The End of the Chapter


It is near the end of the semester. I am beyond wrecked from all the studying and going through a series of sleepless nights attempting to learn cases and legislation. I most say that this semester was the most adventures, stressful, and enlighten one that I had so far, but I can say that I am glad that it is coming to an end.

I have learned so much this semester, not only academically but also learned new skills that will be very beneficial to me in my future career. In today’s post I will break down all the interesting things I learned this semester.

Cooperative Education

I have finally gotten my  cooperative education, but during the process of formulating CVs I have learned such  valuable lessons, that will come in handy when I graduate or even next summer when I am applying for a Summer Internship at law firms.

I learned how to draft a CV(a good ones ), and I realised that I need to improve on my writing skills as my spelling and grammar are my weakness and were the reason that prevented me from getting an interview.

I learned that when going to an interview always do research on the company, no matter how good you may be, if you do not have any knowledge of the firm you are applying to , you can kiss goodbye to your dream of working there. And always be enthusiastic and confident at an interview


Workplace issues in Technical and Professional Communication

To tell you the truth this module has been the most beneficial to me out of all the modules this semester. I have learned skills that I wouldn’t have gotten in my law modules and that will be an advantage in   my proffesional career.

Writting  blog post  each week has helped my become very creative and reflect on my thoughts, it has helped me improve on my writing skills and gain a new hobby. At the moment we are doing an assignment on making a websites.I am doing my website on Copyright law in Ireland . I most say writing down on your CV that you can do a website is really impressive to future employers, when I mentioned this on interview that I was doing a website on copyrights, interviewer seemed really impressed.


I have shown a huge interest in this module, so far this is my favourite law module. Unlike the rest this does not just consist of  legal rules and facts. It discusses about so many ideologies and theories relating to law, and allows us  to see the way we saw the legal system in a whole new light.  Jurisprudence is the scince of law, it provides us answers to why things are the way they are e.g why there is more male lawyers occupy higher position even though law is a female dominated course- nthere is only 3 female High Court judges in Ireland.

Jurisprudence gave the me the opportunity to explore the variety of different concept of feminism ,which helped me understand feminism even more. I found it very intriguing learning about all the legal feminist from radical feminist MacKinnion to cultural feminist Gilligan.

 Catherine Mackinnion

Check out my previous blogs on jurisprudence!

“Feminism”-The new bad word?

The non-legal factors in a case

=The Law in favour of the rich?

Constitutional Law

Constitutional law is the module which I find the hardest,both  this semester and last.However this semester it has been quite enjoyable as we are learning about a topic that has been very relevant in the Irish society and in the mouth of the public-The 8th amendement.

We have come across the famous X case which is the cornerstone in the Irish law governing the area of abortion, In this case Keane CJ outlined when in this land abortion is permissible- when there is a substantial and real risk to the life of the mother, as opposed to the health of the mother.In this case also stated that where the mothre was suicidal because of the pregnancy, abortion is lawful This piece of information was very enlightening to me as it was not until this semester that I had any knowledge that abortion was allowed in this country in the circumstance where the pregnancy is a substantial and real risk to the mother, a risk would also include suicide, just like in the A and B v East Health Board case where the mother had been suicidal and the court had permitted the mother to get an abortion in the UK. In addition to caselaw stating that there are a ceratin circumstance in which abortion is allowed in this jurisdiction. there has also been legislation introduce Protection of Life duting prgenancy Act 2013.Majority of the people in this country do not have any knowledge of this authority, one could argue the reason for that being that the media portrays. as if abortion on every ground in this country is prohibited, it can also be argued that it was a legislators fault for not formulating a legislation for the decision held in X case in which the majority of the court held that abortion could be held in this state where there was a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother. This created a lot of ambiguity and it was not until the 2013 Act which said that abortion was allowed in Ireland however another flaw to this is that the provision never uses the term “abortion” but rather “medical procedure”, thus some people will still belive that the provision is not talking about abortion.

As I said in the beginning this was no easy journey but I did have a lot of fun in semester two, I enjoyed everything I learned even though it was a  tough semester , I hope and pray that I will perform well in the exam and at least get more than one A1 in my result.

