My experience studying Law at the University of Limerick

The School of Law at UL recently received recognition of its Law degrees – Law Plus and Law and Accounting – from the Bar Council of India. Here one of our recent Law graduates, Pavan Ramaswamy, tells us of his experience and why he chose the School of Law, University of Limerick (UL) to study Law:

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I distinctly remember my first day on the campus at the University of Limerick… Attending one of the rites of passage, ‘open day’, I was here trying to make up my mind about where I wanted to study law, post my graduation in economics. The campus is awe-inspiring and of course, the Law School’s reputation precedes it. But what pulled me here was the ‘eight-months cooperative education’ opportunity in the third year that the University of Limerick has to offer, alongside the employment opportunities for law graduates. In addition to this, UL also offers Erasmus and exchange programmes, with more than 40 destinations to choose from, and options as varied as Belgium and Australia.

The daunting ‘next step’ of choosing a university suddenly seemed like a world of opportunity. If I hadn’t needed persuasion beforehand, I certainly didn’t need it afterwards: UL’s opportunities were unparalleled and it was where I was going to go!

Undertaking my Law Plus programme, at the University of Limerick, I was convinced that I had made the right choice of career path and acquiring professional legal skills. I was impressed with the overall academic content and the diverse variety of modules, the Law Plus programme has to offer. The modules not only deepened my knowledge in law but have assisted me in furthering my professional career as a lawyer in the commercial world and in my entrepreneurial ventures.

Completing the Law Plus programme has assisted me in developing my academic and research credentials alongside my practice of law. It was a great platform to build on my existing economic knowledge from my graduate degree: for instance, I gained a better comprehension of the common law system, which will be invaluable in my future career.

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The Law Plus programme allowed me to choose elective subjects like economics, politics, history and others, which permitted me to tailor the programme to my own interests. The course also offered various lawyering oriented skill modules, which helped me to acquire written and practical legal skills. The Advanced Lawyering module in the final year, enabled me to understand the alternative mechanisms for solving disputes outside the legal system (ADR), which is an increasingly important area in the modern legal profession.

I appreciate how the Law Plus programme focused both on domestic and international law, specifically, the International Legal Systems module, which introduced me to legal systems from all over the world. The class structure was refreshing and the academics never made learning seem like a chore. My classes facilitated regular interaction between professors and students, which often led to lively debates on relevant legal issues.

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In order to motivate the law students, the university offers various scholarships and awards. The law school has a wide range of connections with reputed law firms like A & L Goodbody Solicitors and Arthur Cox Law Chambers, who offer various awards and prizes to law students for their excellence. In support of the international students, the School of Law offers a number of free lectures, introducing students to fundamental areas of the law in Ireland. Further, UL law degrees are internationally recognised. Graduates of Bachelor of Laws (Law Plus) and Bachelor of Arts in Law and Accounting are qualified for admittance to a number of international bar associations including Indian Bar and New York Bar.

The ‘First Seven Weeks’ programme initiated by the University of Limerick provides strong, enhanced and targeted support to students from the beginning of their university experience. This, combined with the ‘Welcome and Induction’ week, helped international students to get introduced to the services on the campus. The University of Limerick Student Union (ULSU) is a student organisation which also represents and helps students with any problems or issues they might have during their time in college.

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The Glucksman Law Library was one of my favourite places to work during my studies at UL – the online databases are incredible and it’s a comfortable place to study.  The UL academic staff and the lecturers are absolute professionals and are very supportive of the students.

The university prides itself on its ability to create employment for graduates. The Cooperative Educational & Careers Division with a network of 1,6000 employers, helps more than 2,000 students to secure employment. There is an exceptionally high employment rate for students graduating from the School of Law. For instance: Students of Law & Accounting have an almost perfect 100% employment rate over a 5-year period. The International Education Division also assists students with their visa application and financial planning.

As a whole, I can say that the University of Limerick has a student-friendly environment, where students are provided opportunities and encouragement to explore, learn and grow in their fields of interest. I recommend the Law Plus program at the UL School of Law to anyone interested in a legal career and deepening their legal knowledge.”

 

For more information on the School of Law, University of Limerick, please visit https://ulsites.ul.ie/law/.

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My work placement in Spain

By Aine O’Neill

As part of my BA in English and History at the University of Limerick, it is mandatory to do a cooperative placement. Although you have the option to do this placement in Ireland, I luckily was picked to go to Spain! There are many companies which collaborate with UL for placement, for all aspects of any Arts degree. Through the University, I was set up with a company called Meddeas. This company specialises in sending students to Spanish schools to be a language assistant.

