Professional Work Placements

Our students will have the opportunity to gain professional, real-world experience through work placements in Year 3. The preparation for professional work placement begins in September of Year 2. During this period, the placement officers will organise an advisory session, CV workshop, and interview skills workshop to support students in their preparation for work placements.

Here is an overview of the schedule:

  • September: Advisory Session - This session will provide an informative overview, equipping students with valuable knowledge to effectively navigate the work placement process.
  • October: CV Workshop - This workshop will assist students in drafting their professional CVs.
  • January: Interview Workshop - This workshop will prepare students with best practice guidelines for interview techniques and structures, as well as how to structure answers.
  • February: The interview phase commences in early February and continues until the end of April.

Once selected, students will embark on an 8-month work placement, spanning from the beginning of September to the end of April in Year 3.

We strive to empower our students with the necessary tools, resources, and guidance to excel in their chosen professional pathways, ensuring a seamless transition from academia to the workforce. This invaluable experience will equip them to pursue successful careers as solicitors or barristers, as well as in business, industry, the public sector, and many other areas. 

Work placement is seen as beneficial to students by:

  • Providing the opportunity to put course theory into practice
  • Developing new knowledge and skills which are both course-related and personal
  • Building a stronger CV which highlights new skills and achievements
  • Supporting career decisions by providing an insight into the working environment
  • Enhancing employability and job prospects after graduation

In preparation for work placement, Students will receive the following supports:

Placement Preparation

We are committed to providing high quality work placements together with nationally and internationally recognised law firms and organisations such as:

  • A&L Goodbody
  • Acorn Life
  • Ann McGarry & Co. Solicitors 
  • Arthur Cox
  • Barnahus 
  • Berwick Solicitors 
  • Blake & Kenny LLP Solicitors 
  • Border Violence Monitoring Network 
  • Bunbury Darcy Solicitors
  • Callan and Tansey Solicitors
  • Catherine Heneghan Solicitors 
  • CIE
  • Clar as Gaeilge 
  • Clark Hill
  • Damien Tansey Solicitors 
  • Defence Forces - Legal Department
  • Department of Health 
  • DHKN
  • Eversheds Sutherland 
  • Grant Thornton
  • Irish Refugee Centre
  • James Watters Solicitors
  • Kevin Tunney & Company Solicitors 
  • KPMG
  • MacSweeney & Company Solicitors 
  • Matheson 
  • McCann Fitzgerald 
  • McLoughlin Solicitors
  • MHP Sellors
  • Oifig an Choimiseara Teanga
  • Patrick Hogan & Co. Solicitors
  • Philip Lee 
  • PwC 
  • RDJ 
  • Teagasc 
  • Tom O'Regan Solicitors 
  • Transparency International Ireland
  • Walkers Global 
  • William Fry

Student Testimonials

Below are student blog posts on their experiences while on professional work placement (last updated in August 2023).

Rebecca Lindley

Hello, my name is Rebecca Lindley and I am currently studying the Bachelor of Law and Business. I have completed a 9-month professional work placement in Philip Lee LLP, as part of the 3rd Year University of Galway Placement Programme. Philip Lee LLP aim to provide a team led environment for brilliant lawyers to develop expertise in a specialist area.

Before I entered work placement, I set goals and objectives in the hope of achieving them. This included gaining knowledge of different career paths, development of written communication skills and, to identify and explore the latest trends impacting the legal profession. I gained experience on the Employment Team, the Immigration Team, and the Data Protection Litigation team. I have successfully developed various skills and life skills, in particular, teamwork skills. I improved my communication skills through drafting letters, drafting policies, and emails to clients. I attended client meetings and client calls. Although I had not studied Immigration Law, I developed a broad range of knowledge preparing cover letters on employment permits for US Companies. This gave me a sense of contrast in the law internationally between the US and Ireland. I further enhanced my research skills on employment case law and through my participation in Probono Work. I was given the opportunity to attend the four courts and file documents in the court offices. I learnt the importance to understand, and only utilise, relevant information when dealing with clients. Teamwork is the key component to providing high quality advice to clients.