Until next time stay classy!


Cooperative Education

Cooperative education, also known as work placement is an integral part of my course, It consists of 8 months doing work placement, preferably in a solicitor’s office or in a big law firm(However it is not restricted to working in a solicitor ‘s office , students may sometimes work for ESB , or government department office). Doing a work placement is a great way to gain insight of the professional world, especially if you’re like me, who has never had any experience in working in an office.,  doing work  placement will give you the taste of the life of an everyday lawyer (depending if you were lucky enough to get work placement  in a law firm), and it  can also help you decide if this is the right route for you for example many law students get to do work experience in a solicitor office then realize , executing wills or advocating in court is not something they actually want to do, and  maybe being an academic is something they would much rather prefer .As a law (Plus) student, we do our Cooperative education from June to January,(No summer holiday for me !) and it could be paid or unpaid but most of the time it is paid.

It is week 9 and I still have not got my work placement, I had one interview this week and another one next week (fingers close that I get one of them.)Through this semester I have learned such a valuable lesson and made mistakes that I will avoid repeating once I graduate when I’m looking for a job. I will share with you my advice, which hopefully it will be beneficial if you are going on a cooperative education any time soon


I most stress the importance of achieving excellent grades, you are probably sick and tired of hearing your parents lecturing you about trying to achieve good grades, but it is the honest truth. Employers want smart people working for them. They would probably not consider your CV if you have a very low QCA. One lie that most students believe is that your grades in first year do not matter, this statement could be very misleading, It means that your first year grades will not go towards your degree, but to  say it does not matter is quite a lie . Your grades do matter in first year, especially for cooperative education, some employers will look at your results from first year too!

Another important thing that I noticed when applying for Summer Internship programmers is that in order to be eligible to apply, your degree should be at least 2:1 or over. All the law big law firms had stated this in their applications. So study hard my fellow law students


The CV is very important, as it gives the employer the first impression of who you are. My CV, was the thing that prevented me from getting an interview from the law firms, even though I had excellent grades. I believed that just because my grades were very good that I would automatically get a job even though my CV was not perfect. My CV had so many grammar and spelling errors that I was not aware of it myself. When drafting out your CV get more than one people to proof read it, A CV most be perfect-Flawless. It was not until I fixed my CV that I got my interview, but already damage was done as all the law firms had picked their students. I am glad this happened now, because it brought to my attention that my grammar and spelling  skills were quite poorly that I need to improve on them and this will help me when I am looking for my job when I am graduating not to do the mistakes that I did  when doing the cooperative education.


Extra Curricular Actuvities

If you are like me and had never worked in your life, you may be worried when doing your CV what to put down as work experience. I would recommend you to do volunteering work, as you learn new skills that employers may want their employees to have. I done some volunteering work such being a mentor for the Higher Education Access Programmed, and I volunteered for Volunteer Ireland. I was heavily involved in two societies, the debating as I was the Sponsorship officer and Feminist Society as I am the vice secretary. Putting this down in my CV made my CV seem more interesting.

Interview time

Congratulations you scored yourself an interview! I only had an interview once and it was this week and the job was for working in the government department.

When going to an interview dress appropriately, remember the interviewer makes their first impression of you by 5 second, from what you are wearing. When preparing for your interview, find out about the firm’s nature, the different department they have etc. There is nothing more embarrassing than being asked about the firm and you go completely blank.

I know it is easy to say but try to be confident, reassure yourself that you are great after all you were successful enough to get an interview. Also learn your CV inside out the interviewer will ask you about things you put down on your CV. At my interview most pf the question he asked was actually not from my CV so be prepared to answer all question and if you do not know something , do not start waffling away!


Until next time stay classy !

Study guide

Since this week was Easter break, it was the perfect opportunity to catch up on some notes, unfortunately  if you are a law student  the 7 seven days off was not a vacation from your studies, perhaps  you were probably glued to your books more than ever. Do not worry guys I feel your pain.

Today I am going to share with you my study tips, I am no genius but I do manage  to achieve good grades, and it is a great way to help my fellow law students. Exams are creeping  around the corner and if you have not done much study , it is time to start now!

