As part of the BCL (International) programme in UCC I had the opportunity to spend a year studying in the University of Copenhagen. After such a great theoretical learning experience, I was intent on getting some practical legal experience. Arthur Cox was the perfect place to do so as I really wanted to find out what work in a commercial firm would be like.
I interned in the Infrastructure, Construction and Utilities department and I was immediately drawn to the large and varied projects the team were working on, as well as their reputable clients. The firm places a huge emphasis on getting to the point and telling a client the law as clearly and concisely as possible. This focus was a big change from the academic world where you give a detailed history of a legal point with all manner of dissenting commentaries. During orientation we were given training and workshops to help us with researching and drafting. These sessions were hugely helpful and allowed us to hit the ground running with work in our various departments.
One thing that really struck me was how I was made feel part of the team. It’s a given that everyone is friendly and welcoming and I was always invited to lunch with various partners, associates and trainees. I sat in on client phone calls and even attended negotiation meetings outside the office. As an intern I was treated like any other member of the team and I really appreciated that. My work included researching for partners, drafting updates and client briefings in the area of Public Procurement, preparing briefs to counsel, client finance notes and further work in Project Finance, PPP and wind farms.
I contributed at team meetings, regularly updated the team on my work and helped my colleagues out with their workloads. It really helps that you are given a “Trainee Buddy” from within your department. I found this to be a huge support and I plagued mine with questions as I got to grips with the department and their work!
As part of the internship, many social events were organised for the interns. This allowed us to get to know one another outside of work and blow off some steam after the hard working week. We visited escape rooms, tried our hand at trampoline dodgeball and had a great meal out to wrap up the internship. We also had the opportunity to contribute to the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme, swapping our suits for shovels and spending a day gardening at the ARC Cancer Support Centre.