How do I become a lawyer?

Are you interested in a career in law but unsure how to go about it? Here are the key steps to becoming a lawyer with Matheson.

  • Complete and pass your primary degree.
  • Successfully obtain an apprenticeship through one of the following:
  • Pass the Final Examination - First Part, commonly known as the FE1’s. This consists of eight exams which can be completed in October and April each year. You have the choice to do eight exams together or to do them over time. You must pass all eight exams before you can begin your Professional Practice Course I, known as PPCI.
  • Attend  PPCI  in  Blackhall  Place,  Dublin  and  pass  the course  examinations. This  runs  from September to April each year.
  • Spend  a  period  of  11  months  as  a  trainee  lawyer  in Matheson. During  this  time  you  will complete two rotations in different departments.
  • Attend PPCII in Blackhall Place, Dublin and pass the course examinations, running from April to June each year.
  • Serve the remaining 10 months of the two-year term of apprenticeship following completion of PPCII. During this time you will complete two rotations in different departments in the firm.
  • After completion of the two-year term of apprenticeship, you will become a qualified lawyer and will be admitted to the Roll of Solicitors.

How do I apply?

Please complete the relevant Matheson application form. Please fill in all of the sections and apply early as late applications will not be accepted. We do not accept CVs.

What makes a great application?

The purpose of the application form is to give us a sense of who you are both academically and as a person. Many of the questions have been designed to show us aspects of you as a person - your interests, your achievements both academic and personal and your perception of Matheson. You should view the application form as an opportunity to show us who you are and why we should select you for interview.

Take your time completing your application form. It can take a couple of hours to get it right but the effort will be worth it if you secure an interview. The questions asked by different firms may look similar, but it is unlikely you will be able to use exactly the same answer each time. Get someone you trust to review your application form before submitting it and ensure your form is free of spelling and grammatical errors – attention to detail is an important skill for a lawyer to have. Ensure all your contact details are correct as these are the contact details we will use to notify you if have been successful or not.

When do the interviews take place?

If your application is successful, you will be invited to Matheson in mid-November for an interview. During your visit you will also get to meet some of our trainee lawyers. Our interview process is a two-stage process and is designed to identify motivated, creative and focused individuals, who are passionate about law and delivering top class legal advice to our clients.

The purpose of the interview process is for us to get to know you and for you to find out more about Matheson and the work you will be involved in. Some key things to remember about your interview:

  • Be prepared. You should know why you want to work with Matheson and what you understand about the work we do. Our website is a good place to start.
  • Be punctual and dress professionally. You should make sure in advance you know where our office is (details are on our website) and allow enough time to get to the interview.
  • Relax. In the interview, you should take time to think about your answer. If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification.
  • Be honest, be concise and be yourself.
  • Feel free to ask any questions you may have at the end of the interview.

What advice do you have for preparing for an interview with Matheson?

  • Do your homework: read your application form, visit our website and read recent business media.
  • Formulate your thoughts: be prepared to explain why you chose to interview with Matheson and why you are a good fit for us.
  • Look the part: always wear proper attire and greet your interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake.
  • Be positive and project a good attitude, show your interviewers that you are interested in a career with Matheson.
  • Listen to the questions asked by the interviewers and answer the questions clearly and concisely. Refer to a mix of academic experience, work experience and extra-curricular activities during the interview.

When will I hear if I have been successful?

You will receive a call as soon as possible after your interview to let you know whether or not you have been successful.

How many applications does Matheson receive each year?

On average we receive between 800 and 1,000 applications each year.

Do I need to have completed my undergraduate degree to apply for a training contract?

No, many of our applicants are in the final year of their degree.

Do I require a law degree?

While a degree in law is desirable, we will consider applications from other disciplines.

Do I need to complete my FE1 exams before I apply?

It is not a requirement to have completed your FE1 exams in order to apply for a training contract with Matheson.

How many trainees do you recruit each year?

Our trainee intake is based on the current and future needs of the firm. As a firm experiencing sustained growth over the past number of years we are currently recruiting 35 - 40 trainees per year. We recruit across the summer internship and the trainee programmes. We are not just recruiting trainee lawyers but future partners, as it our intention that our trainee lawyers will stay with us and develop their careers with the firm.

What is the retention rate for trainee lawyers once they qualify?

Having selected the most talented graduates and invested in them throughout their legal training, we aim to retain all our trainees upon qualification. In recent years, our rate has been over 90%.

What intake are you currently recruiting for?

Our overall aim is to recruit talented young graduates who meet our firm values. In that regard, we welcome applications for all years. However, we are particularly interested in candidates who are ready to start in 2016 and 2017.

When will my training contract start?

Trainees start in the first week of September each year with induction training prior to commencing the PPC1 course at Blackhall.

Is there a possibility of secondment during my training contract?

Yes, trainees have been seconded to clients / organisations both in Ireland and overseas.

Will Matheson pay the fees for the Law Society’s Professional Practice courses?

Yes, Matheson pays the fees for both the Professional Practice Course I and II.

Is there a good social life for trainees in Matheson?

Trainees at Matheson enjoy an excellent social life. Our trainees organise various social events such as a summer BBQ, weekend away, Christmas party and sports events, which are financially supported by the firm. As you rotate to work with different practice areas you will socialise with your team and collectively as a firm we hold social and sporting events. Visit the 'Life at Matheson' blog to find out more about the firm’s social activities.

If I have any questions about Matheson is there someone I can talk to?

Our Graduate Team, Nicola White, Clíodhna Ní Chaoláin and Jennifer Ryan, are all experienced in the training and qualification process and are there to answer any questions you have before, during or after the application process. Visit the Contact Us section to contact our Graduate Team.