Where are you now?
Currently, I am working as a Corporate Paralegal in the London office of premier New York City law firm, Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP. This role will last for one year.
I have also secured a Training Contract at leading London law firm, Macfarlanes LLP. I will begin the LPC in January 2017 before commencing my traineeship in September 2017.
How did you get there?
In the summer of 2013 I completed a week long internship at A&L Goodbody’s Belfast office. This opportunity got me thinking about commercial law as a career path.
For the 2013/14 academic year I was selected for the Study USA program – studying business at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. I enjoyed the economics and finance class which I took and this fostered my interest in commercial law. The experience also broadened my horizons and I subsequently wanted my career path to have a similarly international element.
In the summer of 2014 I completed internships at Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP in London and Pinsent Masons in Belfast. By this stage, I knew where my interests lay and I had seen first hand what skills I needed to develop as an aspiring lawyer. The chance to work and live in London also convinced me that it was the place where I wanted to start my career.
After an exhausting application and interview place at a number of City firms, I was offered both a training contract and my current job in September 2015.
Making use of Careers, Employability and Skills at Queen’s
In January 2015 I participated on the QUB London Law Tour, whereby we visited thirteen firms in the space of a week. As a final year student, this was extremely helpful in allowing me to decide what firms I wished to apply to for training contracts. We were also inundated with useful information on applications, interviews, assessment days etc!
Study USA 2013/ 14 - My entire Study USA experience was extremely helpful in both developing me academically and enhancing my employability. It made me a more independent person and much more confident to step outside of my comfort zone. My internship and present job in London came about through a connection at my American college so my career path could have been much different if I never went on Study USA!
Any advice for other Queen's students?
Make the most of any opportunity that comes your way – you never know where it will take you.
Network – but don’t just take a business card or connect on LinkedIn, be proactive and keep in contact with the person.
Do things outside of your degree – play sports, instruments or whatever. The more rounded a candidate you are the easier the applications will be.