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This week in our MHC Life Series, we hear from Jane Bourke, a senior associate on our Intellectual Property team. Jane chats about everything from her long route to law to her love of Japan.

Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?

I took a long and rather unusual route to law. I started my career in hospitality management. I had a notion about opening my own restaurant as an owner/ chef but I realised my passion for food was not a vocation. In the end I swam with the tide by following my father into law. My interest in trade marks, piqued while majoring in marketing as part of my undergraduate degree, lead me to attend the LLM in intellectual property and information technology course in UCD. Later I qualified as an Irish and EU trade mark agent.

Which sector do you work in?

I work as a senior associate in the intellectual property team in the commercial litigation department. Our team is unusual because we get to work on contentious and non-contentious matters. Even though it is a very specialised area, the work can be very varied. For example, in one day we can be working on a patent infringement commercial court matter, and separately advising a client on how to protect its intellectual property.

Talk us through a typical day for you

I walk my little fellow (15 months old) and my daughter (3) to creche and preschool. I get at least a 10-minute yoga session before I sit at the desk. I drink large volumes of coffee. We may have an early team meeting, otherwise its head down until lunch. I try to walk for 30 minutes at lunchtime. The kids are home at around 5.30pm and depending on work demands I might run up and help with the bath or do story time. Typically, I finish at about 7.30pm or 8pm. I would love to say I read every evening but sometimes my appetite to read is gone after reading all day, TV is often more appealing and at the moment Wordle is also all consuming. To help unwind I listen to podcasts going to sleep.

What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?

I kickbox, run/walk and do yoga/Pilates. I love to surf but I haven’t had much opportunity since the babies arrived. I find cooking and shopping for food very soothing.

What books have you read recently?

After reading Klara and the Sun I am going through a Kazuo Ishiguro phase. I read The Remains of the Day during the Christmas break. I am currently reading Never Let Me Go.

What's your idea of a perfect holiday/favourite place you've ever visited?

Burma/Myanmar and Japan are my top two. Burma is very unspoiled and as a result it is spectacular. After exploring various areas (Lake Inle, Mandalay and Bagan) I stayed in a deserted beach area with coconut trees and huts on the beach. Nothing beats falling asleep to the sound of the sea. Japan is steeped in history, very quirky but also safe so its an ideal place to explore as a lone female traveller. There is so much to see and the fast speed Shinkansen train makes it easy to navigate although I did end up getting on the wrong train once or twice.

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