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Nichola Harkin

Trainee solicitor, William Fry

NameNichola Harkin
Job Trainee solicitor, William Fry
Education BCL International, UCD (2008), LLM Employment Law, London School of Economics (2009)

While I was studying for my BCL, the area of law I became most interested in was employment. I decided, therefore, to enrol for an LLM in Employment Law.

While studying, I applied for many places, and one of the interviews I had was with William Fry. I was successful and began my trainee position in April 2010, after I completed my FE1s.

I came straight from my Masters to working at William Fry and I’m entering into my fourth rotation now. Employment law has been one of the rotations, but I’ve also had seats in construction and corporate law.

It has been quite exciting to be thrown cold into new departments, constantly learning on the job. And I’m increasingly getting more and more responsibility and opportunities to show initiative.

At times the hours can be quite long, but the times you have to work the longest are usually when the cases are at their most interesting and stimulating. My personal highlight was working on a high-profile injunction and then reading about it in the papers. It is an area of law that has become something of a phenomenon in the last few years, making it all the more relevant to work on.

I feel lucky to have my job as it’s a particularly difficult time at the moment. If I was to give any advice to recent graduates, it would be to tailor your application to suit each firm you apply for. It will be more time consuming for you but will make you definitely more successful.

Advice for graduates

Get as much experience as you can; smaller firms need a hand during particular periods and they would be good places to contact for this. It is important to not have big gaps in your CV.

Also very worthwhile is to write articles and have them published in legal journals. It looks good to have a portfolio in your interview and the research will improve your knowledge of the area you are working in.

Nichola was interviewed for gradireland Law 2013