Trainee Education & Learning

As a trainee at A&L Goodbody, you can expect to receive excellent training in the practical application of the law from the moment you begin your career with us.

We invest in your on-going development as a lawyer and as a trusted business adviser, because we know how important it is to reach your full potential. We provide each trainee with a tailored development framework aimed at enhancing capabilities specific to the individual.

In addition to the Law Society Professional Practices Courses which form part of your training contract, we use a combination of on-the-job experience, informal mentoring and participation in the structured training programmes available in the Firm’s professional development framework.

Our Trainee Education Programme (TEP) is a structured education programme which takes four broad strands:

Legal Knowledge
We arrange weekly talks to provide an introduction to the type of work and typical transactions a junior lawyer is likely to be involved in. Top lawyers, partners and senior associates in various areas in which the firm practices, give trainees presentations on their areas of expertise and recent developments and upcoming developments in law in their area. This is a way we can impart the necessary legal knowledge to our trainees across a broad spectrum of our practice areas.

Legal Skills Development
We believe that learning on the job from more experienced colleagues is key to your development as a lawyer while in the office. As a trainee solicitor you are also invited to attend department specific talks from across the firm. These talks are often partner led and cover high profile transactions our lawyers were involved in. We also take a more practical approach in smaller groups where seminars are led by lawyers in particular areas and we focus in on the key practical skills that you are going to need to learn in order to practice in those specific areas. So, as examples, our corporate lawyers will teach you how to negotiate the warranties in a share purchase agreement and our litigation and dispute resolution lawyers explain precisely the steps that need to be taken in a commercial court case and proceedings before the High Court. In addition, you will get a chance to actually draft, negotiate and settle the key documents that you will need in court proceedings and in corporate mergers and acquisitions transactions and review these with the senior lawyers involved.

Commercial & Client skills
To complement your legal education & skills development, we develop your non-legal skills through seminars and training sessions by our business support teams (e.g. Business Development, Human Resources, Learning & Development, IT Training) and award winning knowledge team A&L Goodbody and also with external consultants to give you all of the skills that you are going to need outside of the pure legal knowledge.These include Commercial Awareness; Finance for Lawyers and Effective Written Communication. These in-house programmes comprise of workshops, seminars and full access to our extensive research and library facilities.

These are led by the trainees themselves where we ask trainees to simulate a client briefing, pitch or meeting where the other trainees act as clients and they present not so much from behind a podium or a lectern, but actually in a real live meeting room scenario and have to field questions and other comments and queries from their trainees as if they were a qualified solicitor giving advice to a client. These session are assessed by senior lawyers and business support staff to give useful feedback on how to work with clients effectively.

Award winning elearning
Trainee solicitors have access to all development resources online, including recordings of previous in-house talks, articles and presentations of relevance on our award winning elearning website. Trainees also network online, by posting up their biographies and writing blogs of their experiences in a particular department. Not only is this a great way to get to know your colleagues, it also gives you an insider’s perspective on working for various departments across the Firm.

Further Education - during your Traineeship if you would like to take further courses, learn a language for example, or pursue a diploma, we will support you financially and give generous study leave to help you achieve the best results you can. This applies throughout your career, not just during your Traineeship.

Post Qualification Learning & Development

For all our lawyers post-qualification, we offer a comprehensive Talent Management Programme combining in-house and external learning & development elements. Our learning & development programmes are mainly a combination of lectures, seminars, guest speakers and practical case studies.

Our in-house learning & development programme, centres around developing a balance of legal, business and people skills. All lawyers are encouraged to attend our regular firm-wide and practice specific internal knowledge and skills seminars and our Learning & Development team run commercial and client skills sessions specific to different experience levels within the Firm to enable real development and set expectations appropriately. Individuals are also encouraged to attend relevant external conferences and seminars.

We continually refine our development offering. We have developed a customised executive education programme for our associate lawyers, in conjunction with Smurfit Business School. Our objective is to support the development of those lawyers who will become the next generation of legal and business leaders through enabling them to better connect with clients on strategic and business issues. The programme has been a resounding success since it began 5 years ago.

Other programmes are delivered by our Partners and senior lawyers or internal specialists from the Learning & Development, Know How, Business Development and Finance teams and focus on recent transactions or refresher training on certain aspects of the law. Some are facilitated by external consultants who have significant experience of working with professional services and law firms. All our programmes are carefully selected to provide practical, timely and stimulating training which can be applied immediately to the participant’s role.

In addition to attendance at formal training events, we recognise that often the most valuable learning takes place by gaining practical experience on-the-job. Our partners and senior lawyers are committed to developing more junior lawyers. As well as the informal mentoring that takes place on the job, we run an annual three day induction programme for all newly qualified corporate lawyers facilitated by our partners.