Over 400 students across Waterford are set to take part in a legal online programme as part of their transition year studies. Following the overwhelming success of last year’s online programme, The Bar of Ireland’s annual course for Transition Year students – Look into Law – is underway for 2022 and promises to reach even greater numbers of TY students across the country.

This programme gives TY students a comprehensive insight into the role of the legal system, courts and the work of barristers. It is open to all schools and is relevant to all students, not simply those interested in pursuing a career in law.

In Waterford, there are over 400 students from 12 schools registered. When the Programme first started seven years ago, there were just 100 students taking part.

Pictured L-R are: Katherine O’Sullivan, TY co-ordinator, with students Emma Dempsey, Aisha Rahman, Shirong Chen, Reyonda Kamilindi and Julia Gavela.

Contributors on this year’s programme include the newly appointed Chief Justice, the Court Presidents, Chair of the Bar and numerous barristers, solicitors and legal correspondents sharing their journey through their careers as well as those involved in areas such as climate law and pro-bono services at the Bar. The programme also demonstrates the career paths open to students, including careers as a judicial assistant, a prison warden, or a mediator.

This is the second year the programme is taking place entirely online due to the ongoing Covid-19 travel and social distancing restrictions, giving greater accessibility to students nationwide.

This year students will also get the opportunity to engage directly with a panel of barristers through the introduction of a live national Q&A panel discussion. The Bar of Ireland is inviting participating students (through their teachers) to pose any of their questions to a panel of barristers.

Picture L-R are students Beth Hallogan, Katia Uloha, Maddie Roche and Chloe O’Brien.

Launching the Programme, Chair of the Council of The Bar of Ireland, Maura McNally SC, said“One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been the ability to take our TY programme online and affording even more students the opportunity to gain an extensive insight into the different areas of law, the various legal professions and general knowledge about that law that govern our society.

“Last year saw record participation with 10,000 students, so to have a 60 percent increase with 16,000 students from every county in Ireland signed up is really exciting. The Bar of Ireland is looking forward to welcoming students from Waterford and giving many their first taste of a life in law,” she added.

One of the schools taking part this year is Presentation Secondary School Waterford. The Transition Year Co-Ordinator, Ms Katherine O’Sullivan, said: “The students are really looking forward to this year’s Programme and they are particularly excited about the classroom aspect this year, as I am sure many a debate and discussion will evolve from the modules.

“For students curious about a career in law, it’s a great opportunity to have direct access to some of the country’s best legal minds, but it is also excellent to give all students knowledge and awareness of Ireland’s legal system and how to access it,” she added.

Pictured L-R are Beth Rochford Whelan, Giuditta Miccoli, Katherine O’Sullivan (TY co-ordinator), Jebenezer Pembele and Tamara Stevanovic.