The Faculty of Law at Griffith College offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities
- Griffith College and the Faculty of Law offer an in-house careers service that helps learners draft their Curriculum Vitae, and enhance their interview skills. The Faculty of Law also assists learners in securing work placement opportunities both on a formal and informal basis.
Free Legal Advice Clinic (FLAC)
- The Faculty hosts regular free legal advice clinics on campus providing learners with the opportunity to work alongside professionals in providing legal advice to staff and learners in the College.
- Throughout the academic year the Griffith College Law Society schedules a variety of activities for learners (such as the learners Christmas party, and other social events) in addition to a series of talks by members of the legal community. The Law Society is also actively involved in the schools initiatives run by the Faculty and contribute to the organisation and smooth running of events.
Debating Society and Mooting Society
- Griffith College also host an award winning Mooting Society and Debating Society.
- The Debating Society provides learners with the opportunity to partake in organised learner debates. Internally, the College runs a debating competition for its own learners. Externally, learners are encouraged to participate in prestigious international and national debates. During the 2017/2018 academic year Faculty teams are participating in the Irish Times Debating Competition, John Smith Memorial Irish Mace and Corn Adomnáin International Humanitarian Law Competition.
- The Mooting Society encourages legal debate among learners by way of written submission and oral presentation. The society runs an internal Moot Court for Griffith College law learners as well as encouraging teams to enter renowned national and international intervarsity moots such as the Thomas Finlay Moot Court, which a Griffith team won in 2014 and 2015. During the 2017/2018 academic year a Faculty teams participated in the DCU National Moot Court Competition.
- Learners active in both societies receive expert guidance and coaching from experienced, practising barristers.
- Griffith College entered, for the first time ever, the Jessup Competition, competing against King’s Inns and the Law Society. Moreover, we were admitted to the Jean Pictet, the so-called Word Championship for International Humanitarian Law after a competitive application process. Students participated in the Competition, this year in Obernai, France. During 2018/2019 we also participated in the Irish Times, Mace, DCU Matheson and Philpot Curran Moot Court.
- Last but not least, GCD has hosted the Irish Red Cross IHL Competition this April, while having two teams from GCD entering against Queen’s University Belfast, UCC and Law Society.
Brehon Law Society Internship Programme
- Each year a number of our learners complete a summer internship in Philadelphia. This is organised in conjunction with the Brehon Law Society of Philadelphia. The learners work in judge’s chambers, and get the opportunity to attend events, network and gain hands on experience of the US judicial system. 2019 will be the sixth year during which Faculty learners travel to Philadelphia and we look forward to continuing this unique opportunity for our learners.
“The Philadelphia Brehon Law Society Internship is by far the best experience I have had so far in my life. Working in the Philadelphia Courts of Common Pleas alongside a judge really is an invaluable experience. We attended court every day where we got to sit in on cases in the Family, Federal, Civil and Criminal courts. You get an idea of how the North American court and justice system operates whilst sitting in on cases. You also have the opportunity to discuss cases with your judge. It’s very interesting hearing their insight into the individual cases.
As well as attending court, we had the opportunity to sign up for a number of trips that were set up specifically for the Irish and American interns. During my time in Philadelphia, I visited a prison, the police academy, a marine boat tour and the police roundhouse. At the police academy, we got to meet some of the SWAT Team and we also saw the Team’s artillery. We also visited the K9 unit where we got to meet all the K9 unit dogs.
As well as making many friends who I am still in contact with, the Philadelphia internship was an invaluable experience in furthering my education in law. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I will forever be grateful I got to be a part of it!”
Jane Casey, Brehon Intern (2016)
Irish Innocence Project at Griffith College
- One major point of innovation in legal education in Ireland is the development of clinical opportunities, where students gain experience, and in some cases academic credit, through working on real-life cases in a supervised setting. Griffith College is at the forefront of this development, and offers students the ability to earn credit towards their degree by working with the Innocence Project, which is housed on-site and exclusive to Griffith College. There, students work under the close supervision of practising solicitors and barristers to help to analyse case materials and to liaise with clients with a view to exonerating those clients who have been wrongfully convicted. Students earning academic credit additionally complete coursework reflecting on their own involvement and work with the project.”
