By Orla Leahy – News Editor
The first ever Intervarsity Law Summit, driven by the University College Cork Law Society, was officially launched on November 5th. The Summit will function as the first collaboration between the seven Law Schools, and Law Societies, in Ireland, and will be the biggest student-driven legal event in the country. UCC will be the first institution to host the Summit. The current auditor of the UCC Law Society, Bailey Lane, first envisioned the idea for the Summit in 2020, and has since been striving to put the cogs in motion. He states that:
“The idea for the intervarsity first came when looking at what other universities were doing and finding it strange that while we are all essentially doing the same things, we are never in contact.”
He adds that the previous lack of contact between auditors of the law societies came to the fore when “it shocked all the auditors to think [the Summit preparations] was the first time all 7 auditors have had a group chat together to talk but what was great is we could all empathise and relate to the workload of each other.”
Anna O’Doherty, a final year Law International student, was selected to be the Intervarsity Summit Convenor for the UCC Law Society during the summer of this year. Speaking on why she ran for the position, Anna says,
“When I first heard about the role of Summit Convenor, I knew it was the perfect role for me. To be a part of the biggest student-run law event is a great privilege. The role offered me so much freedom. I could choose a theme, find speakers, and organise the whole three-day event!”
The Summit is set to take place in the Rochestown Park Hotel from Friday, the 25th to Sunday, the 27th of February. The three-day event will feature the National Moot and Mock Trial Finals, the Intervarsity Gala, which will consist of a dinner and ball on the evening of the 26th, a number of insightful and engaging presentations, as well as a panel discussion by an “esteemed number of invitees”. One of the most anticipated aspects of the event, however, will be the keynote presentation by former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. Mary McAleese will also be presented with the ‘Orientem Solem Award’ at the Summit for breaking barriers throughout her career and for “being an inspirational figure to students in law.”
The theme for the first ever Summit is “Breaking Barriers: Let the Law Unite.” The theme was chosen on the basis of pre-existing barriers between students across the country being broken, but also the “pioneering [of] intervarsity cooperation between University law students for the first time in Irish history.” Bailey notes that, “this will be a unique opportunity for those across the Law Societies, Law Schools and wider legal sector in Ireland in general to come together, network, share ideas and build connections in one space over the course of a fantastic weekend of events.”
Anna is assisted in her role of organising and delivering the entirety of the Summit by a subcommittee composed of students. She describes her subcommittee as being, “made up of seven fantastic students, Caoimhe Gannon our Design Coordinator, Jayne Doyle our PRO, Niamh McDermott our First Year Rep, Abigail Daly our Secretary, Roisin Dunlea our Finance Officer, Grace Browne our General Coordinator, and Mark Finbarr O’Connor our Sponsorship Officer. The competition to be on this subcommittee was extremely tough and each of these students bring their own talent to the table. I couldn’t imagine a better “dream team” to assist me in the preparation for the Summit.”
The Summit will also function as a fundraiser for a chosen charity yet to be revealed, and an opportunity for students to reunite with their peers across the island of Ireland, but also to “reunite their education and to reunite their interest in law with the future of the legal profession.”
Twelve of Ireland’s leading law firms are sponsoring the event. Included are A&L Goodbody, Arthur Cox, Matheson, McCann Fitzgerald, William Fry, Maples Group, Eversheds Sutherland, Mason Hayes & Curran, Ronan Daly Jermyn, Pinsent Masons, and DLA Piper. There will be a number of networking opportunities for students with each of these firms, as well as the law firm, Comyn Kellher Tobin, and the Law Library of Ireland.
Tickets for the Summit will go on sale in the coming weeks, and a tiered ticketing system will be in place, meaning that students have the opportunity to purchase tickets for either the whole weekend, or for the events of most interest to them.
Summarising her perception of this “historic” event, Anna, the Intervarsity Summit Convenor, said:
‘This event is the very first of its kind and it is a fantastic opportunity for UCC to secure its spot on the map as one of Ireland’s best Law Schools. The UCC Law Society is the oldest in the country, so it is extremely fitting that the first Law Society is hosting the first uniting Intervarsity event. The event will host over 600 students – up to 900 at the Gala Ball. Some of these students will be visiting Cork for the first time thanks to the Intervarsity Summit. We get the opportunity to show off our beautiful Cork city and the talents of so many UCC students.
“As well as the hard work of the Law Society and the Subcommittee, we will be displaying the talent of UCC students through our musicians at the event, our event photographer and videographer. It’s time to give Cork some well-deserved attention and bring UCC the recognition it merits.”
To learn more about the Summit, and to stay tuned on updates, and ticket sales, follow the Summit on Instagram, @intervarsity.law.summit. Any queries may be directed to Anna, email@example.com.
Photo credit: @intervarsity.law.summit
Sponsors for the Intervarsity Law Summit