This week marks four weeks of our internships in Dublin, and I can’t believe that the program is over halfway done! I feel comfortably settled into my role in the office, though new tasks and challenges are always being presented. I’ve also been getting new assignments as time goes on, and it’s exciting to keep seeing new aspects of how a law firm operates. This week wasn’t as hectic in terms of court sessions as the past few weeks have been, but there have still been interesting court cases to attend. Being at the office more also presents the opportunity to get to know coworkers better, so it’s been a fun week regardless.
One of the most prominent skills I’ve grown throughout this program has been adaptability. The nature of work in the legal industry requires adaptability itself. It’s important to be able to keep up with ever-changing dates and tasks. Sometimes, we aren’t given information from the courts until the last minute, meaning we need to adjust accordingly. This is an important skill to have for my future career, as the legal industry in the United States is just as dynamic. I’ve also had to adapt to the aspects of a new country. While the language is mostly the same, there are still cultural and vocabulary differences that require adjustment. Adaptability is a critical skill in any workplace, but I’m glad to have developed this skill in such a unique context, as it will equip me to take on new challenges in my future career endeavors.
Another skill I’ve developed since I’ve been here has been note taking. My job in the court is often to sit in session and write everything down that occurs by hand, meaning I need to understand what’s happening and take down all of the useful information. Through this, I’ve learned to listen closely and discern information in a faster manner than I’m used to. While this isn’t necessarily something that I anticipate needing to do as an American lawyer, the note-taking will certainly help me in my future classes, and being able to actively listen and pick up the important details will be an important skill in my professional and personal life.
Outside of work, I took a trip to Paris this weekend, which was lovely! I was able to see Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Sacré-Coeur, the Louvre, and plenty of local shops and restaurants. It was such a great experience to see such beautiful sites with such unique histories. While it was a quick trip, I feel I was able to see all of the major tourist attractions while also taking the time to walk around the city and take everything in. One thing I love about traveling is seeing things I’ve learned about in school in real life. It allows places to transform from abstract concepts and history lessons into tangible objects. Going to Paris without speaking any French presented its own obstacles, but I was able to navigate this process in different ways throughout the weekend that allowed everything to work out.
In terms of navigating life abroad, I feel very comfortable with the cultural differences in Dublin. There isn’t much that seems foreign to me anymore, as I’ve been here for several weeks now. Going to Paris was much more of a cultural adjustment, albeit for only a short period of time. The language barrier can largely hinder your ability to communicate, and this was challenging at times. These challenges, though, presented opportunities to have more cultural experiences.
Finally, something else I’ve learned to do since I’ve been here is to go out of my comfort zone and talk to new people! I’ve had great conversations with people from all over the world since I’ve been here, and it’s been so great to hear perspectives, stories, and recommendations from such a vast array of people. It’s easy to be timid when in new places, but I’ve challenged myself to have these conversations anyway, and it has been so rewarding and enlightening.
In my last three weeks here, I’m looking forward to continuing to gain insight into the Irish legal system. Something I love about my internship is that I’m always seeing new things in court and in the office and constantly learning. I’m also excited to continue seeing Dublin outside of work. I’d like to try to depart from my usual post-work routine a few days of the week to get to see different places, so that will be a goal for the upcoming week. I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had thus far, and I’m excited to see what the next few weeks will bring.