Phoenix Managing Partner, Solicitor and Head of Legal & Compliance Recruitment
Honestly, at 18 I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. Shock horror!
However, Corporate Law in NUIG seemed like a sound option which offered a taste of a number of disciplines (law, business, language) plus the legendary Galway college life experience. Best four years of my life!
“Big 5” Training
I must have been doing something right as during my LLB year in NUIG A&L Goodbody offered me a training contract. I still remember that call from A&L. I was in bed, 12.30pm on a Thursday and more than a little delicate following a very “sociable” evening - I haven’t jumped out of bed as fast since that day!
A&L Goodbody and Maples are superb places to train and practice. Intense? Yes, at times. Long hours? At times, for sure (but what role hasn't on occasion). Worthwhile? Absolutely. The skills I learned and relationships I made during my eight plus years in both firms continue to stand to me to today.
However, after a number of years as a practicing Funds Lawyer I made a move into the world of recruitment. Having gained experience in both global and boutique recruitment firms, I joined Phoenix as Managing Partner in 2019. I have responsibility for the strategic vision and operation of the business. I am also ultimately responsible for Phoenix's Legal and Compliance practices and specialise in senior level appointments including Partner and C-suite executive level opportunities.
Why Leave Law?
This is a question I am asked quite a lot given my career story!
As a lawyer, I found that I most enjoyed my role when out from behind the desk interacting with clients and developing those relationships or attending industry events, doing business development and networking. Anyone who knows me knows that talking is not something I struggle with...or typing, clearly!
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the technical legal nitty-gritty and understanding the whys and wherefores. Plus, I still LOVE to ask questions and I'm very fond of a good Post-It - those Monica-esque traits are here to stay! However, I always had a niggling thought that maybe there was a different profession or role out there for me which would better marry my legal training and market knowledge with my characteristics and quirks - i.e. chatty, people-orientated, inquisitive, resilient, persistent.
Recruitment just kept coming into my head as something to explore. I eventually started listening to my gut, did my homework and after some deep soul-searching (I highly recommend Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers) and many conversations with family and friends, I made the leap.
Six years later and here I am, Managing Partner of Phoenix and really enjoying it. The moral of the story? Trust your gut and back yourself.
- Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: If there is something in your gut telling you to explore new opportunities or make changes, listen to it. It sounds simple, but it can be surprisingly hard to do at times. However, it's served me well over the years and I think the older you get the more confident you become in trusting yourself and your instincts.
- Back Yourself: Consider the quality and transferability of the experience and skills you have gained and don’t underestimate them. My professional qualification gave me a fantastic skill-set, one that maybe I didn’t fully appreciate until I started considering a career outside of law.
- Talk: Whether you are considering whether to become a solicitor, a move within law or a complete career change, leverage from the experience of your peers and friends. That twenty minute cup of coffee could prove invaluable.
- What is for you won’t pass you: Cheesy but I believe this. Open yourself up to new opportunities and if one presents itself, don’t be afraid to explore it.
For other career success stories, see Career Spotlight.