Sabina Hegerty

Solicitor at Darach McCarthy and Company Solicitors Sabina Hegerty

Background

I completed my Leaving Certificate in 2002, however, as I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do career wise, I decided to study Arts in NUIG in order to keep my options open. I studied legal science as part of my Arts degree and I really enjoyed it. After my BA I continued on to complete an LLB.

While studying for my FE1 examinations, I held a variety of jobs and undertook an accounts and computer course which provided me with the necessary skills required to work efficiently in an office environment.  I obtained a traineeship in a small but busy general practice where I was exposed to a large variety of files which also provided me with a great experience.

Career

I qualified as a Solicitor in December 2011, in the middle of the recession.  I secured employment in Dublin in a Legal Cost Accountant’s firm where I reviewed legal files and calculated fees.  The skills I obtained and the large variety of files that I was exposed to during this period have really stood to me in my career as a Solicitor.

A friend of mine had been working in a Criminal Law Practice and it sounded really interesting. So, when an opportunity presented itself in this area I jumped at it. Working in this discipline is extremely fast paced and not for the faint hearted. I gained exposure to some of the most vulnerable members of society, people suffering from addiction issues, homelessness and people whose lives were in disarray as a result of just one wrong decision.

I enjoyed working in Dublin. However, my family life was in Limerick. Travelling up and down to Limerick along with the long hours at work was proving difficult. I applied for jobs in Limerick, however, the jobs available were predominantly within conveyancing. Due to the recession, I had very little experience of conveyancing.  I mentioned my desire to move to Limerick to a colleague in passing. He advised that he knew a colleague in Limerick who specialised in Criminal Law and Litigation and who was interested in hiring a solicitor to help with a heavy work load. He suggested that we make contact and the rest as they say is history!

I have been working in Limerick with Darach McCarthy and Company Solicitors for two and a half years specialising in Criminal Law and Civil Litigation. My work-life balance has greatly improved. Collectively, the experience that I gained in the administrative courses undertaken while studying for my FE-1s and the skills learned in the Legal Costs Accountants firm have been of great benefit to me.

Advice

Every job or course that you do provides you with skills and experience that will stand to you in the future and will help to mould the type of Solicitor that you will become. Also, a helping hand may come along when you least expect it. It is important that you keep your lines of communication open and that you take on board good advice when it is offered to you. 

Other Stories

For other career success stories, see Career Spotlight.