• Rachel FitzGerald
  • Solicitor
  • Sheffield

Rewarding Work

Rachel Fitzgerald

Qualified area: Product Liability
Seats completed: Medical Negligence, Family Law and Product Liability
University attended: National University of Ireland, Galway
Interesting fact: Prior to starting my training contract I travelled to northern Brazil to where I worked with a team of volunteers to build houses for the families of “Catadores” who worked on the landfills
Irwin Mitchell in three words: bold, caring, thorough

Why did you choose to qualify into product liability? 

After spending my final first year seat with the Product Liability team, I found that I enjoyed the varied nature of the work, the research required to provide evidence at the initial stages, the pace and excitement of an ever-evolving litigated case and the ultimate reward of a successful outcome for our clients.   

“I find it rewarding to build up a rapport with clients as their case progresses – it’s helpful to put a face to a file and for the client to know who is working on their behalf.”

How do you think the seat rotations prepare you for qualification as a solicitor?

Irwin Mitchell’s unique seat rotation pattern allows second year trainees to undertake three “training” seats and a “qualification” seat, which is the last seat they undertake and is in the area of law they are expected to qualify into.

I found that this rotation pattern supported my development as a trainee; the first three seats allowed for sufficient time to identify whether a particular area was for me and the final seat allowed me to fully focus on the area of law that I wanted to practise in.

Do you have much client contact?

Yes, I find it rewarding to build up a rapport with clients as their case progresses. I am frequently phoning and e-mailing clients throughout the day and will often meet with them in the office or in their homes, perhaps for an initial meeting or to complete their witness statement. It’s definitely helpful to put a face to a file and for the client to know who is working on their behalf.

What activities are you involved with outside of work?

I’m a member of Irwin Mitchell’s Future Networks’ Committee, which is an initiative to facilitate networking among junior professionals in the city. During my training contract, I was elected as the Education Representative for Sheffield Junior Lawyer Division. This role provided me with the opportunity to meet with other junior lawyers in the region and to speak at the city’s universities to law students about the process of going from a law graduate to securing a training contract. 


Closing Dates:

2017 Legal Work Placements - Now closed

2019 Training contracts only - 30 June 2017

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