For the cooperative element of Law Plus, I spent June to December in LK Shields Solicitors, Dublin, a commercial law firm with departments in litigation, employment, and financial services to name a few. The firm employs over 130 staff which includes 54 solicitors across six departments.
I was a member of the paralegal team. A paralegal is usually a law graduate or co-op student who is there to support solicitors in the firm, particularly the litigation department. As a team, we worked well together which added hugely to my experience and taught me the importance of having respect and good relations with colleagues. I also had the opportunity to assist the marketing manager in the firm which gave me a great insight into the work involved in maintaining a high reputation in a competitive market.
My working day began at 9am and finished at 5.30pm, although on occasion the team was required to continue working past this time in order to complete urgent tasks.
My days and tasks were always varied which I found made the work very interesting and engaging. When I arrived in the morning I began by checking my emails for tasks that I could assist solicitors with. I would then make contact with the solicitor in charge and begin working on it. Tasks varied from filing and archiving to attending court with a solicitor. I was fortunate to have had great communication with solicitors and trainees alike, therefore I left with a great understanding of life in a commercial law firm.
There were a number of social aspects to life in LK Shields. I joined the tag rugby team over the summer months which was a fantastic way to build good work relations and interact with colleagues on a less formal basis.
Through my cooperative experience I discovered the clear link between the world of work and the course I am doing. I learned that the work of a solicitor is quite focused and requires diligence. My communication and team work skills and my attention to detail have improved during co-op which I will be able to use in the remaining years of my degree and in future when I pursue a career in law.