This week in our MHC Life series, we speak to Ciara Browne, an associate on our Intellectual Property team. Ciara talks about her career journey to MHC and first job.
Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?
I think I was always drawn to a career as a lawyer. My father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all solicitors before me. My great grandfather was appointed secretary of the Department of Justice by Éamon de Valera and subsequently he acted as a commissioner of the Irish Land Commission. In addition, my grandfather was state solicitor for Kerry. My father still runs a busy practice in Tralee.
I also remember as a child regularly asking my father what case was in court that day. I think my idea of an Irish courtroom was possibly swayed by courtroom dramas at the time, but I do remember some interesting outings to Tralee District Court when I was in transition year. In addition, I've always had an interest in history, english, music and the arts so a career in intellectual property law seemed like a good fit.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a sailing instructor. I have always enjoyed being in the outdoors and I grew up spending most of my summers on the water. It was a great summer job, and I learned a lot about dealing with people, especially those who might have been a bit nervous of the water. I also learned to spot potential issues (for example bad weather approaching) before they might become a problem, a skill which translates well into practice as a solicitor I suppose.
Talk us through a typical day for you
My days can vary quite a bit depending on whether I am in court or at the desk. My work ranges from IP and tech related litigation to general IP advice in addition to trademark filing and prosecution. As such, no day is the same. For days that I am at the desk, I usually try and log on a bit before nine to catch up on emails and look at my to-do list for the day. Then I try and tackle the hardest tasks first as I find my concentration levels for deep work are best in the mornings. I love my morning coffee so I usually take a quick break mid-morning if I can manage.
Most lunchtimes I take a break from the desk and go for a walk if the weather is nice. If I am in the office, I might try and meet a friend or colleague for lunch. Then back to work for the afternoon.
In the evening time, provided I finish up at a reasonable hour, I might go to the gym and swimming pool. In the summer months that might change to a dip in the sea.
What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?
I love music especially going to see live music. I try and go to something at least once a week if I can manage and the Irish music scene is full of talent at the moment.
I also enjoy art and going to art exhibitions as much as possible.
In addition, I would consider myself quite active. I love getting outdoors whether it be going for a surf or climbing mountains when I am home in Kerry. I have also recently returned to playing basketball after an injury last year and I have been enjoying running too.
If I wasn't a lawyer, I would be........
…working at something in the music/film industry or running an art gallery.
What's your idea of a perfect holiday?
My perfect holiday is a mix of activities, adventure, culture and good food with a bit of relaxation/down time in between.
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