It is the review process amongst different team members that is one of the most fundamental processes to ensures clear, concise, and accurate information. From time to time, there was an opportunity to take on capacity work within different teams. This gave me the opportunity to ask questions and gain an insight into the work of the Corporate Team and the Banking Team. Philip Lee LLP value each individuals work, and Interns are seen as an asset to the firm. This allowed for growth in learning and development. Although there is a hierarchy from intern to Partner level, it is not highlighted in the firm. Everyone is willing to help you gain the best possible experience.  

The work placement programme is extremely beneficial from the perspective that you gain an understanding of how your studies in 1st and 2nd year are implemented into the workplace. As a result of my placement, I was further accepted into a Summer Internship with the Workplace Relations Commission. The work placement programme has confirmed and given me the ambition and motivation to progress into a career path I would like to follow in. I now look forward to what the future holds. 

Katie Ward

My name is Katie Ward and I studied the Bachelor of Civil Law in the University of Galway. As part of my third year in college, I completed an eight month placement in Matheson LLP. For the duration of my placement, I worked in the Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions department. 

Working in a corporate law firm is challenging, interesting and rewarding. My work placement gave me the opportunity to gain invaluable experience as I worked alongside the team on transactions involving international and domestic companies. 

During the course of my placement I had various duties and responsibilities. I prepared initial drafts of documents which allowed me to develop my legal drafting skills. I also completed research tasks on an array of topics including directors duties and share purchase agreements. 

Work placement was also a great opportunity to put theory into practice. I studied company law in second year and much of what I learned in college was applicable to the work I completed. 

One of my highlights during placement was working with an associate on the team to write an article on the Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) legislative developments in Ireland and the EU during 2021. This allowed me to enhance my legal writing and research skills. I also had the opportunity to get involved in pro bono work in the firm. This was a great opportunity to learn about different areas of the law. I would encourage future placement students to get involved in as much as you can during your placement for example, complete pro bono work, get involved in different committees or write an article for the team. These are all great opportunities to develop your skills and knowledge. 

Overall, work placement provided me with a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of what a career in a corporate law firm looks like. Additionally, working alongside the team on various deals gave me a greater understanding of the Irish M&A market. Work placement provided me with a chance to fine tune critical practical skills which will undoubtedly be beneficial going forward in my career.

When applying for work placement, make sure to avail of the workshops / support provided by the careers unit in the University of Galway for CV and interview preparation. Finally, best of luck and enjoy your placement experience!

Andrew Hanley

An internship in Clark Hill is an exceptional experience. Its location and size allowed me to be immersed into the practical “real world” life of a legal firm. Throughout my 9-month tenure I had worked in the Commercial, Litigation, Bankruptcy, and Property sectors of the firm. I felt honoured that Clark Hill gave me great responsibility in all matters concerned whilst ensuring any and all were available to give guidance wherever I needed it. 

I had the luxury of working alongside affable Legal Assistants, liaising daily with the Partners and Associates, and being checked in on by the H.R. manager. Between them all I never felt lost or confused. 

My role in Clark Hill never kept me long at a desk. On any given day I was at the Four Courts, sitting in on client meetings, delivering documents or acquiring oaths. When I was at my desk the tasks assigned varied and carried great importance be it researching information requested by a client, preparing motions, filing Affidavits, and drafting Deeds. After an Internship at Clark Hill, you will had gained second to none know-how into the legal world which you can carry on to your CV and future prospects.


Eimear Osborne

I was delighted to be offered an internship in Eversheds Sutherland for my placement year in college. From the interview stage at the very beginning, to being a member of the Eversheds team, my experience here has been nothing short of incredible. Everybody I have met and dealt with in the firm has been extremely friendly and welcoming, and I have gained considerable experience and exposure to many areas of law. I was given extensive opportunity to deal with clients, and be a part of important, high-profile transactions.

What I found most valuable was the involvement I had in different projects and transactions. The team partners had no hesitancy in involving me in any task, big or small, and viewed each task as an opportunity to learn and develop my legal knowledge. I was given feedback and guidance at every corner, which has helped me immensely to better my proficiency both generally and in the various areas of law.

I had the pleasure of meeting many incredible people during my time in Eversheds Sutherland, some of whom I believe will remain friends and mentors for life. My time in Eversheds has only heightened my desire to pursue a career in law, and I could not have asked for a better firm to complete my placement experience in. I cannot recommend Eversheds highly enough, and I am extremely grateful to both Eversheds and NUIG for facilitating this brilliant experience.