Lectures and Tutorials

After the wonderful Easter break ,I would encourage all of you to  attend all your lectures, including the 9 am ones- no excuse Lads!

It’s very important to attend your lectures because towards the end  of the semester some lectures drop hints of what may come up in the exam  That being said it is not enough to just be present, you most also take down the notes  and go back home that night and read over them.

Attend all the tutorials too , but before you go please have the tutorial question answer   or at least read over the chapters in the book you were asked to read.You will not find the tutorial beneficial  if you have not done your share of the work..And if you do not understand something do not be afraid to ask you tutor, that is why they are there to help you.


One of the struggles that law students have is trying to learn all those cases names -and it is a real nightmare. A lot of students ask how many cases do they need to have in an answer? my reply to that answer is, how long is a piece of string?

There is no certain amount to how many cases you need to put in your case, although you have to remember that you must have cases for in your question or else it isn’t a law answer and also if you forget a case name do not make up one, trust me the lecture will know.The best way that I learn my cases,is a write down all the cases I learn in a small note copy, I would also recommend to  write down the name of the case , what the Court holding was and any significant quotes from the judges. In a piece of paper write down the names of the cases at least 10 times until you know that case very well, and finally towards the end of the week give yourself a test on the cases you’ve learned that week and see if there is  any cases you need to go over.


Past exam questions

You know what they say practise makes perfect, and that is true my friends .A big mistake that we mostly do when we know a whole topic inside out, we  think it is pointless to practise doing exam questions. Doing past exam questions  will give you an idea on the area of the topic that is actually relevant and not to focus on other part that would not be as important, I think it is even more important to practise essay questions as they are not very straight forward as the problem questions would be, a mistake in essay questions that students often do is write down every thing they know about the topic  instead the question could be asking you  to evaluate or be critical about a certain topic. The only way I think to improve on answering questions like these is by practising .

Outside Reading

Reading the notes from the lecture is not enough if you want to get an A1, in fact you will be lucky if you get a C1 must stress the importance of outside reading , read all the recommended  reading that your lecture has recommended , this would include reading from different books and articles. Also do not forget to quotes some scholars, this is great proof that you did outside reading. If your lecturers has written an article make sure you read it and quote from them,  lecturers loves nothing more than seeing their students quoting from them. For me the best place to get legal articles  for outisde reading would be would be, Westlaw.


This is all the tips that I have for you guys, but if you have any of you owns tips , please share them along in the comment box. I wish you all the best in study.

Here are some site that may help with study


Until next time , stay classy!




The Art of Advocating

Even though in studying law includes a lot of legal research on Lexis, reading and writing essay, we sometimes forget about the oral part-the advocating part, which is just as important as the others.

Non-law students would think that the advocate part of the law is the most time consuming  one, I too also thought this before doing law. A solicitor once told me that as a, solicitor 90% of his legal work is spent on the written work and legal research and the 10% on the advocacy. In the famous TV shows about lawyers always shows the lawyer in court, but very rarely you see them doing any written work or legal research, that is why a lot of people are under the influence that the advocating skills is more important or even the only skill a lawyer needs.This is not true.

What is Mooting

“Mooting is the oral presentation of a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge. It is perhaps the closest experience that a student can have whilst at university to appearing in court.”

This week  I had to do my  moot, I was quite excited because this was my first time ever presenting my argument, the other time I just do the rebuttals. Presenting my argument felt like a huge responsibility but I still manage to have fum.The moot was for my for my module, Torts of Law. My team mates and I were the plaintiff’s counsel. The case was about, personal injury and the plaintiff was looking to get awarded for the damages his suffered because of the act of the defendant. It was not our first time doing a moot, the first time we had to do it was back in first year for Labour law, in which I was the Chief  Justice, in Introduction to Lawyering and one last semester for Torts of Law. Majority of us law students find this the best part of studying law.


“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!”