- Movie nights are organised on a regular basis for learners across the College, in addition to alumni and anyone interested in the topic. This allows an informal opportunity for learners to meet a wide range of attendees and not only watch a movie relevant to a specific area of human rights but also discuss their opinions, insights into the movie with the guidance of a legal academic.
- We have hosted two movie nights this Academic Year: In semester 1 we screened the movie titled Born in Syria followed by a panel talk with Front Line Defenders, Amnesty International, Irish Refugee Council and UNHCR. This semester we have screened Defend the Defenders a movie produced by Trocaire. We have had a panel discussion with Trocaire, Front Line Defenders and Amnesty International.
- Start-Ed is a not-for-profit that provides free legal workshops for startup companies. StartEd use this as an educational tool for law students who shadow the event. Each month StartEd invite professional advisors from law firms such as A&L Goodbody, William Fry, Lemans, FOD, etc. to give oral advice over 15 minute one-to-one sessions with tech startups. Learners can simply observe the sessions (sitting around the table) and network with startups and advisors.
- Learners who attended previous StartEd events found them not only interesting and beneficial but an insight into the legal sector and advised others that there are an opportunity’ not to be missed’.
- Last semester GCD had the privilege to have Carlos Fernandez, human rights defender from Colombia on invitation of Peace Brigades Ireland on the Colombian Peace Agreement to open the lunchtime seminar series 2018/2019. Moreover, we had Yasser Alshaqhar from Trinity College to talk on the status of Jerusalem and Liam Herrick from the ICCL to talk on the Blasphemy Law. Finally, we had Khalid Bhagriov, human rights lawyer from Azerbaijan to talk on the human rights situation in his country. This semester we had Anna Cadwallader and Margaret Urwin from the Pat Finucane Centre to talk on British state collusion in Ireland, and Gerry Liston from Global Legal Action Network to talk on human rights litigation.
- In different LLM/LLB classes we had the privilege to have great speakers like Donal Gorman from Medecins Sans Frontieres to talk on the refugee situation in our PIL-LLM class last year. This semester the LLB students in the IHRL class had the privilege to have Djimi El Ghalia, human rights defender from Western Sahara, Khouloud Nsiri, Middle East & North Africa Programme, Front Line Defenders, Linda Fouad, Grants Coordinator, Front Line Defenders Jessica Ní Mhainín, Frank Jennings/UN Fellow, Front Line Defenders. Also, we have had AnanMarie Carroll from the Irish Red Cross speaking to the students in the IHL-LLM class.
Outreach Opportunities for Secondary Schools
- The Faculty of Law at Griffith College also provide a number of opportunities for secondary school students to engage and learn more about third level education, particularly in the area of law.
Colaiste de hIde, TY Legal Studies
- The Law Faculty at Griffith College is for the fourth year working with Colaiste de hIde, a secondary school in Tallaght on their transition year legal studies course. Lecturers from the Faculty in conjunction with teachers from the school (who previously studied law) run classes a wide range of legal topics, on which the students are assessed, including a moot court judged by members of the Faculty. A parchment ceremony is held on campus in Griffith each year to celebrate the achievements of the students with their families and friends in attendance also.
Law Student for a Day
- The Law Student for a Day initiative invites secondary school students to attend on campus for a day and attend a number of mini lectures on criminal law, tort law and human rights law. In addition to which a panel of current Griffith law learners outline their experiences studying law. Participants also hear from a representative of the Innocence Project and after a lecture on a particular aspect of DNA evidence can engage in a crime scene analysis.
Schools Debating Competition
- Griffith College’s Annual Schools Debating Competition provides secondary school students the opportunity to showcase their debating skills before a panel of experienced judges, fellow competitors and supporters. The competition continues to grow in size year after year with twelve schools competing in 2019.
“I just wanted to say thank you so much for everything in regards the debate competition. All of the students are still raving about it. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and can't wait to re-enter next year. Again, thanks for everything on the day. There has been a fire lit in their bellies from it.”
St. Conleth's Community College