As part of our MHC Intern Life series, Andrew Fenton talks us through a typical day as an intern & trainee, and his time studying in Russia.
Talk us through a typical day for you when you were an intern & now as a trainee
I interned in the Commercial Litigation department in 2018. I enjoyed the internship and the work in the department. I quickly found that there is no such thing as a “typical day” in Commercial Litigation. I was asked to attend The Four Courts on most days by the solicitors. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the Courts. I had the opportunity to watch cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal. Apart from time spent in the courts, my team ensured to involve me in the many cases that were going on. There were briefs to prepare and research to be completed.
There were also many social events throughout the internship. My highlights were a trip to GoQuest for all the interns and the Summer BBQ.
As a trainee, I am just coming to the end of my second rotation. My first rotation was in the Corporate Governance Department. I was involved on a number of large transactions, which involved research on various aspects of company and commercial law. I am currently working in the Construction, Utilities and Energy Department. I enjoy working in this department, as there are many interesting areas such as energy regulation, planning and environment law and litigation.
What did you study and why?
I studied European Studies in Trinity College. This is a broad course in which I had the opportunity to study French, Russian, History and Political Science. I have always had a love of history and languages so I enjoyed European Studies. I had the opportunity to spend my third year studying abroad in the Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow, just ten minutes from Red Square. This was undoubtedly the highlight of my time in college. I got to travel around Russia, and make friends from all over the world. Moscow is an amazing city and there is so much to do. I spent far too much time in my local anti-cafe - consume as much as you like but instead you pay for the time spent. I was also lucky to get work as an English teacher and occasionally at youth camps, for teenagers studying English.
What inspired you to venture on this career path / why did you choose law?
I was involved with the Amnesty International society in college. Through the Amnesty International society, I got involved with projects such as the Marriage Equality campaign. This led me to study a Master’s degree in law after finishing my undergraduate degree. I found that studying law was a natural evolution from history and politics. I enjoyed studying law, and soon realised that a career in law would allow me to work in a profession which is constantly dealing with the most complex, relevant and challenging current affairs matters in Ireland and internationally.
What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?
I started playing the trumpet when I was 12. Throughout school, I played in a concert band. We performed in the National Concert Hall every year. Sadly, I never made it as an international trumpet superstar, but there’s still time!
I also love cycling. I love finding new routes around Ireland to cycle. I particularly like cycling in Kerry, which is where I’m going on my “staycation” this year. Just before starting my traineeship in Mason Hayes, I travelled to Vietnam and cycled from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (well, I took a train a bit of the way!). I wasn’t used to cycling in the heat, but it was an incredible experience, and I hope to go back again.
What's the favourite place you've ever visited?
After completing my year of study in Moscow, I embarked on the Trans-Mongolian railway with a group of friends. We travelled through Siberia, Mongolia and China, starting in Moscow and finishing in Shanghai. Most of the train journeys were about 30 hours long, so we played a lot of card games! But I also got to meet many other travelers from all parts of the world on the train journeys. It was incredible to see Siberia. I attempted a swim in Lake Baikal, but even in July, it was too cold. Mongolia was the highlight of the trip. I ditched the trains for a week and went on a camel ride in the Gobi desert.