Each year the School of Law selects one law student to complete the Los Angeles Federal District Court Externship with the support of the Irish American Bar Association. This year, Zara Murphy, third year Law Plus student, spent three months in LA on the programme. This was her experience:
“This year I was delighted to be selected by the School of Law to participate in a three-month legal externship in Los Angeles, California. My time was split between the Los Angeles Superior Courts and Federal District Court (for the Central District of California). I spent two weeks in the Superior Courts and ten weeks in the Federal District Court. The Irish American Bar Association (IABA) and the University of Limerick School of Law generously sponsor the programme. Four other law students from UCC, TCD, UCD and QUB also participated in the externship. The IABA helped to organise accommodation and acted as a sponsor and guide throughout the visa process and during the externship. The members of the IABA, our host families, the judiciary and our sponsor Mary O’Neill were overwhelmingly hospitable throughout our stay.
The role of a summer extern is a much-coveted one in American legal spheres. I was expected to prepare memos, case briefs and draft orders for my judges. The work was taxing but extremely rewarding; I had to quickly familiarise myself with a different legal system in order to execute the work expected of me. The externship allowed me to garner insight into the judicial decision-making process, to better understand the factors that judges consider when sentencing and to observe legal arguments presented by skilled orators. Additionally, the programme is culturally beneficial. The IABA organised numerous social events that helped to integrate the externs and to fully savour the Californian way of life. I would urge all UL law students to apply for this programme. The externship provided me with illuminating and inspiring insight into international law and future career paths.”
To learn more about the international opportunities for School of Law students, please visit https://ulsites.ul.ie/law/node/17921.
Zara Murphy pictured with the Honorable Terry J. Hatter Jr, Federal District Court Judge for the Central District of California.