As part of our MHC Intern Life series, Fiachra Cooney tells us about his experience in MHC, the move from Clare to Dublin and a summer spent in Vancouver.
Why did you choose law?
When filling out the CAO, I was still uncertain what I wanted to do in life, apart from knowing that science wasn’t for me. I decided to study Business and Law to get a broad degree that would allow me to learn more about the world of business which I enjoyed observing, and law because I always loved a good argument. Throughout college I took a great interest in law and finance, especially the world of investing when participating in the Student Managed Fund. However, it was when I entered into a negotiation competition in UCD that I realised that I would prefer to work in law, as I enjoyed learning how to strategize and negotiate to get the most desirable deal.
Where did you study and why?
I studied in UCD, making the move from Clare despite my friends attending UL or NUIG. This was mainly for the course, but as it turned out I enjoyed the chance to meet new people and Dublin’s superior nightlife. Having completed my final year I now cannot see myself moving home anytime soon.
First impressions of MHC?
Having completed various internships the past few summers, I anticipated more of the same in MHC. However, I have been given far more interesting projects and responsibility than I expected. I will go to court to see the cases I am working on in commercial litigation which should prove fascinating to see play out. I have also been given research tasks which I know will make a valued contribution for cases, which is great experience in addition to practical tasks which have helped me learn the process of litigation. Furthermore, each intern is given a project which requires legal research as well as a commercial focus on how this interacts with MHC’s practice. The open nature of the firm, where everyone from interns to partners sits on an open floor environment, has made it far easier to simply turn and ask experienced colleagues beside me for a helping hand.
What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?
I am a huge sports fan, following GAA, rugby, football and golf. Hurling is my favourite sport, and I regularly follow Clare around the country as well as playing with my local club Clarecastle as much as I can despite the long journey home. I also am a sunshine Liverpool supporter so have been revelling in the recent Champions League glory! I love to get on the golf course in the summer too or even play some pitch and putt in the evenings.
What’s your favourite place you’ve ever visited?
Two summers ago I went to Vancouver on a working holiday visa which was a brilliant experience. While the work on the construction sites was fairly arduous, the lifestyle on the West Coast is so relaxed, especially in such a liberal place like Vancouver. It was the perfect mix of living in a modern city coupled with being within a short distance of scenic canyons, valleys and mountains where we would spend each weekend exploring. The warm weather was a welcome change and it is definitely a destination I would love to revisit.
What was your first job?
I worked until recently as a waiter in a restaurant in Limerick from the age of 17. The experience has been crucial in developing my soft skills, as from the first day I was thrown into the deep end having to contend with furious chefs and demanding customers, as well as working with other employees. You quickly learn how to deal with the kitchen roaring at you to take food or fix mistakes, and on the other hand keep customers happy to earn as much tips as possible to support the college lifestyle! While hectic periods were at first overwhelming, I learned to enjoy working in such a busy, social environment and have made good friends from my part time jobs.