By Alannah McPhee, Summer Intern
It’s fair to say that when I first started working at Turcan Connell I was a bit nervous.
Upon hearing that I had been accepted for a summer internship, I started to wonder what it would be like. I had never been exposed to such an environment before but I certainly had preconceived ideas.
When I arrived those preconceptions were changed. Everyone here has been so friendly and accommodating, making me feel at ease from the very beginning. After the induction days, you are paired up with a mentor (usually another solicitor) who is a part of your team and helps you settle in to life at Turcan Connell. Having a mentor, I feel, is invaluable as they help you to review and evaluate your time here – providing constructive criticism and positive feedback wherever necessary.
Tax and Succession
Another aspect which has surprised me is the quality of work you are given to do. Previously, I had envisioned an intern as someone who gets coffee for the team every morning and runs around after everyone. My experience has been very different to that. Instead, you are given ‘real’ work (i.e. work for clients) that is both good experience for you and a helping hand for your team. I have been placed in the Tax and Succession team where the work involves various things including writing to clients and even drafting a Will. The work environment can be fast paced at times and this can be challenging to start with but you quickly get accustomed to prioritising certain tasks and getting a feel for what is expected.
Working in the Tax and Succession team has really changed my perspective on life as a solicitor. During my degree, I never thought succession work could be as varied as it is here! The tax side of things has also really opened my eyes. Tax law is something I have never studied before, however, my team are aware of this and are conscious of not giving me too much tax work, but they are also wiling to explain any matters which I have questions on.
In addition to the work you do for your team, you are also invited to CPD activities alongside the trainees. We were put into groups of four (two trainees and two interns) and had to choose a subject to present on. In making sure that none of the teams were disadvantaged, it had to be on an area of law that none of us currently worked on. This was initially a bit of a scary thought – presenting is not my strong suit, never mind presenting on something I don’t know – but I feel like it has really helped me and it also allowed me to meet other trainees who I may not have crossed paths with otherwise.
When working as an intern, everyone is considerate to include you in the social side of things. If you have read any of the previous blog posts, you will no doubt know of the summer BBQ but that’s not the only social event! At the start of your time here you will normally get a welcome lunch with your team, there is a summer hockey tournament for those interested, and last Friday a dinner was organised by the trainees for the interns.
I can’t believe it is coming to an end so quickly. During my time here I have learnt a lot and would recommend the experience to anyone who has an interest in private client law.