Let’s set the scene, it’s 9am on Monday the 1st July and I’m sitting in a conference room with two fellow interns receiving IT training via video link from a colleague in Johannesburg. You would be forgiven in mistaking Pinsent Masons as a Tech firm – it’s futuristic and like nowhere I’ve worked before. Afterwards I’m shown to my desk, correction; asked to pick a desk. Nobody owns a specific desk here, it’s all floating. A few things cross my mind as I cross the open plan floor, ‘Where are all the boxes of files?’ ‘Where are the hard drives?’ the laptop in my hand seems to answer both. I choose ‘my’ desk, swipe in, dock my laptop and the two big screens in front of me light up – magic.
I was placed in the Investment Funds department which initially I was slightly anxious about. I mean, what’s a fund? I’m abysmal, I know. If you’re reading this and can answer that – please don’t judge! But in reality, judgement is not something I experienced here. I wasn’t expected to be an investment fund expert and I felt comfortable asking any question, no matter how silly it seemed to me (or everyone else!). I learned what’s expected of you as an intern is to be willing and open to learn, work hard, to listen to your buddy and mentor, be nice to everyone you encounter and mainly enjoy the experience.
The month flew by and I was involved in lots of different matters and meetings which gave me a great insight into the workings of the Investment Fund team. On the other side of things, the social aspect is great, everyone is lovely and wants you to do well – what a cliché, but true none the less. Drinks after work on a Friday are my new favourite thing (who doesn’t love free drinks?!)
The values Pinsent Masons pride themselves on; Approachable, Bold and Connected really capture it. The open plan offices and floating desk policy removes the traditional law firm aspect of knocking on a door to speak to a partner. Being privy to conversations between partners, senior associates and trainees allows you to absorb such a vast amount of information and not just from your own department. There is really just a great atmosphere.
It was exciting to be one of the six pioneering interns in the Dublin office and witness the workings of a global market leading firm rooting itself in the heart of Dublin City. I will leave Pinsent Masons knowing the way a law firm should operate with the knowledge that the rest will eventually follow suit. Agile working environment, no obvious hierarchy, work/life balance; while it might not mean much to us as interns – it will in the future.
The biggest thing I will take away from my month at Pinsent Masons? A fund is established for the purpose of investing the pooled funds of investors in assets, in accordance with the objectives and policies published in a prospectus… Don’t dare act like you’re not impressed!
Upon learning that Pinsent Masons’ 2020 Dublin summer internship was being held virtually rather than the usual in-office experience, I was concerned it may be a less valuable experience. This was partly due to the lack of personal interaction of that forms the usual programme.
As I disembark from the clammy 145 bus on the last morning of my Summer Internship with Pinsent Masons, I struggle to come to terms with how rapidly the past 4 weeks have flown.
‘Take the law into our own hands.’ I still remember the spark within me when I first heard that slogan at the Pinsent Masons open day. It guided me through A Levels, law school and interviews, giving me a sense of purpose and reminding me that I could make an impact. Four years later, I’m working as a summer intern for the very firm that fuelled my ambition to practise law.