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Mark Thuillier

Trainee Solicitor, A&L Goodbody

Degree Law (TCD); Modern Irish History (TCD)

Job title Trainee Solicitor
Employer A&L Goodbody

Career background

I studied law in Trinity College, during which time I spent a year on Erasmus at the University of Helsinki, focusing mainly on international law. I graduated in 2010 and for the next year, availed of Trinity’s scholarship, working towards the M.Phil in Modern Irish history.
I chose a career in law because I thought it was a fascinating, continuously challenging and an intellectually invigorating profession to work in. I participated in A&L Goodbody’s internship programme in 2010 and had an extremely positive experience working in environmental litigation. This gave me a practical insight into what a career in law is like and it appealed to my interest in current affairs, legal research and problem solving.

How did you settle into the firm?

A&L Goodbody has been very accommodating and encouraging since my internship in 2010. The firm’s buddy-system, the many and varied social events and the Trainee management team made it a very smooth transition. A&L’s support system, in knowledge and systems training, in addition to the willingness of everyone across the Firm to offer help creates an environment where professional growth is nurtured. I think the biggest challenge is adapting from an academic environment to a more practical one, focusing on a much narrower and frequently unexplored problem which a client faces is both challenging and immensely satisfying.
I share an office with the Partner that I work for which has afforded me a wonderful opportunity to sit in on calls with clients, meetings about advice/strategy and teasing out various legal questions.

Current role

It involves a diverse range of tasks. I’m currently working in the litigation department and to date, I have done
a wide range of work – from taking attendances (the minutes) of client meetings, going to court, filing, printing and compiling knowledge documents to writing research memos for client advice. As a Trainee Solicitor, you experience the different styles and strategies of people on your team and learn as much from those around you.

Professional development

The Trainee Education Programme (TEP) at A&L Goodbody is an important part of a Trainee’s continuous professional development. It is designed to enhance legal, business and interpersonal skills and is comprised of lunch-time talks delivered by Partners and Associates on particular areas of their expertise, small departmental seminars where problem questions are discussed and Trainee presentations. In addition to this, the Firm also provides each Trainee with a bursary towards furthering their education and development as a Solicitor. I’m very interested in Alternative Dispute Resolution and am considering the Law Society’s diploma in Arbitration. During my time at Blackhall Place, I also hope to learn another language.

Tips?

Take a special interest in the firm you’re applying for. What is special about this firm that has prompted your application? What appeals to you? Tailor each application specifically to the firm you’re applying for. Internship programs offer a useful insight into what life is like life in a law firm and whether it is something you would like to pursue. Think about the skills you have developed from other jobs, experiences or hobbies and how these might be applicable. Do mock-interviews with friends or family and record them to see what your body language and quality of answer is like. Read the business pages of the newspapers and cultivate an interest in current affairs.

Mark Thuillier was interviewed for the gradireland 2015 Law sector guide