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We asked June intern Ben Lacey to share some advice for our future interns. Ben just finished his BCL in DCU.

Once you start your internship it is important to embrace the opportunity to learn about the firm and take full advantage of your three weeks here. These are some tips on how to put your best foot forward and get the most out of your first week within the firm.

Don’t be nervous

It seems daunting starting in a big firm at first, especially on your way in for your first day when you’re not sure what to expect. However, there is no need to be nervous starting as you will be in the same boat as your fellow interns. The process on your first day makes it easy to settle in, you meet the rest of your intake straight away before starting your induction where you get to meet your buddy and mentor. It is important to remember that it is a great achievement to have secured your internship and that you now have a great opportunity to get to know the firm. By meeting and connecting with your colleagues on your first day and getting to know your buddy and mentor your nerves will disappear.

What to wear

There is no strict dress code within the firm as HR will let you know before you start. It can be difficult to decide what to wear to the office particularly for your first day. In general, smart casual is a safe option with most wearing a pair of trousers/chinos, a shirt and formal shoes. This is perfect for day to day in the office but it may be necessary to dress more formally if you are going to court or attending client meetings.

Say hi

You’ll quickly notice the friendly and approachable atmosphere around the office, and it is great to talk to as many people as possible. It is a good idea to say hi and introduce yourself when walking past people around the floors or in the lifts. After my buddy showed me to my desk on my first day, I got the chance to briefly meet most of the floor which really helped me to settle in and encouraged me take advantage of networking opportunities.

Get to know your team and fellow interns

The size of the internship intake here is perfect, as it is possible to get to know all your colleagues early on. Everyone is nervous on the first day, so it is a good idea to get to know each other during the first week. This is made much easier by the bonding afternoon which takes place during your first week which really helps in creating a friendly environment amongst the group.

As you will hear from the newly qualified solicitor talks and inductions a lot of trainees and solicitors within the firm met each other as interns and have remained friends and colleagues. Getting to know the rest of your intake is a great way to settle in quickly and enjoy your first week as much as possible. Getting to know your team is also very important for settling into your internship and will really help you feel more comfortable asking all of your questions and trying new types of work.

It’s all about learning

It is natural to be nervous about the work you’re given at first as it may not be something you have ever done before. It’s important to remember that you’re not expected to be an expert and that an important part of the internship is to learn as much as possible about the firm and what a trainee solicitor might do in your team.

It is important to take the chance to learn as much as possible. The inductions are very useful for this as well as the library which offers extensive resources for legal research which is very useful for the group project as well as for the work you do within your team. It is also important to ask questions as it’s the best way to learn. I also found it very useful to observe how colleagues write and structure their emails and to try and take this on board. Everyone is extremely approachable, and the open plan lay out of the office emphasises this which makes it easy to ask any questions you might have for your team. Asking questions shows that you’re interested and helps you learn as much as possible about the practice area you’re in and the firm in general.

Learn More About our Internship Programme

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