This week in our MHC Life series, we speak to Kate Moloney, an Associate on our Medical Law team. Kate talks us through a typical day and her love of books and travel.
Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?
Like most people, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I was filling out my CAO form. Law sounded interesting to study, and I thought I’d figure it out from there! I An open evening in the old Roebuck building at the UCD Law School made my decision for me. It turned out to be the perfect fit. I didn’t know what to expect, but was so fortunate to have Paul Anthony McDermott giving my very first lecture in UCD; he was a phenomenal lecturer and made everything so interesting and accessible. I walked out of the lecture theatre after his class and rang my mother to tell her I was in the right place.
I studied abroad in DePaul University College of Law in Chicago for my 3rd year, and loved every minute. A big highlight was a placement working in the Domestic Violence Courthouse in the southside of the city. We helped men and women seeking restraining orders. It was the first time I’d seen the law in practice and I saw how it can really help people. To this day I’m still inspired by the resilience and strength of the survivors I met during my time there. When I came back to UCD, I wanted to keep that practical side going when I wasn’t in the library, so I got involved in the Student Legal Services, coordinating free legal information clinics and organising various training sessions and competitions.
I applied for Mason Hayes & Curran during my final year in UCD; I was attracted by the wide variety of the work in the firm – I wanted to experience working on major transactions and with international commercial clients, and I was also impressed by the leading practices in the healthcare and charity sectors.
I did a summer internship here in 2016, and have made a home here since then. I sat the FE-1s and then started my traineeship in 2018 - there were 14 of us in the MHC intake that year so it was great to have that group of friends from day 1.
I now work on the Medical team, working on medical negligence cases. The work is varied and always interesting. I’m fortunate to be able to say that I really enjoy my job.
Favourite thing about MHC?
Mason Hayes & Curran has always been a friendly place to work. Training as a solicitor here was great – people genuinely wanted to help you learn. I’ve also made great friends here, so I feel very lucky.
Talk us through a typical day for you
I am not much of a morning person, but the promise of coffee helps! I start my day by checking my emails and my diary, and moving anything urgent to the top of my to-do list for the day. I’ll generally take a break around 10.30am for a coffee and a quick bit of fresh air. If I can at all, I’ll get out for a walk at lunch. On my days in the office, I try to meet a friend or colleague for lunch and a catch up.
Throughout the day, I might have calls and meetings – I could be discussing a case with a doctor or midwife, or speaking to medical experts for input on one of my cases. I’m regularly speaking to surgeons, pathologists, nursing care experts, occupational therapists and psychiatrists for input on different issues that come up. When I’m not in meetings, I’m usually drafting letters and memos, reviewing medical records and drafting advices to our clients. I might also have meetings with our team, barristers or clients to discuss how to proceed with our cases. I regularly have calls with solicitors on the other side of a case to discuss an issue, or to negotiate motions or settlements. I could have a motion in court or be attending a mediation or settlement talks – thankfully, post Covid, some of these are now in person so it’s nice to get a change of scenery every so often!
My work is very enjoyable and varied, but possibly not as glamorous as Suits suggests…
Once I log off in the evening, I generally try to get to the gym for a class or a workout. During the summer months, I like a long evening walk – either meeting a friend or listening to an audiobook. On the rare occasion the weather allows, I love lying out in the park with a book for an hour before dinner. After dinner, it’s Netflix or a good book. I got a Kindle as a birthday present earlier this year and I’m a convert! Just as well, I was running out of space for my books….
If I wasn’t a solicitor, I would be........
An author. I was such a bookworm as a child and always wanted to write a book. I fondly remember a project in 4th class in primary school where we all had to write a short book. I wrote a series of short stories in a scrapbook, and it was picked to be sent to another school’s library for a month – I was absolutely chuffed! I still have the scrapbook somewhere, with illustrations and all! About 10 years ago, I had big plans for a novel and had all my chapter summaries written up, so maybe someday!
“Education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world” - Nelson Mandela.
I had this on a flashcard on the wall above my desk when I was studying, and actually quoted it in my Leaving Cert English essay, which was a speech about what is indispensable in life. My parents are both lecturers, and there are several other lecturers and teachers in the family, so education was always really valued at home. Interestingly, it also fits in really well with the work we do on our MHC RISE committee, focussing on reducing barriers and promoting equity of access to education. We are very lucky to be able to support schools and charities who are doing really wonderful work, and it’s rewarding to be a part of that.
What tv shows have you binge watched recently?
I’d love to pretend I watch really cultured TV, but I’d be lying. I’m rewatching Grey’s Anatomy and I’m obsessed all over again. I work in medical law so I can tell myself it’s research, right?!
What's your favourite place you've ever visited?
I love to travel, so picking my favourite place is so difficult! Earlier this year, I visited my 30th country, Morocco – just before my 30th birthday! It was an amazing trip, full of colour and culture. I spent time exploring the souks in Marrakech, visited rural villages in the Atlas mountains and camped out in the Sahara. We went quad biking through the dessert and surfing in a little seaside town called Essaouira.
When it’s raining here though, I always find myself dreaming of the beaches in Thailand, and the beautiful sunsets with a cocktail in hand! I want to go back and do a scuba diving course.
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Read Kate's recent article: