Tell us about yourself, where you’re from and what you studied in college
My name is Ciara, and I am currently a first seat trainee solicitor with A&L Goodbody (ALG). I am from Laois, and I studied Civil Law in Dublin City University (2016 to 2020).
What attracted you to the grad programme?
When I first started to think about where I wanted to complete my training to become a solicitor, ALG was top of the list and luckily for me, I got to where I wanted to be.
The company’s stellar reputation for being one of the best firms to train with was an obvious attraction for me, as I wanted to train with the best professionals in the legal industry. I wanted to train with a firm that took a genuine interest in their trainees’ learning and growth, both professionally and personally, so training with ALG was a no brainer for me.
What is the graduate programme like?
You complete four rotations through four different departments in the firm which gives you a chance to get involved in transactional, advisory, and contentious work. Throughout the course of the programme, trainees take part in continuous in-house training through the firm’s escalate programme which allows you to put your legal skills into practice while receiving support and feedback from solicitors, associates and partners at every stage. This internal training programme reinforces and refines the skills that you will develop whilst studying on the Professional Practice Course (PPC) so it is an invaluable opportunity afforded to trainees by the firm.
How important is mentorship to you?
I am a huge advocate for mentorship. Without it, I would not be where I am today. My mentors are women who inspire me, whose work and ethics I admire and who above all, are incredibly kind. Everyone should have a mentor who they can turn to for advice and guidance because as the saying goes, it takes a village.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
In 5 years’ time I see myself working as a solicitor in ALG in a practice area that I love and above all else, I see myself being happy with where my journey has taken me.
What’s your advice to graduates applying to the programme?
The best advice I can give is to be yourself. The firm wants to know who you are as a person; they don’t want you to pretend to be someone you think they might like. There are so many of us in the firm who are happy to help with applications and interview tips, so reach out – take all the help and guidance you can get.