‘You can work hard and play hard be­cause New York has so much to of­fer ’

Wild Geese Rose­mary Doo­ley, New York

The Irish Times - Business - - CAVEAT - Michelle Jack­son

Rose­mary Doo­ley didn’t leave Ire­land be­cause she had to. She chose to. By the time she grad­u­ated with a law de­gree from Trin­ity Col­lege, the dog days of the 1980s and early 1990s had faded and there were many more op­por­tu­ni­ties in Ire­land for trainee so­lic­i­tors and bar­ris­ters.

But, af­ter com­plet­ing a mas­ters in law at Cam­bridge, Doo­ley was of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to move to New York to work as a para­le­gal at Pat­ter­son, Belk­nap, Webb & Tyler, a law firm in Man­hat­tan. She se­cured a J-1 visa and moved in De­cem­ber 1997.

“Af­ter a year of work­ing as para­le­gal, I stud­ied for the New York state bar exam in Fe­bru­ary 1999, for­tu­nately passed the first time, and Pat­ter­son, Belk­nap hired me as an as­so­ciate at­tor­ney in their trans­ac­tional cor­po­rate prac­tice.”

It was a dream job for the young lawyer from Monasterevin in Co Kil­dare. Doo­ley worked with a team of lawyers ad­vis­ing com­pa­nies on for­ma­tion, fi­nanc­ing, merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions, etc.

Af­ter six years at Pat­ter­son, Belk­nap, Webb & Tyler, she took some time off and qual­i­fied to prac­tise as a so­lic­i­tor in Eng­land and Wales. She con­sid­ered mov­ing to Lon­don, but missed New York too much and moved back there to work for an­other large New York law firm, Schulte, Roth and Za­bel.

“There I worked on big cor­po­rate deals such as Fiat’s ac­qui­si­tion of Chrysler in the wake of the col­lapse of the US auto in­dus­try.”

Ex­pe­ri­ence at two large Man­hat­tan law firms equipped Doo­ley with the le­gal skills nec­es­sary to start her own busi­ness. “Work­ing for my­self al­ways ap­pealed to me and, in 2012, I took the plunge and founded McCormick & Doo­ley PLLC with a fel­low Ir­ish lawyer, Bar­bara McCormick. I haven’t looked back since.”

McCormick prac­tises im­mi­gra­tion law and Doo­ley prac­tises trans­ac­tional busi­ness/cor­po­rate law. On the cor­po­rate side, both ad­vise start-ups and es­tab­lished com­pa­nies on cor­po­rate struc­ture and for­ma­tion, cor­po­rate fi­nanc­ing, merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions, com­mer­cial con­tracts and a va­ri­ety of other busi­ness and com­mer­cial mat­ters.

On the im­mi­gra­tion side, they pre­pare tem­po­rary work visa ap­pli­ca­tions for com­pa­nies seek­ing to hire for­eign work­ers and for in­di­vid­ual clients, in­clud­ing many artists, mu­si­cians and other cre­ative peo­ple, as well as em­ploy­ment and fam­ily-based ap­pli­ca­tions for per­ma­nent res­i­dence.

“Many of our clients are Ir­ish or other for­eign com­pa­nies that want to ex­pand their oper­a­tions into the US. We are well placed to ad­vise them on US cor­po­rate law in set­ting up a US sub­sidiary and com­menc­ing oper­a­tions here, and im­mi­gra­tion law if they wish to send any of their lo­cal em­ploy­ees to the US on a tem­po­rary ba­sis.

“We are a great fit for this type of client as we have first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing im­mi­grants who have set up a busi­ness in New York. We de­liver qual­ity le­gal ad­vice at more cost-ef­fec­tive rates than big­ger law firms.”

Doo­ley ad­vises Ir­ish peo­ple fol­low­ing in her foot­steps to the Big Ap­ple to be pre­pared to work very hard.

Food choices are end­less

“You can work hard and play hard be­cause New York has so much to of­fer in terms of arts, cul­ture, en­ter­tain­ment, food, etc. Food choices are end­less and eat­ing out is very com­mon, since most New York­ers live in apart­ments with tiny kitchens.

“There’s a vi­brant run­ning com­mu­nity here, and New York Road Run­ners puts on nu­mer­ous races and run­ning events through­out the year, in­clud­ing the New York city marathon,” which she ran last week­end to raise money for Con­cern World­wide.

While se­cur­ing work visas has be­come more chal­leng­ing un­der the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion, Doo­ley thinks there will al­ways be op­por­tu­ni­ties in the US for Ir­ish em­i­grants who are well ed­u­cated, mo­ti­vated and hard-work­ing. “We live in a more dig­i­tally con­nected world than when I first moved here 20 years ago so it is eas­ier to con­nect with peo­ple and hear about avail­able op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

For sev­eral years Doo­ley was the trea­surer of the Trin­ity Col­lege Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion in New York, and she is a mem­ber of some Ir­ish-Amer­i­can or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Ir­ish In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Net­work, Dig­i­tal Ir­ish, the Ir­ish Busi­ness Or­gan­i­sa­tion, and the Ir­ish Amer­i­can Bar As­so­ci­a­tion of New York.

But she urges peo­ple not to con­fine them­selves to what they know. “I think it’s im­por­tant to branch out be­yond Ir­ish-Amer­i­can or­gan­i­sa­tions. In par­tic­u­lar, there are some great US or­gan­i­sa­tions fo­cused on women busi­ness own­ers such as the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Women Busi­ness Own­ers, and the Ell­e­vate Net­work.”

Right now, Doo­ley is fo­cused on con­tin­u­ing to grow the busi­ness and sees her­self re­main­ing based in New York for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

“I love liv­ing here and, to be hon­est, would miss it too much if I left. Be­ing my own boss and the na­ture of an ad­vi­sory busi­ness like a law firm means that I can work from any­where with a lap­top, a phone and a high-speed in­ter­net con­nec­tion.

“As a re­sult, I can spend more time in Europe where I have a hol­i­day home in south­west France and still be able to ser­vice my clients.”

We live in a more dig­i­tally con­nected world than when I first moved here 20 years ago so it is eas­ier to con­nect with peo­ple and hear about avail­able op­por­tu­ni­ties

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