Ciara Ramsbottom

Tell us why you chose this undergraduate degree

During Transition Year in secondary school my class took part in a mock trial in the Criminal Courts of Justice and I remember being so enthralled by it - the courtroom, the advocacy element and even the preparation and build up for the day. That was the start of my realisation that I might be good at being either a solicitor or a barrister. I love helping people, researching and solving problems, all of which compliment my chosen career path to become a solicitor, so I think 17 year old me made the right decision when she put law in DCU on her CAO form! DCU appealed to me in particular because the course itself focuses on the interaction between law and society which sets it apart from other universities. DCU is also smaller which makes interactions with lecturers much easier and I found that to be really helpful all throughout my degree.

What are the highlights of your undergraduate experience at DCU?

Taking part in DCU's INTRA programme was undoubtedly the highlight of my undergraduate experience. It was one of the best decisions I ever made and it has opened up so many doors and experiences for me. Also, taking part in mooting throughout my undergraduate degree is something I will always be glad I did. Mooting allowed me to make friends, build my confidence and gave me a head start for my career. Taking part in the National Moot Court Competition with my mooting partner Conall and placing 2nd (beating Cambridge for a spot in the final) is one of those experiences that will stay with me forever.

What are your career plans or hopes? 

Since graduating, I have completed my FE1 exams and spent a year working as a paralegal with the regional legal team in Google Ireland. I am now getting ready to begin training to qualify as a solicitor. On the back of gaining so much experience during my INTRA year, I was lucky enough to be offered a training contract with A&L Goodbody (ALG) beginning in September 2022. I'm really looking forward to getting started with ALG and getting on the road to qualifying as a solicitor!

Have you any advice for incoming students? 

If you're planning on studying law in DCU and you want to develop your legal advocacy and research skills, my advice is to take part in mooting in college. DCU has a mandatory moot module and organises external competitions. During these competitions, you will meet barristers, solicitors and possibly have the chance to moot in front of Supreme Court judges and you will learn so much about yourself. It also looks great on your CV. Also if you can do a work placement with your degree, DO IT! BCL in DCU now includes a built-in INTRA programme where you spend the 3rd year of your degree working in a company/firm. It was one of the best things I ever did and I would highly recommend it. Also, I would recommend joining a club or society - it will open more doors than you can imagine and will help you to make friends.

DCU Prospectus - Go back to Civil Law