Benjamin McGlinchey

  • Position: Summer Student
  • Division: Corporate Finance and Dispute Resolution

During third year I was on international exchange in Canada. I was worried that being abroad would exclude me from having the chance to apply for a place on Burness Paull’s summer placement programme. The firm were nevertheless flexible enough to interview me via Skype and offered me a six-week placement at the Edinburgh office from mid-July to late August. I also had been previously offered a placement in another Edinburgh based law firm. Eager to do both, Burness Paull pushed back the start of my placement by a week which enabled me to take up a placement elsewhere. This is testament to how accommodating and understanding the firm are.

Like all summer placement students, I was excited to get to grips with what working in a commercial law firm would be like. From day one the teams I worked with were great. I first sat with the Corporate Finance team for 2 weeks before moving downstairs to sit with the Dispute Resolution team for the following 3 weeks. Everyone I worked alongside, my mentors, the trainees and the partners made me feel at home, enthusiastically welcoming me into their respective teams.

The programme that Burness Paull offers is massively beneficial for anyone looking for insight into life as a trainee. From day one I was involved in real work – such as drafting letters, preparing documents for clients and doing legal research. Not only did the tasks help to develop some fundamental skills, they provided genuine understanding of the type of work I would be expected to do as a trainee. Along with the other summer students, I also took part in weekly introductory sessions with the other departments across the firm’s offices. These provided a wide-ranging view of what other fields the firm operates in and taught us about sectors ranging from projects & construction to property for example.

The five-week timeframe gave me enough time to integrate into the firm, building relationships both in the office and in a social environment. I particularly enjoyed the camaraderie of the teams I worked with and I appreciated their efforts to get myself, and fellow summer placement students, involved.  I got the chance to attend team lunches, the firm’s summer barbeque and even a night out during the festival!

I gained great exposure to the culture at Burness Paull and managed to develop some key skills along the way. Everyone at the firm was approachable and made me feel comfortable when I needed to ask for help. I was delighted to accept a Training Contract with the firm, and I look forward to seeing some friendly faces again in 2019.

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