We asked Louise Mulrennan for advice she would give her younger self in prior to joining the firm. Louise completed her internship in 2020 and is now completing her traineeship with us.
Applying for the internship here was the best decision of my career to date as it led me to where I am today, a trainee in one of Ireland’s leading law firms.
I studied Law and Political Science in Trinity College Dublin and I completed my internship in the summer following my 3rd year at university. Anxious to find out whether I wanted to qualify as a solicitor (and what it even meant to “practice law”), I figured 4 weeks interacting with lawyers at all stages of their careers would be a good place to start.
Securing your internship
The quality of application is usually directly related to one’s level of interest – so put time into it!
Proof it, and proof it again. And again.
Use your cover letter wisely – don’t just rehash what your CV already says. Take the opportunity to show the firm why you deserve a place on the programme, what makes you stand out, and why you would be a good “fit” for the firm. If you studied a joint degree (like me), or come from a non-law background, use this to your advantage.
I already had an awareness that Mason, Hayes & Curran wishes to distinguish itself from other large firms through its focus on “plain English”. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, google it. It is a very admirable endeavour and something the firm prides itself on.
I also knew that the firm was quite a “sporty” firm, and I had a good grasp on its corporate social responsibility initiative RISE (again, google it!). When discussing my own passions and hobbies, I therefore made a conscious effort to weave in MHC’s annual charity cycle and hike afternoon, or its support of the visual arts. The Latest section of the website will help you with this.
Solid preparation will also prove rewarding when it comes to the actual interview. Treat it like a Katie Taylor boxing match, if you will. Look at the strong answers that you provide as the equivalent of points being scored by the judges for punches landed. A flurry of strong answers will really impress the judges (aka your interviewers). Never a bad idea to know of some recent high profile or interesting cases that the firm has been involved in. Also, a good shout is to have one or two questions for the interviewers in your back pocket. It shows you are clued-in, enthusiastic, and engaged.
The converse applies in that if you have an area that is somewhat weak – then prep on how to defend that perceived weakness is key. Nobody is perfect, and interviewers know that. They want to know less about why you have a low grade in your equity module, for example, and more about what you learnt from that “shortcoming”.
My internship confirmed to me that not only did I want to qualify as a solicitor in Ireland, but also that I wanted to undergo my training here. I hope you apply for the internship and get as much out of it as I did.
Head over to our Graduate Hub for more information.