Trainee Experiences

Conall O’Shaughnessy, Corporate

O'Shaughnessy Conal WU (for web)Conall O’Shaughnessy, Corporate

I completed an undergraduate degree in History and English at Trinity College Dublin. It was always my intention to pursue a career in law, and so I undertook a one year Post Graduate Diploma in law at the Dublin Institute of Technology. In the early stages of this course I applied for and secured a place on the Trainee Development Programme with Arthur Cox. I was in the fortunate position that I could then enter into my FE1 examinations knowing I had a traineeship waiting at the other end.


I have always enjoyed working with different groups of people and in team-oriented environments. During your five rotations as a trainee you come into contact with a vast and diverse range of colleagues and clients. The corporate world and the laws which bind it are constantly changing. The variety of work that corporate law firms undertake never remains static and you have to constantly adapt to new scenarios on a regular basis. This is what attracted me to a career in law.


I completed my first rotation in Finance which covers mostly banking, security and transactional work. I knew relatively little of this area before commencing my first rotation but thoroughly enjoyed my time there. It was fascinating to be involved in work which was so topical and prevalent in Irish political and social spheres at the time. Some of the regular tasks I was involved in included drafting financial and legal documents, meeting clients and attending client advisory meetings, visiting the Companies Registration Office, carrying out research and providing briefs and reports to associates. My second rotation was in Litigation and I am currently working with the Corporate practice group.


You get a huge amount of practical, “on the job” experience whilst working with any practice group. The firm has an open door policy when it comes to asking questions or seeking advice and everyone from trainees, associates, secretaries and partners pull together to get the right result. I never once felt as a trainee that my contribution or suggestion wasn’t valued – and that encourages you to become increasingly innovative and take ownership of your work.


The Trainee Development Programme at Arthur Cox adopts a holistic approach to training solicitors. Each trainee is given the tools they need to become a successful solicitor in an extremely supportive and collaborative environment. This approach has provided me with a more rounded professional experience which will undoubtedly stand to me as I progress in my career.


I’ve had numerous personal highlights so far during my time with Arthur Cox. Winning the much vaunted Solicitors Soccer League with the firm was one of the highlights of the summer. On a purely professional level, being part of closing a deal at a client’s premises was an invaluable and extremely rewarding experience which gave me enormous confidence that the Trainee Development Programme is providing me with all the tools necessary to be a successful corporate lawyer.


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