What did you study before the LLM?
Before the LLM I studied a BA (Economics and Legal Science) and a Diploma in Irish. During my BA I took a three year sabbatical to serve as President of the Students Union in NUI Galway and then as National President of the Union of Students in Ireland. Following my term I completed my BA and went onto the LL.B.
Why did you choose to study the LLM in Law, Technology and Governance in NUI Galway?
I wanted a LLM course that was practical and had a high commercial content. A lot of the Commercial Law masters that I looked at seemed quite theoretical, while the range of subjects in Galway offered a number of interesting courses with a practical, business focused aspect. Courses like the Regulation of Biotechnology and Corporate Governance were very innovative and up to date.
What areas in the programme did you enjoy the most?
The small class sizes allowed a lot of engagement, and the broad areas covered in the courses allowed students to develop their own interests. Rather than the traditional lecture or led seminar, the classes allowed students to discuss the aspects of the issue that particularly appealed to them, not only the strictly legal aspects but also the the moral, political or commercial aspects. Real world issues are rarely "one dimensional" and this course reflected that.
Why would you recommend the programme to potential applicants?
Absolutely - I have done so, and those people that have followed the recommendation have equally good things to say about the course.
How has the programme helped you in your chosen career path?
I work for an American Investment Bank in London as a Broker, mainly dealing in early stage technology and life science companies. Both in this role and my previous role (as an analyst in Mergers and Acquisitions) I have found the skills of assimilation and distillation of information that a legal education provides to be crucial. My thesis on the regulation of banking was of particular interest to employers, as it gave me a good understanding of the banking sector and it made the process of gaining approval from the UK Financial Regulator a lot easier.
What does a typical working day involve for you?
We specialise in funding early stage companies and my role involves placing securities (shares and bonds) in those companies with appropriate investors. This involves understanding the company inside out - its finances, operations, management and strategy, and also the environment that it operates in, such as its markets, competitors and regulators. A lot of my day to day work is relationship building and keeping up to speed on developments affecting the placings. It’s a busy environment where things move quickly, and for someone who enjoys business, a hugely rewarding one.
As I work for a relatively small firm my work is very varied, and is very dependent on the project we are working on. We deal mainly in the energy sector, so I could be compiling a report on policy developments relevant to the nuclear or oil and gas sectors, or putting together biographies of industry figures, or assisting other team members prepare for a meeting or presentation.