Donna Ferry

2020 grant recipient, Phelim O’Neill, Co. Roscommon.

Donna Ferry Traineeship Grant VideoThe Law Society of Ireland’s Small Practice Traineeship Grant assists smaller solicitor practices based outside of Dublin and the main urban districts of Cork, Limerick and Galway with the cost of employing a trainee solicitor. The total value of the grant to the firm and trainee is €25,000 over two years.

This grant gave me the opportunity to live in a small community without having to relocate to Dublin. This was always the goal. I now live in Carrick-on-Shannon, where rent prices are extremely affordable, and I am just a two-hour drive from my hometown.

In December 2020, I began the PPC Hybrid course stress free as the grant covered €7,000 of my PPC 1 fees. This grant is available to all trainees and since I am completing the PPC Hybrid option, it means I can work continuously throughout my two-year traineeship without taking long breaks to attend the Law Society in Dublin.

I was delighted when I secured a training contract with Phelim O’Neill, a sole practitioner in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. He specialises in Criminal Law which I had a particular interest in when I studied at NUI Galway. I am the first trainee the firm has had. I have gained invaluable hands-on experience and knowledge so far and I attend the Courts regularly in all parts of Ireland.

From my experience seeking a traineeship, I learned you should not fear voicing the idea of the Small Practice Traineeship Grant. It adds an extra element to your CV and may just secure that much needed traineeship. The application form is short and simple, and I could not believe my luck when I found out I was selected as one the five recipients in 2020.

This grant is a great incentive for solicitors to reach out and seek a trainee to boost their firm. Trainees can bring new life and ideas and this grant from the Law Society provides great financial support and opportunities to small firms in communities across Ireland.