My English teacher in secondary school would religiously say, ”Fail to prepare , prepare  to fail “-I couldn’t agree more with her. When presenting a moot it involves so much preparation, the legal research and the writing takes up most of the work rather than the oral work. The days leading up to the moot presentation is like being in hell, it is so much work. Your constantly in the Library reading as many book as you can from this jurisdiction and others,  researching for legal articles on or, to get academic comments on the subject and reading cases to find quotes on what the judge said or who was dissenting and why. From the information gathered we then begin to draft the pleading. A pleading is a short summary showing the defendant’ counsel and the judges what you are going to argue, it most include the cases you are using legislation and academic commentary. Since we were the plaintiff’s counsel this time we had to send the pleading to the defendant’s counsel and the judges, this is so the other teams know what we are going to argue and they can base their arguments on the points we are arguing. Two days later, the defendant send us, their pleadings and we have two days to add new things to our pleading to send it back to them if we feel that there is need for little fixing. However it is important to note that neither the defendants nor plaintiff can bring up new information that was not stated in the pleadings.

Doing moots can be fun. I was lucky that my teammates were my friends and were such hard workers that we manage to work hard and were proud of our work. We were happy with the outcome (we won our case) but preparation was key, I do not think we wouldn’t have won if we had not prepare properly. That is why I am strong believer of the phrase, “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”

Tips on Mooting

When I started doing moots I found it very frightening (I still do, but not as much) because it was something new to me, and that is normal. The more moots you do the better you will get and the more confident you will be as you feel more experienced in what you are doing. It is very important to note that mooting and debating are very different, even though they both share similarities. The most important one is that, when debating you are basing you argument on your opinion, thus you are allowed to use phrases such as, “I believe” or “In my opinion”, however this is not permissible when mooting, the use of first pronouns are prohibited (Sorry guys you opinion on the law is not any of the Courts concerns).

Here are my guideline when mooting.

  • When first given the question do not panic, panic is never the solution,
  • Read the question more than once, the familiar you get with the question it may make it easier to understand what area of the law you are arguing.
  • Use a highlighter to highlight the legal issues you have identified.(I strongly recommend to read the question more than once because some legal issues are more obvious than others and some are hard to identify just from reading the question the first time.)
  • Find a textbook concerning the area of law in which your moot question is about, I most stressed the importance it is to read from different books , because one may have an information that isn’t in the other, also the authors may have different view on the law to each other e.g Quill argues that …, while in contrast to McMahon and Binchy. I believe make the argument stronger, because it shows you have done research.
  • ALWAYS read the cases you are using in your argument, it doesn’t it matter if it is 70 pages long, it is better to know exactly what the case is about. The judge may ask you something about it and if you do not know anything about the cases you are using, oh boy you will look bad!
  • Read articles to see what other’ scholars have argued in this area of law.
  • When writing your argument make sure it is in the right tone, it is persuasive, and the grammar is on point.
  • Do not forget to use phrases such as, “May it please to court my name is…”, your teammates are you “colleagues” and please do not address the Judge as “Your Honor” we are not in England, instead use “Judge” if addressing one judge and “The Court” if addressing more than one judge.
  • Once you have the argument written always practice, say it out loud. Remember you are not meant to be reading directly from your speech, you are meant to know your speech quite well.
  • Relax and have fun, when doing the moot!
  • For more guidelines on moot visit,

Until next time stay classy!



Writing Blog Posts

Blog starterstart blog onlineThe birth of “mercedesfundu”.

You may wonder what inspired  me to start writing a blog, was I influence by those amazing blog on the internet, a particular event in my life, or because I woke up one morning and was like, “you know what? my life as a law student is pretty amazing , and I should start a blog on it.”?

Unfortunately I did not start writing for any of the reasons stated above, in fact the actual answer is boring-It is a college assignment for one of my non law module ,Work place Issue in Technical and Professional Communication. I decided to take a break from my infamous law rants  and  give you an insight of my minor module that I study,  New Media and Cultural Studies, which I actually enjoy! (but obviously not as much as the law modules.).This semester I am taking Work place Issue in Technical and Professional Communication. If I am honest, at first I was not sure that I wanted to pick this module, or that I would have even liked it. Surprisingly it has become one of my favorite module of this semester.

When I heard that we had to do a blog as an assignment. I wasn’t  enthusiastic about it.

