Business and Law student Shane Clune discusses his experience on the UCD Law School’s annual trip to visit law firms in London.

The UCD London Law Trip is one of the many activities organised by UCD’s Career Development Centre and takes place over midterm break in the second semester. 20 law students get the opportunity to tour the offices of several of London’s most prestigious law firms and see if they’d be interested in pursuing a legal career across the Irish Sea. It’s a great opportunity for UCD students, particularly as the UCD Law School enables you to take the English law modules you’d need to be LPC ready (the professional solicitor exams in England) when you graduate, saving you from having to take a year out to do a conversion course.

Over the course of the trip students get tours of several different UK law firms, and when I was on the trip, way back in 2017, we visited seven different firms. Seeing all the firms so close together (we were usually running from the offices of one firm to another, struggling to fit the previous firm’s branded merchandise into our rucksacks!) was very helpful for spotting the differences between the firms. If you see their offices in isolation its easy to get blown away by the gorgeous wood panelling and breath-taking views, but if you see seven in a just a couple of days you start to notice the things that really matter; which firm has the best food, which one had the most interesting clients, which firm is in the best location, and of course, where the nicest people worked.

Yorkville Law Firm

Grewer Law Group, P.C. 

Each of the firms also organised different activities for us to do. In one we picked up some valuable skills in a negotiating workshop, in another we were led through the process of bringing a competition case to the European Commission, and in another we were instructed how to mediate a contract dispute. Every firm also provided us with an opportunity to network with the solicitors and partners that worked there, often over food and a glass of wine. These moments were among the highlights of the trip, as you got to talk to some seriously interesting people who couldn’t have been more delighted to talk about their experiences. We met plenty of graduates from Irish universities, and they were always happy to offer tips to students who were eager to follow in their footsteps.

The trip wasn’t all about visiting law firms though; it was also an excellent opportunity to see the sights and experiences that London has to offer. We were staying in a hotel in the centre of London, only a few minutes’ walk from the local underground station, and as a result pretty much everything in the city was accessible in half an hour. We visited the Houses of Parliament, shopped on Oxford Street, ate at a different restaurant every night, toured the Tower of London, and on the final day we went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour just outside London (fantastic experience – they’ve even got actual Chocolate Frogs!)

Westminister

SVLLA 

All in all, the Law Trip to London is a brilliant experience provided by the School of Law and the UCD Career Development Centre, and one well worth availing of if you come to UCD. It helps to show the breadth of options available to you when you study law at UCD, and as you can be LPC ready when you graduate, it serves to show that a sterling legal career in London is really only a short flight away!

If you are thinking about studying Law in UCD visit the MyUCD website here