Two students from UL’s School of Law, Evana Lyons (Law Plus) and Rebecca Lalor (LLM General), participated in the Chief Justice’s Summer Internship Programme for Law Students for four weeks this summer.
Rebecca Lalor writes about her experience:
“Having completed my month as an intern on the Chief Justice’s Summer Internship programme, I can honestly say it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Experiencing lectures from esteemed judges and legal practitioners, researching points of law for judges and attending dinner at the King’s Inns were just some of the highlights of my experience.
The entire programme was so well organised, but it was also highly flexible which greatly appealed to me. As an intern you had some down time if your judge was not sitting which allowed you to sit in on any other trial which was of interest to you.
I was fortunate enough to be placed with two judges over the course of my internship, which gave an even more in depth view of the courts. Both Mr. Justice Eager and Mr. Justice McCarthy took time out of their incredibly busy days to speak to me on both the legal system and their experience as judges and as barristers, providing invaluable insight and advice as I start out in my career.
Another highlight of my time in the courts was the visit to Green Street Court House, where the interns saw the Drug Treatment Court in action. It was incredible to see alternative forms of justice where those before the court were provided with opportunities for education and rehabilitation. The court was an environment where they were treated as individuals and praised for their progress in the programme.
Observing commercial court cases, as well as every aspect of the criminal trial process within the space of four weeks was incredible experience for any student pursing a legal career. The internship also provided the interns with the opportunity to work alongside the judicial assistants assigned to their judge. This is an incredibly important role within the courts system and one which the internship allowed me to learn more about.
The programme also provided an amazing opportunity for the interns to network and get to know one another. Other interns on the programme came from the United States, Wales and South Africa and this provided an international aspect to the programme.
The four weeks flew by and all of the interns agreed we could have easily spent another four weeks in the courts! I would like to take this time to thank the Law School for organising such a fantastic opportunity for their students, and to encourage anyone thinking of applying for the programme next year to go for it. It will no doubt act as a catalyst for my career and for that I am very grateful.”
Evana Lyons said:
“Throughout the Chief Justice’s Summer Internship Programme, I was given the fantastic opportunity to observe proceedings in both the High Court personal injuries list under Ms Justice O’Hanlon as well as in the Criminal Courts of Justice with Ms Justice Creedon.
As a result of this, for the first portion of the internship I gained fantastic insight into civil litigation and courtroom demeanour while in the latter part of the internship I observed the clear distinction with criminal cases and the emphasis which is placed on evidence rules. For this I feel particularly lucky as I had the chance to observe a broad range of issues and the way in which these are handled in the Courts.
In addition to being permitted to attend various court sittings, interns were given assignments over the course of the internship from their respective judges. This meant that not only were we allowed to watch Judges in Court but that we were also given the chance to contemplate issues from a judge’s perspective. For law students, this is critical as it prepares us for careers whereby we must view an issue from every angle.
This internship was invaluable in that it not only provided this crucial insight into court proceedings but there was also a focus on education through the Hardiman lecture series, named in memory of the late Judge Hardiman. This series took place twice a week over the course of the internship and was comprised of a myriad of topics which could appeal to every student. These were delivered by academics and judges alike. In addition to this, tours were also arranged for the interns to attend Green Street Courthouse to see in practice the Drugs Court as well as a historical tour of the court.
This prestigious internship provided the opportunity of a lifetime to meet with judges, to understand their work and to discuss various legal issues while starting off a legal career and I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in pursuing a career practicing law.”