I interned in the Tax department in June 2016, during the summer of my 3rd year in college. I did not know what to expect at all and going in with no knowledge was a bit daunting. Once I had met the other interns, I realised how we were all in the same boat and started to feel more at ease. A large factor in this was how approachable and friendly people were in my department and across the firm. Over the course of the month I assisted almost all fee earners in the Tax department. Across the board people were warm and welcoming. Even the busiest partners were happy to make time and help me understand the work I was doing. I think this speaks to the ethos of the firm and made the idea of doing a traineeship here much more appealing.
Day to day the work was varied, which helped to keep things interesting. Between research, drafting and attending meetings, I was kept busy and got a good insight into what the typical day is like. Partners and associates made a conscious effort to find somewhere that I could contribute to real work. Although it was often in a minor way, this gave me much more understanding of the work process compared to just being relegated to printing duties, as I had feared might happen during a legal internship. For example, I wrote the first draft of a letter to the Office of an EU Director-General. This involved a lot of research into a policy area I was totally unfamiliar with, co-ordinating with a trainee who was working on the same project and ultimately presenting my draft to the partner who would be using it.
I got the distinct impression throughout the internship that the programme organisers wanted us to get the most value from our experience and encouraging this level of involvement was critical for this. As a student I would not have known much about actually working in a law firm, but my experience in the Arthur Cox internship gave me enough knowledge to make an educated decision in perusing a training contract. I was very pleased to get an offer at the end of June. Spending a month in Arthur Cox before having to decide to train there was really helpful and made it an easy decision to accept.