Aoife Gibbons, BA Criminal Justice, spent her placement at Keating Connolly Sellors
The Ideal Placement
The University of Limerick has one of the best co-operative placements in Europe giving students unrivalled clinical experience of 6–8 months during the course of their degree. I embarked on my co-op journey in March when I first did an interview for Keating Connolly Sellors. I was very lucky to be offered a placement as they are one of the leading solicitors firms in Limerick. Keating Connolly Sellors is located on Glentworth Street in Limerick City, which is ideal for students of UL as there is a bus service directly to the City from the University that allowed me to continue renting in the Castletroy area near the college. There are 35 staff members in the firm, 15 of which are solicitors. The firm engages in many different areas of law but can generally be broken up into litigation, commercial, corporate and banking.
A Dynamic Experience
It is hard to know where to begin regarding my experience in Keating Connolly Sellors as I have learned so much from the work I have been involved in to date. I began working in the firm in June of 2018. I am currently part of the banking/litigation department, however, I started off in the conveyancing department of the firm. As I had no legal background whatsoever, it was here that I not only learned about this specific area of the legal profession but also the workings of a law firm and how to behave in an office environment. Each member of staff has helped me at some point, from scheduling documents or becoming accustomed with the case management system used in the office at the beginning of my placement. More recently, I have had opportunities to accompany and aid solicitors at auctions, High Court settlement talks and meetings with counsel.
Great Learning Opportunities
I was surprised at how much I learned in relation to some of my modules, which would not be of a law-related nature. For example, as I wrote to the County Council a number of times for different conveyancing issues, I began to understand the layout of the departments within the government body and the roles within those departments along with duties carried out by the individuals in these roles. This will undoubtedly be helpful to me not as part of my general knowledge going forward but specifically in relation to my upcoming module in Public Administration. That is a clear example why Sellors was an ideal firm for me to complete my co-op as a Criminal Justice student as I’m sure it would be for any ambitious student.
Although the legal profession may seem difficult, intense and tedious at times, dedication and perseverance is how one learns and builds on their skillset. As Derek Walsh, a solicitor at Keating Conolly Sellors, said to me, ‘calm seas does not a skilled sailor make’, meaning that there would be no reason for solicitors if the work that they do was easy, the reason for a client to engage a solicitor is to assist with a problem that they are having and it is your duty from that point on as a solicitor to work towards solving this problem. It is clear to see that the accomplished solicitors at Keating Connolly Sellors work diligently to achieve this and find a sense of reward and satisfaction upon completion of a case.