CLOSING THE CURTAINS ON MY INTERNSHIP
I don’t really know how to wrap up my thoughts on my own internship without sounding incredibly cheesy. Well… I’ll do my best here, but no guarantees.
These past four weeks in A&L have been an excellent experience. We’ve all said the same thing. The firm have won the Grad Ireland award three years in a row for a reason. Nessa and Carmel went above and beyond to ensure that we had an enjoyable experience here and they absolutely exceeded any expectation that we had. From the presentations to the cookery class, the drinks reception and the BBQ, they were the ultimate duo in convincing us to get as involved in life in A&L as possible. They would do absolutely anything for us if they thought it would make our time here that little bit better. Examples include Carmel spamming the IT team until they changed my photo back (yes, for one last time, I’m Sorcha Cusack, not Lynch) and Nessa was invaluable in setting up coffee meetings when we wanted to chat to partners throughout the firm.
From day one when I landed into the firm, I was taken in under the wing of my two wonderful trainee buddies, Jessica and Jolene. Jessica met me for coffee, Jolene picked me up from IT training, they showed me how to use the printers and sent me on little adventures around the firm to get used to the place (granted the printing room is literally one floor down). I know for an absolute fact that I wouldn’t have settled in as quickly if it hadn’t been for my buddies and I can’t thank them enough for everything they did. I’ve absolute no doubt that the novelty of having a new intern wore off fairly quickly and that my pestering must’ve been annoying every now and again, but they never let on as much and that’s something which I really appreciated.
Aside from my buddies, I’ve the entire Competition department to thank for allowing me become a member of their team for the month. I’m STILL waiting on batteries and voice recorders for dawn raid bags.. maybe the next intern will be able to hand them back complete once and for all. We live in hope. The dawn raid bags are just one of the many examples of how patient everyone here has been with me and how excellent they were at making sure that I had enough projects to do to keep me busy for the month. I was constantly invited to sit in on conversations, allowed read over cases, encouraged to get involved and above all else, I was made feel like I was a part of the team, four weeks or no four weeks.
This past week I’ve gotten a little bit more involved in helping out with asylum-seeking cases and doing research for projects of people involved in the collaboration with the Irish Refugee Council. I’ve heard first-hand from other partners how their departments work and I’ve spoken with trainees about how their seats are going for them. I’ve read up on EU Competition Law, I’ve become an expert on the new Directives adopted into Procurement Law and I’ve finally learnt how to unjam both printers, RES2D and RES2C. Basically, even though I’m leaving tomorrow, I can happily say that I’ve wrung every last bit of A&L life I can out of the firm in my brief stint here.
One final group that deserves to get a mention are all the paralegals sitting beside me too. They were constantly full of advice given that most of them were interns here before and they kept me constantly entertained with random conversations and the occasional bit of trivia as they all sat doing Discovery work. I’m still not entirely sure what that involves, but I know that they were great at reaching targets and the odd tea break/chocolate helped. I was even let in on these tea breaks and yet again I’ve another team in A&L to thank for making me feel so included.
I don’t really know what I was expecting from my internship, but I didn’t think I’d leave feeling so attached to the firm. I’d heard plenty about long hours and paperwork, but nothing about how insignificant that becomes when you’re working on the most interesting (and sometimes entertaining) of cases. Coming to A&L has made me realise that I can find a balance between the thrill of life in a commercial law firm and helping out with human rights cases in the pro bono projects. It’s helped me decide exactly what I want to do with my law career and for that, this experience has been invaluable.
We celebrated finishing up the internship with a drinks reception in the Ferryman, dinner in Milano’s and a night out which finished at 5am in Buck’s.
It’s been an excellent month and I genuinely cannot thank everyone in A&L enough for allowing me into their firm for June.
I’d fully recommend anyone and everyone to apply for next year’s round of internships!