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For the next MHC Intern Life, we talked to Ella O'Meara, a third year law student in Trinity College Dublin and one of our July interns. Ella describes her first week as an intern here.

On Monday morning, my initial jitters quickly vanished the moment I stepped into the office on Barrow Street. The other interns greeted me warmly, and the partner I was to shadow immediately recognised and welcomed me with a casual chat that put me at ease.

The morning was structured yet relaxed, with inductions on IT and Health and Safety, followed by an extensive tour of the building. Each staff member I interacted with reassured me that I was in for an enjoyable and enriching three weeks. This laid-back atmosphere fostered camaraderie among interns, allowing us to mingle freely, even with those from different departments. By the end of the induction, I felt a sense of familiarity with the names and faces of my fellow interns.

The firm’s culture of warmth and non-judgmental acceptance was evident in everyone I met. As lunchtime approached, our assigned trainee buddies joined us, ensuring we didn’t feel anxious or alone. My trainee gave me a tour of the local area and then personally introduced me to everyone in the corporate department, in which I was based. This thoughtful gesture made me feel recognised and valued. By the end of the day, I felt satisfied and calm, eagerly anticipating the three weeks ahead.

On Tuesday morning, we met with the library staff and were assigned to our project groups. For the rest of the day, we focused on team building and visited GoQuest. As the staff pointed out, the interns we meet now will become our colleagues in the future, and these escape rooms were the perfect way to get to know one another in a non-formal environment. This was so much fun and there were plenty of laughs and I imagine this experience will be one of my highlights.

Afterward, we returned to the office area for dinner and drinks at Paulies Pizza. We were joined by partners and senior associates, and it was a great privilege to get to know these people on a personal level and learn about their experiences and their different pathways to law. It was reassuring to see that many of the senior members of the firm also started their careers as interns. This made me feel more confident, knowing that others began their journeys just as we are now. This day particularly bridged the gap between us interns and the senior staff, and it was validating to see how much they cared by dedicating their evening to us. This experience warmed me to the firm even more, as it felt like there was no hierarchy and I felt equal to everyone else. I now feel comfortable asking for help and no longer feel like an outsider.

On Wednesday, we spent our first full day at our desks in our department. It was nice to dive into the work aspect of the internship at this stage. I worked on drafting an ezine, which is an online magazine, relating to aspects of the Companies Act. This was a challenge since this was not something I am familiar with, but it was rewarding to learn something new so quickly. Fortunately, I could send a draft to my senior associate for review before forwarding it to my partner for approval. I also had a coffee meeting with my senior associate to discuss the ezine.

In the afternoon, I began working on my group project, applying the research skills I learned in the library. Listening to the surrounding office conversations, meetings, and phone calls was insightful, giving me a clearer picture of what my future in this department might look like.

On Thursday, I returned to my desk for a day of departmental work and was asked to write an article for the glossary on the website. This made me feel valued and trusted by the team. This assignment focused on the topic of due diligence. I hadn’t learned about due diligence before, so it was interesting to research and start drafting the article. Luckily, my desk neighbour, who has written a book on due diligence, was very enthusiastic about helping me with this task. It’s amazing how much I am learning in such a short space of time.

Before lunch, I was also assigned a case note by a knowledge lawyer in my department, which I have two weeks to complete. This is another new challenge for me, but I feel optimistic about it because I know that everyone in my department, from trainees to partners, will be willing to help me if I need it. The supportive environment here makes me feel confident that I can succeed in this task.

We wrapped up the week by going for drinks at Slattery’s. It was a great opportunity to relax and bond with my fellow interns outside of the office.

Reflecting on my first week at Mason Hayes & Curran, I am genuinely excited for the remainder of my time here. The warm and welcoming atmosphere, combined with the support from the staff and interns, has made my experience truly enjoyable. The opportunities to learn and grow, whether through challenging projects or insightful conversations with senior members, have been invaluable. I look forward to continuing my journey here and I am confident that the next couple of weeks will be equally rewarding and memorable.

Mason Hayes & Curran has certainly made a positive and lasting impression on me, and it would be an honour to progress to a trainee at this firm.

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