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Karen Walsh


Karen WalshSolicitor in Practice

Background

I grew up on a dairy farm in Co. Cork. My parents always encouraged myself and my brother and sister to work hard and do our best. I think my parents instilled in all three of us a very strong work ethic early in life and that nothing will ever be handed to you and you have to make the most of what you have.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study in college but I always enjoyed business in school so I choose to study Commerce in UCC.  As part of that degree there was a law module which I really enjoyed and in my final year I decided that when I sat my college exams in May that I would sit the first four Blackhall exams that October. Some people thought I was mad to sit them in such a short amount of time but I think that only spurred me on even more! I worked hard and was very determined and within a year I was on my way to Blackhall.

Career

After a very informative and interesting apprenticeship with Hudson & Brown Solicitors, I commenced working with C.W. Ashe Solicitors before setting up in practice on my own in 2016. I have offices in Cork and Dublin. It has been an extremely busy, interesting and challenging time. The office is a general practice, offering litigation, probate and conveyancing services. I specialise in agricultural legal issues, property and wills and probate. I wrote the book ‘Farming and the Law’ published by Clarus Press in 2016.  

Future

My plan at the moment for the business is to build up the client base and grow it organically. I think having a commerce degree has really stood to me as to run your own business it is not enough just to be a good solicitor you must have a business brain also. The business is growing steadily and my focus for the next few years is to continue that.

Advice

I read a lot of business and motivational books and there are a few quotes that I have always have in the back of my mind that help me stay on track or get back on track when I need to refocus.      

Either you run the day or the day runs you. This quote by the great Jim Rohn keeps me focused otherwise one is in danger of becoming a busy fool!

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. 

It is very important especially if you have a very stressful job or set up your own business that you eat well, drink lots of water and exercise regular. If you are a sole practitioner in the early stages of business you are the business so you need to take care of you first. 

Other advice would be always treat colleagues with respect and courtesy.  It makes everyone’s job easier and there really is no other way to do business.  

Get a good varied apprenticeship. 

Market your firm and market yourself.  Use social media.

For anyone thinking of setting up in practice my advice is that there is never a good time to do it. As Richard Branson says ‘Screw it, just do it’.  

Other Stories

For other career success stories, see Career Spotlight.