The Law Society of Ireland has welcomed 500 transition year students to participate in its second annual Legal Ambitions Summer School since 20 July. Part of the Law Society’s Public Legal Education Initiative, the free four-week online course is specially designed to offer an introduction to the legal basics and encourage young people to broaden their vision of law, both as a career and in their daily lives.
Fifteen-year-old Seán O’Carroll from Lucan participated in this year’s Legal Ambitions Summer School and is considering a career in law. A transition year student at Catholic University School in Dublin 2, he said the Summer School gave him an opportunity to understand the fundamentals of how law works and provided an insight into the potential career options law offers.
“I have always had an interest in law,” explained Seán. “I read crime novels and have watched many documentaries on criminal and corporate law with my Dad since I was very young. The Legal Ambitions Summer School gave me an opportunity to research the subject, listen to industry professionals who have chosen this career and learn what it takes to get there.”
Learning the basics
“My favourite part was learning about the lives of solicitors that contributed to the course. In particular, Waheed Mudah, who was previously a qualified solicitor in Nigeria and had to requalify through the FE-1s (final examinations) and two additional exams to become a solicitor here in Ireland,” he said.
“The course also provided me with a better understanding of the Courts System, the legal system in Ireland and how the law is a part of everyday life, including in society, humanity, business and various careers,” said Seán.
Seán’s father, Eoghan O’Carroll, said, “The Legal Ambitions Summer School is an excellent resource for secondary school students considering a career in law. I would highly recommend this course. Seán is very excited about a future career in law and this course has given him great insight into the legal profession in Ireland.”
Inspiring future legal leaders
Chairperson of the Law Society’s Education Committee, Richard Hammond SC, said, “At such a challenging time for students and parents, the Legal Ambitions Summer School provides four weeks of free and highly-engaging online legal education. The Law Society is delighted to provide this innovative, collaborative and age-appropriate resource for so many students across Ireland to learn about the law.”
“Experienced solicitors, judges and professors delivered lessons on human rights, employment law, criminal law and climate justice through workshops, video presentations and interviews. It is even possible that some of our course participants, like Seán, may be future legal leaders,” he said.
Access to legal education
The Summer School is part of the Law Society’s Public Legal Education Initiative, which aims to increase awareness of the law by teaching people about our legal system and how law impacts on society, so they can better exercise their legal rights and responsibilities.
“Improving early access to legal education has positive benefits for everyone in our society. It creates a greater understanding of our own civil legal obligations but also opens the door to careers in the legal profession,” said Mr Hammond.
“Through the Summer School, we can also reach students who may not have considered a future in the legal profession and we can encourage more young people from diverse backgrounds to nurture their legal ambitions and pursue a career as a solicitor,” explained Mr Hammond.