Law, legal services and patents

Darran Brennan

My advice is to take your time and set out a solid 5-year plan. Different trainees take different paths to get here but the one common denominator is forward planning.

Degree subject BA, LLB (NUI Galway)
Job titleTrainee Solicitor
Employer William Fry

Why did a career in the legal sector appeal, and why did William Fry’s programme appeal to you?

I am passionate about politics and law and I enjoy understanding how law impacts our society. After leaving college I worked on policy formation at the European Parliament in Brussels and later in Dublin where I worked in Ibec as an executive and subsequently, for the CEO. I always wanted to use these experiences and return to corporate law directly helping clients. In choosing the firm for whom I wanted to work, William Fry’s programme appealed to me the most because of the firm’s reputation and in particular the firm’s growth, vision, strategy and ambition.

I decided to do an Arts degree in NUI Galway to gain a better insight of how law, sociology and politics all work together; I followed this with an optional LL.B to focus on some core areas of interest. My degree assisted me in landing a place on the programme because of its diversity and William Fry appreciates a rounded academic career.

What does your day to day role involve and what’s exciting about it?

A trainee’s role in the firm is varied and every day presents exciting new challenges and opportunities. We work with different clients in different industries and it’s exciting to learn more about these companies who are leaders in their industries. We also get to help guide start-ups on their corporate path. I’m enjoying the opportunity to play an active role in helping our clients.

What transferable skills can you obtain working for a firm like William Fry?

Attention-to-detail, public-speaking and relationship-building are the three core skills I’ve developed most. William Fry instils in us the motivation to learn continuously and promotes selfdevelopment in the professional world. The training department runs an excellent programme teaching us core skills and this is coupled with patience and dedication from our mentors in the office. Using the skills I learned in the firm I achieved 2nd place overall in civil advocacy on PPC1. I’ve had the unique opportunity to be a member of the CSR committee and through it, the opportunity to work on some fantastic community initiatives and programmes.

What advice would you have for students? h3>

My advice is to take your time and set out a solid 5-year plan. Different trainees take different paths to get here but the one common denominator is forward planning. It is important to present a good application, take time to prepare for interviews, and focus on completing the FE1s, while also studying for finals or working. It is also really important to just be yourself throughout the process. p>

How do you hope to see your career developing over the next few years?

I’m currently going in to my third rotation, have PPC2 to focus on in 2017, followed by my final rotation and hopefully qualification in December 2017. I’m enjoying my experience in William Fry and I hope to continue my career here after qualification. I’m still deciding which area to specialise in and the rotational format of our trainee programme allows us to explore these interests. I am also planning on starting an LL.M in Advanced Legal Practice with the Law Society in 2017 which allows me to explore academically what I will specialise in.