Christopher O’Reilly, Technology and Innovation
I studied Law in Trinity and went on to do an LLM in Intellectual Property at the London School of Economics. I have a keen interest in Intellectual Property and IT Law, so a corporate law firm was the natural place to gain experience in that area. I decided in my final year in Trinity that this was an area of law I would like to work in and so applied to Arthur Cox.
I have completed two rotations in the office. My first seat was with Litigation and at the time I joined the team they were leading up to a large commercial court trial. I was given a great variety of work in preparation which varied from a research memo on company law to finding a location in a foreign jurisdiction where a witness can give video evidence to the High Court; it turned out Skype is not an option!
My second seat was with the Finance team and I found it to be extremely interesting. While I was there I worked on a large loan sale, and several corporate borrowing transactions. The trainee’s role on the team can be anything from attending transaction closings, to arranging the swearing of documents, to drafting. I found that while you were given a lot of responsibility, there was always someone on the team to ask for help and check any issues that arose.
The team you are working with have years and years of combined experience in the area of law you’re working in at that time. At most, a trainee will have 4 months. So, you seek out the views of more experienced colleagues so that you get the most out of your rotation and the clients get the most out of the work you do.
One of the great things about the trainee program in Arthur Cox is the “All Trainee” emails. If you’re given a task by a team, it’s highly likely the trainee before you or the trainee before them will have found a way to complete it fast, or will have the answer to your research question. Sending an email to all the trainees in the building will usually produce an answer or a starting point in a fraction of the time it would have taken alone.
My career highlight was while dealing with a litigation matter. The team had been delivered a large number of documents and the client was looking for advice reasonably quickly. While working through the documents I noticed a clause relating to the structure of one of the group companies which opened up a new option to the client. I actively contributed to the work being done and to the end product which was delivered to the client and that felt great.