The blog had to be about what  we are learning on weekly basis in college . Deciding on what my blog would be about was really difficult as I first thought that a blog about law would be so boring, I mean who would want to read about law relate things?( Em maybe other law students) . I got an idea to do a fun law blog not too serious but yet thought- provoking , an opportunity to share my opinion on things that I was learning in college and give non-law students an insight to what studying law is really like. And that was the birth of my first blog “mercedesfundu”.


My challenges when writing a blog post.

To tell the truth, there were, (and still are) many obstacles I was facing when starting this blog assignment. I started off with a negative attitude towards it, I thought it be something challenging and something that will be burden throughout the semester, having to post every week. I learned that  in life when doing any task, no matter how difficult it may seem, always have a positive attitude toward it It makes the job much more easier. At first I found it hard because I didn’t have a positive attitude towards it.


Thinking of interesting topic to write about was  very hard especially when it had to be on thing that you were learning  in college. I sometimes had writter’s blockand did not know what I was going to post.

I did not know how tomake great design on my blog like  in other blogs I had seen.

The benefits of having a blog.

There are so many benefits I have gained from writing  blog post every week,that  I never thought it would be so beneficial to me.

Writing a post every now and then, I noticed that my writing skills were very poor, I did so many grammar mistakes, but as time went by I learned to correct my grammar mistake,I think that writing on a blog has enhanced my writing skills.

I have learned new technical skills such as how to design a blog, I am still not perfect but I believe I have improved.

Having a blog has allowed me to experience a very creative side of me that I did not know  existed. As a law student you are very restricted on what you write , you can not go wild and write what ever your heart desire. Instead all you do is saying how the law is, being critical, quoting authority that goes back,like 3 centuries ago, and God forbid, you are not allowed to express you opinion!

Writing on my blog I have learned to share my opinion and ideas, which overall is great.

Having my own blog has influenced me to read other people’s blog, which is a perfect opportunity to learn about many things that I would  never had thought about.

The future of “mercedesfundu”.

Does “Lawyering up has a future after this assignment is over?

The answer is YES!

Having this blog  has become a hobby to me, I enjoy writing on this every week, even though at the beginning I wasn’t to keen on the ide

I am considering of starting a feminist blog this summer, I have been inspired by many feminist blogs that I have come across such as Feministing, and Black Girl Dangerous. I would strongly recommend anyone to actually start a blog it is actually  a fun hobby and ou get to discover a new creative side of you!.

If you are considering doing your own blog you should check this out !

start blog online

Blog starter


Until next time, stay classy !


The non-legal factors in a case

It is finally Charity week! This is the one week where every, (well almost every) college student looks forward to. Some people look more forward to charity week than  Christmas, of course that is not because of the charity work, (although it should be) but because of the social side of it- going clubbing, drinking- you name it.Hope you all had a great time and actually did something for charity.

What is a Non- Legal Factor?

I had an assignment to hand in, in the middle of the week, so  I didn’t partake in any of the events, so charity week was another ordinary week for me. My assignment was  an essay on the non-legal factors in a case that can influence the decision of the jury, or a judge. A great example of a non-legal factor in a case, is where the jury was prejudice against the accused, that would affect the outcome of the case which could have been different if it was not for that non-legal factor. The case which I choose for this assignment was, DPP v Nally [2007] 4 I.R .145, the case is about a man who shots and kills  a man for trespassing in his land as he feared that he was going to be harmed by the victim. He shot him as self-defence. The minimum conviction that a person could get if they plea on the defence of self-defence is a manslaughter conviction. However the accused in this case was not convicted of murder, or manslaughter even though he killed a man. It could be said that the non-legal factors influenced the jury’s decision, for example the deceased was a traveller and because of the prejudice that Irish travellers face in our society it can be said that the jury could have been prejudice against him. In the judgment, the judge had mention the defendant’s age-60,  this piece of information could have made the jury give him a lenient sentence because they could have felt bad to throw such an elderly man in jail.


