For me, Law as both a concept and a subject is fascinating. It permeates our society at all levels, from our day to day lives to the most complex cases in our courts and to the most significant decisions in our governments; all the while going practically unnoticed.
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My first exposure to law, was my very first action project, where I visited my local district court and took the opportunity to interview the presiding judge. This experience was significant for me, particularly at such a young age to see first-hand the law in action. It sparked an interest within me that led me to using it as a stepping stone to learn more about the law. A project I am currently working on is my extended essay in history. For this, I have chosen to research ‘Brown V. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas’; a Supreme Court case which was ground-breaking in terms of civil rights in the United States. Civil rights is one such area of law that I find particularly interesting. To me, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States is a crucial and relatively recent example of the law being something that requires constant and careful review. Nicholas J. McBride in his book ‘Letters to a Law Student’ aptly describes it as “an ongoing conversation that is aimed at determining what sort of society we should live in.” Additionally, in doing this project I am actively improving my researching skills, which is proving to be invaluable.
Two years ago, I was chosen by my school to take part in the ‘Davis College Model United Nations’, an event where senior students recreate, as accurately as possible, their own United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. It was a truly remarkable experience, which improved both my public speaking skills and deepened my understanding of how laws can and do work on a global scale.
Physics, one of my eight Leaving Certificate subjects, has taught me to deal with concepts methodically; something undoubtedly transferrable to investigating and analyzing legal issues. My interest in physics led me in fact to seeking work experience at CERN in Switzerland. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was extremely grateful for the experience. Wanting to explore a few of the various routes one can take after doing Law, I undertook an additional two placements. Doyle Solicitors in Cork was recommended to me by UCC Senior Law lecturer Darius Whelan. My time spent there was eye opening, allowing me to engage with the administrative aspects of legal proceedings, and learning how cases are initiated and concluded. I found the advice and insights given to me by the solicitors and the partners at the firm to be very helpful. They offered their stories to me of their experiences studying law and working in the legal field. Later in 2017, a Junior Counsel by the name of Aoife O’Leary offered me the opportunity to work with her at the Four Courts and the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin. I found the work of a barrister to be far more hands-on and fast paced to that of the work of a solicitor. While my heart isn’t quite yet set, I do feel I would be better suited to the work of a barrister. I am very glad to have done all three of these placements, not only because I enjoyed them immensely, but also because I believe they will stand to me in the future.
Having achieved academic success thus far, including attaining nine A’s in my Junior Certificate, I feel only more driven to continue this in my final exams and at third level. I speak Irish and French fluently and would relish the opportunity to study abroad.
On a more personal note, I enjoy sport, music and reading and I would enjoy the healthy challenge that studying abroad would have to offer. I am confident that an opportunity like this would allow me to express myself more freely than ever before. Not only do I want expand my world both intellectually and culturally but I want to deepen my understanding of the concept of law and to apply myself fully to my law degree.
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