Killian Kiely, Jones Day

Lawyer 2B quizzes Jones Day trainee Killian Kiely.

Name: Killian Kiely

Firm: Jones Day

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: Law and LLM

University: University College Dublin and LSE

Hobbies: Festivals, travel and sport.

Current department: Non-rotational

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 5/2

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

I enjoyed studying law as my undergraduate degree and even more so as part of my masters. I knew I wanted to be involved in the everyday deal churn of the City but I’m quite risk averse, so the legal side of deal teams seemed the right fit for me.

What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?

I was part of a new wave of Irish law students coming into the City in 2010 and there was a certain lack of understanding of our educational qualifications. Jones Day is a firm though that thrives on the varied backgrounds of their trainee intakes and they seemed genuinely interested and open to the many different routes training contract applicants take.

Killian Kiely
Killian Kiely, Jones Day

What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?

In one interview we ended up discussing dictatorships and the merits of a benevolent dictator and I was asked who my favourite dictator was.

Names like Stalin, Tito and Mao crossed the mind and all of them seemed inappropriate in one way or another. So instead of sticking my neck out and potentially impressing my interviewers with my knowledge of “great” dictators, I decided to go for the cheap laugh and said ”my Mother” and moved the conversation swiftly on to safer territory.

Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…

As we are on a non-rotational training system, I have been able to work in a number of departments simultaneously. I have been fortunate enough to be involved in the surge in mid-market and international M&A deals that our corporate department have been doing lately as well as some corporate criminal investigations work and one or two of the many real estate portfolio deals our real estate department have been doing.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

While initially quite daunting, I have really taken to the level of responsibility senior colleagues are willing to give me as a trainee. The training contract here really allows you to do and try as much as you are willing and able to. I am also very lucky in that I work with like minded people who make for good company on some of the late evenings.

What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?

The work of a solicitor can at times be quite a solitary existence. While you are generally part of a team providing advice or working on a deal for a client, most of the time I spend at work is in my office reading/drafting documents by myself and checking in with supervisors or peers periodically for a some advice or updates. In truth though, I’m not sure given the nature of the work it could be done any other way.

Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?

I have just received an email from an associate in our Dallas office thanking me for some work I did on the disclosure schedule of a US style purchase agreement. The work was in relation to some UK subsidiaries of a US company which we had helped the US company buy previously. The entire group is now being sold and while our Dallas office is leading the sale, we were in the best position to comment on the UK subsidiaries.

Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?

The Harrow is the local watering hole and come Thursday or Friday night, you will generally find a friendly face from work to discuss the latest goings on.

Describe your training partner in three words.

In our non-rotational training system, trainees work with many partners simultaneously rather than just one training partner. In general all of our partners are: approachable, busy and experienced.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).

  • I do a perfect Ronan Keating impersonation.
  • I haven’t lived in the same country for 12 consecutive months for the last 8 years.
  • I can play the jazz flute.

If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?

Sports Agent

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?

Try to have a wide range of educational interests and life experiences as it will make you far more interesting to your prospective employers and will truly come in useful in your career.