I can’t believe this week will be my last week in Dublin. I’m sad this program is coming to an end, but I am so grateful for all of the experiences I have had since I’ve been here. Frankly, I had anticipated that I would begin to dread working 9-5 by the end of the program, but I have actually really enjoyed my internship and my weekly routine. I’m always seeing something new in my internship, so it hasn’t felt redundant at all. There are so many elements of my life in Dublin that I’ll miss, but this is just evidence of the wonderful time I’ve had since I’ve been here.
This past weekend, I took a trip to London! I absolutely fell in love with the city, and I was so glad I got to go. I walked around the city and was able to see iconic sites like the Tower of London, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, and Trafalgar Square. I also had the chance to see a musical, a comedy show, and meet up with a friend for lunch! This was such a great experience, and I was completely in awe of the city. As I reflect on my time in the program, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to travel to so many cities, both in and out of Ireland. I feel I’ve gotten to know Dublin quite well, but it’s also been so great to see other nearby cities aside from Dublin.
During the work week, I had the chance to attend the murder trial that the firm is working on. This was such an interesting experience, and I look forward to seeing more of the proceedings this week. I was also able to attend other court matters, which continues to be interesting. I really enjoy the experience of being able to interact with the barristers and clients and being able to witness what happens in court, particularly with sentencing matters. The judge always explains why they make the decision they do, so I always enjoy getting to hear and understand their reasoning.
As I reflect on my time in the workplace, I think about how integral work-life balance is in my colleagues’ definitions of success. No one in the firm competes to signal that they work the hardest or the longest. Rather, people strive to accomplish their objectives at work while simultaneously pursuing their own interests and lives outside of work. While I can’t generalize my experiences of one law firm to all of Ireland, I generally like this mindset and perspective that I’ve seen here. As a result, all of my co-workers have interesting stories to share about their weekends or time after work. People make the most of the time they aren’t working, which I find to be a valuable way to manage working a 9-5. It can sound daunting at first–devoting a third of your day to work–but if you set out to use the rest of your time well, it can make all the difference.
Accompanying this perspective on success is often a relatively relaxed attitude. This was something we heard in our orientations upon entering the program. The work of a Solicitor can be extremely stressful, so this is not always the case, but people in the office generally have laid-back mindsets towards their work. If people encounter a problem, solutions are quickly sought out and resolved rather than instantly resorting to panic. This calm, solution-oriented approach to working is usually quite effective while also feeling more manageable. This feeling can also help to negate some of the anxiety that I feel in the workplace. For example, sometimes I worry about not being able to write something down in time when I’m note-taking in court. When I missed a date that I needed once, the Solicitor simply told me not to worry and that she could get it from the barrister. While I don’t want to miss important information, of course, I know that this is something that happens frequently in the profession and is easily resolvable. Overall, I think this mindset has led me to feel more comfortable in the role I’m working in, as I know the members of the office are understanding and accommodating.
It’s hard to believe I only have a few more days remaining in the program, but I’m so grateful for all the experiences I’ve had so far and all of the amazing people I’ve met. I can’t wait to make the most of my last week in Dublin!