Racial non legal factors

There are many cases which the  non- legal factors  have influenced the decision of the court. One classic example of this is the famous case of George J Stinney. He was the youngest boy in America to be executed by the electric chair at just 14, for a crime he did not commit. He was convicted of murdering two white girls. Being in South Carolina in the 1940s, a young black boy,and facing an all-white jury, let just say that the odds were not in his favour. From the moment that boy stepped into the court room, the all- white jury had already made up their minds because of the  racism that was strongly present back then. This is a perfect example of a non-legal factor  that affected the outcome of the case. If this young man was white, it is more likely that he would have not gotten the death penalty, especially considering his age. I would recommend to read the story of George…/wrongful-convictions-then_b_8478408.htm



This assignment  relates to what I discussed in my first blog post, Is the Law fair?

Every law student knows the rule of law- “All men are equal before the law.”

If it is true, then why those our race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background  and other characteristic. can  influence the decision that the court may give us?

“All men are equal before the law.” This statement is a lie, that we are forced to believe, would you agree?

Until next time, stay classy!

“Feminism”-The new bad word?


Another week goes by and I am beyond stress and it is not even study week,( I don’t even want to think how stressed I will be when study week creeps it away around). I promised myself that I wouldn’t let stress get the best of me but I slightly forgot one thing when  I made that promise- I am a law student! I cannot escape  stress. Any advice on how to avoid stress?

Apart from all the mayhem, I can actually say that I loved what we covered in my Jurisprudence lecture, something that intrigues me -Feminism. I am thrilled that I got the opportunity ro learn more  about feminism,as a feminist myself (yep pals I am a feminist, so you can pretty much guess  that, that was my favourite  lecture ever). I find it such a pity Feminism ideology is not really thought in Irish secondary school in depth  like I wish it was. It is not until third level education (and that is only if you do a sociology module) that we learned about feminism. Therefore many people in our society fail to understand the concept of feminism, they feel uncomfortable or associate it with something negative, this is all thanks to the media  the way it portrays feminism.

This image is a perfect representative of what people tend to believe what feminism is, if they are not educated on this concept. This is why I am strongly in favour of teaching people from an early age what feminism is -the concept of treating both men and woman as equal, and not a movement of angry women that promote the hating of men.

I knew I made the best decision when I picked Jurisprudence  as my module. We learn about the various type of feminism ideology from the liberal feminism (the theory that “focuses on women ability  to maintain their equality  through their own action and choices”-Wikipedia ) to the cultural feminism ( the “Ideology  of a “female nature ” or “female essence ” that attempts to re- validate  what cultural feminist consider undervalued female attribute”- Wikipedia.

I would identify as being a cultural feminism. In weeks to come we will cover radicle feminism and post modern feminism, I am so looking forward to it.

You maybe scratching your head, wondering why would we discuss about feminism in a law lecture, well we examined how  women in legal profession are treated, in comparison to their male colleagues . For instance more if you walk into a law lecture , more of the times there is more females than males, but in the big law firms  it is mostly the male that occupy the higher position. Did you know Ireland is the only country that has  more females in legal career than males. That being said all the higher position, for example in the a law firm are occupied by men. It is quite rare to see a woman the partner of a law firm. It is clear that men and females are equally just as smart as each other, there is not any biological theory that states that man are better lawyers than woman. I believe that female right has come a long way, but there is still a tiny element in society that believes woman cannot fulfil the roles  in a high position firms. We  still have a long way to continue the path for equality.




Do you belive that it has something to do with the “glass ceiling” or do you think that the glass “ceiling is a myth ?

There is  no better timing to cover this topic, because the university got its first feminist society just a couple of weeks ago and I am proud to say that my best friend is the founder and president of the society. Surprisingly not many shared my joy and thrill, that the university was going to have a feminist society. Many people were oppose of the idea simply because the name was “offensive”, since when was the term feminism an insult, a negative connotation, or a derogative term? A word once meant to empower woman and give them a voice in society has become a term that people do not want to associate with

It is amazing how people are uncomfortable with the word-it is the new bad word.

The question of the week is what are your views on feminism?

If you are still unsure about feminism I would strongly recommend you to watch,we should all be feminist by Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie

Until next week, stay classy pals!

Image result for feminist

Check out these awesome blogs about feminism!