Tara O'Donoghue

After sitting my FE1 exams in October 2016/March 2017, I chose to relocate to Dublin to pursue a traineeship and my interest in litigation lead me to apply to EFC. During the interview process, I found that its reputation for inclusion, strong teamwork and efficient communication was extremely fitting. This initial impression of the firm has been reinforced during each rotation I have completed and during its response to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic.

I am currently a trainee within my final rotation in the firm’s Dispute Resolution and Immigration Departments. I really enjoy the diversity of working across so many different areas of litigation and the opportunity to participate remotely and engage with highly experienced partners and solicitors in their everyday transactions with high profile clients. EFC have always encouraged a paperless policy where possible and regular communication to ensure consistent service for our clients.

For this reason, the transition to remote working has been a relatively smooth process. The Law Society of Ireland also gave PPCII trainees the opportunity to participate in a Certificate in Technology Law, which was also delivered online, giving a wider understanding of the importance of technology in the legal sector going forward.

Prior to attending PPC1, I was motivated by the strong work-life balance in the firm to set up a wellbeing society for my fellow classmates. I applied, and received funding, for a Surfing Society which allowed 100 trainee solicitors to participate in a surfing weekend in Donegal. The experience of managing and coordinating such a large trip was very fulfilling, with the social connections made during my time organising this social trip forging many friendships as well as strong relations with future colleagues.

However, as it was necessary during PPCII to host all societies virtually, two of my classmates and I set up a legal Sign Language Society which allowed trainees to learn a new language during online classes and communicate with deaf clients seeking legal advice. My engagement with these societies was fuelled primarily by the culture in EFC which places emphasis on trainees experiencing more than excellent legal training during the course of our traineeship and emphasises the importance of personalised client service in each transaction.