Andrew Harding, Assistant Solicitor, William Fry
Degree subject Business and legal studies, UCD
Job title Assistant Solicitor
Employer William Fry
I was fascinated by law before going to college, but I wasn’t 100 per cent sure that I wanted to pursue a career as a legal professional so I did a combined Business and Law degree. I became very interested in the commercially based legal subjects I studied – their practical base appealed to me – and this confirmed for me that I wanted to be a Solicitor.
In my final year I was offered a place with William Fry. It was a huge relief to secure a contract before graduating, meaning I could fully concentrate on my final exams and FE1s. Three years later I am now a qualified Solicitor working in the Banking & Financial Services Department of William Fry.
My role is incredibly varied: on a typical day I could be taking instructions from a client alongside a Partner, drafting documents and reviewing previous transactions, helping to organise loan arrangements, attending client meetings or meetings with colleagues, or undertaking background research.
The work we do is very deadline oriented. Ongoing cases could take from a couple of days to several weeks and we also have ad-hoc queries coming in from clients on a regular basis. Big transactions are part and parcel of the job and, while challenging, are ultimately very satisfying.
My job is genuinely interesting and the variety is exciting. In the past six months I've worked on the Irish aspect of two large multinational transactions where we've taken direct instructions from US and UK law firms. It's been fascinating to witness how different firms from different jurisdictions operate.
Advice for graduates
I interned for a couple of months in my penultimate year. Internships are fantastic for your CV, as is any other relevant experience. When applying for traineeships, take a real interest in the firm for which you're interviewing: research how they operate, who their clients are; get a feel for them. I would also advise always bringing your references to an interview, even if you haven't been asked to do so. It shows that you really want the job.
Andrew Harding was interviewed for gradireland Law 2012.