Katie Nagle, 4th Year Law Plus, recently participated in the Chief Justice’s Summer Internship Programme at the Four Courts, Dublin. She writes about the experience here:
“I was awarded the superb opportunity to participate in the Chief Justice’s Summer Internship Programme, initiated by The Honorable Chief Justice Mrs Susan Denham. The internship lasted four weeks and saw students from all Irish Universities, Fordham Law School in New York and Bangor University in Wales descend upon the Four Courts, Dublin. On the first day we were greeted by the Chief Justice who spoke to every student individually, welcoming us to the programme!
I was assigned to intern with Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys, Judge of the High Court. I met with the Judge daily during the internship and attended court each day, observing proceedings and assisting in any way necessary. One particular case was ongoing while I was on the internship and I gained a great understanding of the issues involved. The case encapsulated issues I was familiar with from my study of Equity and Trusts, but also contained intricate arguments of environmental law. Judgment was delivered on my final day of the internship, which really summed up the experience for me. I helped in proof reading the document and my Judge was open to any suggestions I had. Overall, it was an excellent experience and I believe it will benefit me in my future career.
I also spent one day of the internship with Ms. Justice Caroline Costello. I had completed my final year research project on bankruptcy and it was an honour to talk with the Judge about the topic and my findings. The well-organised itinerary included a lecture series, a visit to the Drug Treatment Court, the Criminal Courts of Justice and the historic Green Street Courthouse.
A central highlight of my experience for me, was the retirement of Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, a well-known Judge of the Supreme Court. On the day of her retirement, everyone was invited to the Supreme Court to witness the full bench of Supreme Court Judges sitting together, one last time. The Chief Justice, representatives of the Bar Council and the Law Society alongside the new Attorney General all spoke at the gathering, saying kind words about Justice Laffoy and recognising her immense contribution to Irish law. As a law student, Judge Laffoy was a name that was mentioned in numerous areas of law and to be present in court on the day of her retirement was something I will never forget.
I would urge every law student at the University of Limerick to apply for this internship. Notwithstanding the invaluable impact it will have on your future career, it provides access to the inner workings of the Superior Courts of Ireland which will amaze and enlighten you at every step.”