Paul Moran, Reed Smith

Lawyer 2B quizzes Reed Smith trainee Paul Moran

Name: Paul Moran

Firm: Reed Smith

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: Law

University: Nottingham Trent University

Hobbies: Cycling, ice hockey, reading and travelling

Current department: Shipping        

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 6/4

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

My career as a professional ice hockey player was interrupted due to a couple of shoulder dislocations (25 to be exact!) so I decided a career change was needed. I felt working as a commercial solicitor suited my attributes and academic interests.

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

Making firm focused applications which demonstrated my understanding of how the firm operated in its key practice areas and why I wished to work there. 

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

 “Given that you used to play sport for a living, do you think you’re intellectually capable of being a solicitor?” I laughed and said I wouldn’t be at the interview if I didn’t.

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

At the moment I am sat in the wet shipping team; we work for some of the world’s biggest salvors and numerous P&I Clubs in respect of matters arising from incidents at sea. We were recently involved in a successful trial at the Commercial Court as well as a successful mediation.

I have been given a great deal of responsibility and I am currently managing a number of claims with my supervising partner’s oversight. We also carry out some non-contentious work and a typical day can involve drafting submissions, negotiating documents, phone calls with clients and legal research. The variety of work ensures that no day is ever the same and that really makes work an interesting and enjoyable experience.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

The considerable responsibility I have been given has enabled me to learn a great deal in a very short space of time. A concern of mine when applying to firms in the City was being “one of a very many” as opposed to “one of a key few”. Our intake numbers are lower than most international City firms and therefore all of our trainees are heavily relied upon within their respective teams and this enables a trainee to develop very quickly. The high level of client contact and the opportunities to engage with people at all levels within the shipping industry is also great experience and if it happens to be over a steak at the Hawksmoor then so be it!

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

The responsibility I would be given. In both real estate (my previous seat) and my current seat I have been given the opportunity to learn by doing and by being relied upon to deliver quality legal services to our firm’s clients.

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

My previous supervising partner from real estate, Jimmy Theodorou. We were due to go for lunch today but he is now shooting off to Paris so we have re-arranged for next week.

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

My secretary or the print room.

Paul Moran
Paul Moran, Reed Smith

Describe your training partner in three words

Sky News correspondent (well, for all wet shipping matters at least!)

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

  • I have captained my country
  • I used to co-host a Sky Sports TV programme
  • I have excellent rhythm.

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

Doctor or a teacher.

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

Work hard, gain experience and be yourself. Gaining a training contract is as much about what you have learned about life as it is about what you have learned during your time in education; you just need to demonstrate all of this in your application and interview.