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So I’m now in the province of Cadiz, the sunniest part of Spain. Among my many duties at the school I am there to improve the children’s English skills. I work with children aged 1 -5 years old, they are enthusiastic about the language and are always trying to communicate with me. I have conversations with them in English and do activities with them.

I live with a host family which has made me feel right at home, although of course nothing beats the comfort of your own home (or dog). It is nice to have the support and dynamic of a family even when it feels like you’re a million miles away from yours!

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The culture shock is perhaps the most interesting parts of my cooperative placement, no more potatoes or Cadburys and I am now a far cry from the coffee at the Eden café. The Spanish culture is one you have to immerse yourself in, the people; their way of life and their food are all things I hope to take back to Limerick with me. The most glorious aspect of placement is the Spanish weather, it seems like yesterday I was walking through the UL campus with a heavy coat from the rain but now the only worry I have is what pair of sunglasses to wear!

My Arts degree at UL has not only has given me the opportunity to make friends, travel and work with a language – which I love – but it has also giving me grounding for the real world of work. I am thankful for this opportunity which UL has made possible for me, it will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Until my next blog, Adios!

How to prepare to go on Erasmus

By Elle Walsh, 3rd year Applied Languages student at the University of Limerick

It can seem daunting trying to get ready for a semester abroad if you’ve never lived outside of Ireland before. Knowing what to pack, what to leave behind and most importantly, what to expect can be a real challenge. That’s why I’ve decided to make a quick checklist of what I believe is essential.

Clothes

If you’re only going for one semester like most University of Limerick students do, it’s important to not bring too much stuff as you won’t need it all and it will just be a pain dragging stuff that you barely wore back home again. If you’re going for the first semester you will most likely be arriving to warm summer like conditions, DO NOT be tempted to bring heaps of summer clothes and the weather will change quickly and you’ll be left feeling cold.

I think it’s a good idea to bring one of everything and try make sure that most of the things you bring match the other stuff, so you can create new outfits which will stop you getting bored of your clothes.  In most mainland European countries except for Spain girls don’t get as dressed up as we do at home, my advice is to leave the heels behind and bring some nice boots that you feel comfortable in to wear out at night.

Remember that you will most likely always want to buy something new as well when you’re over there so don’t over do it. Packing lightly is not my strong suit and it is something that I regret!

Documents

Before I left UL in December 2016 to start my year abroad someone told me to scan everything important to you and put it on a memory stick and save it to a cloud that you use. This was the best advise that anyone has given me. I also made copies of my passport, driving licence, birth cert and E111 card as well as a letter from UL saying that I was in fact still a student there. In Germany especially, I needed these things to register, get a train ticket and for my job.

In April while on Coop I lost my purse with most of these things inside, luckily, I had copies, so I still had proof of identity while I waited for my new things to arrive. I would recommend doing this, it only takes a few minutes of your time before you leave and saves so much time over there.

 

Skin Care and Medicines

If you have super sensitive skin and have your skin care routine nailed down, I would advise bringing at least two month’s worth of supplies so that you have time to find the stuff you use in your new country or at worst have it sent over to you!

Similarly, with prescription medicine or stuff that you need every day, bring enough with you to last until you will next get to see a doctor at home again, even with the pill. It can be really complicated going to doctors in other countries and this is a stress saving method of staying healthy!

 

Must haves

These are just some random things that I think are so important to bring with you.

  • Obviously, an adapter for the plugs, what I usually do, is bring one or two adaptors and then an extension cord so that I can use everything I want to when I want and if there isn’t a plug close to your bed you don’t have to rearrange your whole room (your welcome).
  • A swimming costume, even if you’re not going to somewhere near a beach you never know when you will want to get away for the weekend.
  • Plasters, paracetamol, cold and flu tablets etc. It’s something I always forget to buy until I need them by bringing them with you, you can avoid having to go to the shops when you are at your worst.
  • Something from home, it’s so important to bring something that brings you comfort when your upset. For me it’s my dressing gown and my favourite slippers, I have them with me whenever I move away and it’s nice to have something that reminds you of home when you get a bit lonely or stressed out with assignments.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten somethings, but I hope this was helpful for you while you are packing to leave on your adventure. I’m so jealous, I wish I could be back starting mine all over again, best of luck!

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Elle Walsh is a 3rd year Applied Languages student studying French, German and Politics at the University of Limerick. In 2016, Elle took a gap year to improve her language skills and travel around Europe.