Search icon

Cooperative Education Review 2015

Jay Curley recieving the Cooperative Education Award from President Don Barry


Jay Curley on co-op placement with Lynch & Kelly, Ltd., 2015

Jay Curley, a Law and Accounting graduate, received the Cooperative Education Award 2015 from President Don Barry at the August 2015 Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and interfaculty graduation ceremony.

Jay received the Cooperative Education Award  for his work placement as a legal intern with Lynch & Kelly Ltd., Los Angeles, California, USA.

On January 17th 2014, I set off to LAX in California. After over 16 hours of traveling I finally made it to my new apartment off Venice Beach in Marina Del Rey, California. My placement was on the 6th floor of the Biltmore Hotel, an incredible building which has held the Oscars ceremony on several occasions and is the set for many movies and television series such as Spiderman, Mad Men, and Glee to name a just few. Here, I worked as a legal intern with Lynch & Kelly Ltd.  Right from the first day I was made aware that I would be a significant member of the L&K staff and perform important tasks for the firm throughout.

With regards to learning and experience acquired I don’t feel like I could have possibly received a better co-operative education. With L&K, I was given invaluable insights into many areas of law, namely, family, civil, federal, criminal, and entertainment law.

L&K afforded me the opportunity to view trials in many different Californian court houses where I witnessed a broad range of attorneys present, some with the charisma of Hollywood stars! After court had gone on recess for the day, I would try to speak with some of the attorneys and find out as much as I could from them. Most were quite flattered and had no problem sharing their secrets for success with me. During the course of the internship, I witnessed several jury trials, the results of which were incredibly emotional occasions. I saw, for example, a young doctor’s relief as he was judged not guilty in a sexual assault case.  I also saw the victim of a brutal assault’s delight as he (Bryan Stow) was awarded upwards of $34 million in damages from the LA Dodgers after 2 years of litigation and a 9 week trial in what was the highest profile case in the United States that year.

The highlights for me were Las Vegas, Palm Springs, San Diego, the Grand Canyon, Lake Taho and, of course, Los Angeles itself. Overall my co-op experience was easily the most enjoyable and challenging of my life and I would advise anyone to do the same.


Caoilinn Doran on co-operative placement with General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), 2015Caoilinn Doran at her graduationCaoilinn Doran
LLB Law Plus Graduate (2015)

For the nine months of my cooperative education, I worked as an intern in the ‘Engine Leasing’ department of General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). This allowed me to gain professional industry experience with one of the world’s largest aviation sales and leasing companies; an industry I knew nothing about prior to my placement there.

During my time in GECAS I was allocated numerous daily tasks which consumed most of my time each week. These included tracking multi-million euro contracts and preparing daily, weekly, and monthly reports for senior management relating to ongoing and completed transactions. On top of this, there were frequent meetings to attend, ad hoc tasks from my team, and volunteering work as part of the company’s CSR programme. Each week differed from the next, but with every task I could see an improvement in my own personal development.

As the days went by, I began to appreciate my increasing interest in the aviation sector and even documented in my own co-op report that it would be an area I would seriously consider in the future. Two years on, I am an LLM candidate in the International Institute of Air and Space Law in Leiden University, in the Netherlands and I am already a few months into my Masters of Air and Space Law. Now planning to specialise in aviation, had I been informed before my co-op that this was the route I would end up on, I probably would have laughed – but I really love it!

The opportunities are plentiful, and already, I shall be representing Leiden University in the International Air Law Moot Court Competition in April 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia. This distinguished event in the aviation calendar shall undoubtedly add enormously to my professional development as I further pursue my career in the aviation sector – a journey all started with my 3rd year co-op placement in the School of Law, University of Limerick!