By Steve Scannell
My time in Dublin working at Mason Hayes & Curran was, in the words of the Irish, “absolutely brilliant.” As a general rule, forming relationships in a new environment can take time, but that did not apply in my experience at MHC. The people of Ireland are some of the most welcoming, warm and well-natured people I have met. Nothing is more illustrative of this than an American intern arriving in Dublin late on a Sunday evening and being greeted by a partner of a top-tier Irish law firm with over 500 employees and countless interns. That partner, Micheál Grace, is someone of extreme class and benevolence, and the SLU LAW community is beyond lucky to have him as a friend across the pond. I was amazed at the treatment I received from him, but as my time at Mason Hayes & Curran went on, I realized I was surrounded by hundreds of people who shared this neighborly mentality. Each trip to the copier or to grab a coffee from the café was greeted with a kind hello and a “how ya getting on?” The pleasantries were telling, but having a constant stream of people stopping to grab a seat with you at lunch or inviting you out for a pint after work really shows the kind of people who make up this firm.
While at MHC, I worked closely with Micheál and the rest of the financial services team. One of the most surprising aspects of my experience was how I was incorporated into the team. Micheál was incredibly understanding of my limitations as someone without any understanding of Irish law or banking, and he did an amazing job of explaining to me why I was doing the work I was doing, rather than simply what I needed to do. Being able to understand the big picture of what was at stake was crucial in helping me understand the business and the clients' needs.
Outside of the office, I was able to be a part of quite a few events that were indicative of the people of MHC and what they are about. My first week I attended the MHC Cycle & Hike charity event. Along with 100 other employees, I hopped on the bus from Dublin to head south to Wicklow Mountains National Park, where I saw some of the most breathtaking scenery Ireland has to offer. It is no wonder County Wicklow is dubbed the “Garden of Ireland.”
I was also fortunate to have been here for the MHC Summer BBQ, where the firm rented out a rugby club and filled it with live music and entertainment, a variety of food trucks, and hundreds of lively people.
Although the people undoubtedly give this country the appeal, the sports-crazed culture and natural wonders that surround it give it that something extra to make it truly magnificent. This is a rare opportunity afforded to any American, let alone a law student. Thank you to Dean Johnson, Ira Trako and Micheál Grace for affording me this once in a lifetime opportunity.