Cormac McGrady

Insurance (QUB BA(hons), QUB MLaw)

 

I studied BA Politics at Queen's University Belfast and having realised that many of the skills gained from my Politics degree were suitable to a career in law I embarked upon the two-year Masters in Law where my dissertation focussed on corporate insolvency law.

During my Masters I began to look into a Traineeship with corporate law firms in both London and Dublin. My first impression of William Fry was of a Firm that values its Trainees and offers great opportunities for development. I was immediately comfortable with the Firm during the interview process and this was largely down to having the opportunity to meet the Partners interviewing me in an informal setting at the drinks reception on the night prior to first round interviews.

I have been lucky enough to complete in-office experience prior to commencing PPC I namely in the Projects & Construction Department and the Insurance Department. My time in each of these departments has been varied and interesting and the high-profile nature of the work is evident when you have the opportunity to be involved in assisting Partners and other Fee Earners on clients who are not only household names in Ireland but also on an international level. One highlight for me was in the Insurance Department and my involvement in the registration and establishment of the European headquarters for the first UK insurance company to set up in Ireland following Brexit. This was a first for the Irish market and was widely covered by the media both in the insurance industry press and also in the national newspapers. 

In William Fry it is clear that Trainees are thought of as the future of the Firm, from the outset we are given a high degree of involvement and responsibility on the matters we are assigned to. I have found that the Partners and Fee Earners allow Trainee responsibility to grow as you progress in a seat while still providing support and maintaining an open-door policy should you have any questions or need assistance on any aspect of the work you have been tasked with. Trainees are largely allowed to take ownership of the path their Traineeship takes through the opportunity to rotate through various departments and to indicate preferences prior to each rotation.

Learning and Development is a central focus for the Firm with training sessions in a wide variety of areas ranging from legal research and writing skills to sessions offering tips and advice on Linkedin profiles. In addition Trainees also attend Firm-wide training and lectures along with department specific sessions to ensure they are equipped to handle the various challenges they might face in their day-to-day work. The Knowledge Management System and legal support teams at the Firm are second to none and people are always on hand to help locate even the most elusive or complicated precedent, case law or article.

William Fry places great emphasis on the sports and social side of things both on a Firm-wide basis but also at a Trainee level. The Trainee Social Committee organises regular Trainee events with the highlight being the Trainee weekend away. This encourages a high level of collegiality amongst Trainees and it is evident that this translates back to the working atmosphere in the office and to the way in which William Fry operates as a Firm. At this early point in my Traineeship I have had the opportunity to play tag rugby, Law Society soccer league and I have also taken part in a number of charity fun runs as part of William Fry's Corporate Social Responsibility programme. I also hope to attend the annual Richmond Rugby 7s where we are the only Irish Firm entered into the England and Wales Law Society rugby tournament. 

"In William Fry it is clear that Trainees are thought of as the future of the Firm, from the outset we are given a high degree of involvement and responsibility."

Cormac McGrady

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