Margaret Maguire

Solicitor at FEXCO Group Legal Department Jason O'Sullivan

I always knew I wanted a career in law, but initially was unsure whether I wanted to become a solicitor or pursue a different path. Following completion of an LLB in Law and European Studies in UL and a clinical LLM in Criminal Justice in UCC, I worked as a legal researcher in the Law Reform Commission whilst completing my FE1s. Working with the Commission gave me great exposure to some of the other career choices available to a law graduate and helped me to confirm that I wanted to pursue a career as a solicitor.

Experience

I completed my traineeship with Matheson Solicitors where I received excellent training and experience in areas including corporate, property, employment, litigation and commercial contracts. Subsequently I qualified into Matheson’s commercial property department at a very exciting time as the market was beginning to turn. I spent the next three very enjoyable, challenging and rewarding years in Matheson gaining valuable experience in working on a large volume of high value transactions in a fast-paced environment.

Career Choices Outside Dublin

I grew up in Kerry and during my time in Dublin found that I continued to spend as much time as possible down South. On the back of the experience I had built in Matheson I began to consider the options that might be available to me to move. However, I wasn’t prepared to leave a job that offered me great opportunities and quality of work lightly, so for me it had to be the right role.

With this in mind, I applied for an in-house role in FEXCO as a commercial lawyer and I have been working here since 2015. The experience I gained prior to joining FEXCO was central to me being able to hit the ground running in a busy corporate environment, and I also feel that my skillset has enabled me to add value to the department and to the organisation, becoming a key legal support for the business. The role has exceeded my expectations in every way; the work is varied and plentiful, and of a high quality. The transactions I am involved in are complex and continue to challenge me. It is hugely exciting to work with an organisation as dynamic as FEXCO, and being an in-house lawyer gives me a real sense that I am assisting in the company’s growth and success.

Advice

A career in law is multi-faceted and there are many different paths that can be taken. If you don’t like your current role don’t be quick to write it off completely before trying something new. If you know that you don’t want to live in Cork or Dublin long term, consider the career choices that might be available to you in your preferred location, and work on developing skills and gaining experience accordingly. Specialising in a niche area of law may not assist if you want to move to an area where only general practice roles are available. However, in-house positions are increasingly available countrywide as organisations realise the advantages of having specialist advice to hand. Corporate, commercial, regulatory or financial law experience is likely to be of appeal to any in-house legal department, so if these are the areas of law you wish to progress in, but wish to move away from the big cities, an in-house role may be a good option.