Thursday 23 February 2017

Two budding legal eagles, despite missing their top CAO choices

Published 17/08/2015 | 06:00

Law Student Dillon Grace from Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
Law Student Dillon Grace from Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
Davy Lalor (centre).

Two students who didn't get their first CAO choices tell how they have pursued a career in law.

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'I was offered entry to seven degree programmes, including Law'

My Story: Dillon Grace, Arts to Law, Maynooth University

All Dillon Grace's top choices on the CAO were Law, but with 400 points he was squeezed out by the competition.

So he took his next preference, Arts in Maynooth University, at 380 points, opting for Law modules as part of his first-year studies.

Ever since Transition Year, the 22-year-old from Clonmel, Co Tipperary had his eye on a law career.

The flexibility of the Arts offering in Maynooth means that if a student achieves certain grades at the end of first year, they will be offered a place on a more specialised programme in second year.

In the event, Dillon, a former pupil of CBS High School, Clonmel had achieved the necessary 50pc in all his Law modules, which allowed him direct entry to second year of all three Maynooth Law programmes. the LLB, BBL and BCL.

"I accepted the LLB and I went straight into second year and joined the people who had started on the pure LLB the year before, through the CAO, so I lost no ground.

"It meant I had a bit of catching up to do in second year and third year, but by the time I entered fourth year, we were all on exactly the same page."

So Dillon graduated with his LLB this summer, after four years, exactly the same amount of time he would have spent had he gained direct entry to the LLB when he left school.

While Dillon followed his heart down the Law route, many other options opened up to him at the end of first year.

"It was great because doing first year Arts allowed me to do business and economics, which I liked and at which I excelled.

"I was offered entry to seven different degree programmes, including the three in law. I was also offered places on two business courses and two economics courses."

Even before finishing his final year. Dillon had his mind made up about what to do next. Last February he went for election as education officer with the college's students' union and took up the year-long position in July. "Maynooth has over 10,000 students, including first years, so my role will be to help those in whatever way I can."

He is still thinking about longer term plans, but is considering further study in international business law or business management.

'Studying Law at DCU has opened so many avenues for me'

My Story: Davy Lalor, Law, DCU

Davy Lalor always wanted to study Law and was disappointed not to get his top CAO course choices two years ago.

He did, however, get a place on the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) in Dublin City University (DCU) and he hasn't looked back.

"I love DCU," says Davy, from Skerries, Co Dublin, a former pupil of Belvedere College, where he was deputy head prefect.

Studying Law in DCU has opened up so many avenues for me and I want to let people know just how wide, varied and exciting the opportunities are."

He has been impressing from the day he started in DCU, finishing top of the class in both first year and second year.

The seasoned debater's talents have also been recognised outside the college, finishing as runner-up in the 2014/2015 National Moot Court Competition chaired by High Court judge Colm MacEochaidh.

Along with his commitment to academic excellence, Davy finds time to immerse himself in all aspects of student life, and is the new chair of the DCU Law Society and a DCU Student Ambassador.

The keen athlete, who was a shot-putter on the Irish team at the 2014 European Champions Cup, is also coach for Leinster juvenile performance shot putt squad and an IRFU coach. DCU has rewarded his prowess on the field with a sports scholarship.

He wasted no time over the summer, and did internships with some leading Irish law firms.

Irish Independent

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