I have met so many interesting people, and established great working relationships with some.


I genuinely love my job, from the business development aspect to drafting a legal document that I know will be important for a client’s business. I like feeling I make a difference for the client and I can add value by making introductions or supporting them through social media.


What do you wish you had known about the legal profession before you started?

That I didn’t need to put so much pressure on myself! I think because this was my second career I am perhaps more focused than I was first time round, but remembering to have some fun doing your job is really important.


I work with a great group of colleagues and that really helps in stressful situations.


Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in the legal profession?

Love your job! I think that being passionate about what you do comes over in your relationships with clients. Law is not a 9-5 job, but if you enjoy being a solicitor the long hours are worth it for the satisfaction you get from your work.


Thank you to Julie for taking part in this interview. If you're a lawyer looking for your next challenge, why not check out our latest legal roles in Scotland? We can also help your business find the right legal talent, to find out more - get in touch.


About MBM

MBM Commercial is an award-winning niche commercial legal firm which has a focus on working with investors, entrepreneurs and high growth companies. Many of their clients work in the technology sectors, including biotechnology, life sciences and healthcare.


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