Paul Kwamina Ntisful-Yirrah was born in Ghana but subsequently moved to the US where he lived with his family. He is a graduate of the LLM Law (General) here at the University of Limerick. Paul describes what inspired him to study law, why he chose UL, and gives us an insight into the programme itself.
Can you please introduce yourself and explain why you chose the LLM?
My name is Paul Kwamina Ntisful-Yirrah and I am from Ghana in West Africa. I moved to the US when I was in my early twenties and lived there with my family. Back home I worked in the media, reporting from the courts. I think that is where my passion to study law came from. I always had the thought in the back of my mind to go to law school, but I wanted to look for something different other than the US. I had a friend that knew about the Irish education system and they told me about how flexible and affordable it was. I wanted to have that international ‘flair’ and so I chose to come to Ireland. It was quite a tough decision, but after consulting with past students of the course and discussing it with the Law faculty at UL, I decided on the LLM general. I knew that the programme would give me a broad understanding of law but it would also equip me with the skills to deal with current global issues. It was clear that the course would provide me with a lot of career opportunities in the future.
The University community was a particular draw for me. When I read about the fact UL has a diverse international student community, I knew that I would feel at home studying at UL.
When I read about the fact that UL has a diverse international student community, I knew that I would feel at home studying at UL.
How did you find out about the course?
I spoke to three past alumnus of the school, and I also read up on the website. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk to a member of the law faculty and he also told me much about the school and the programmes. The LLM was very appealing and seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.
So what’s the best thing in your opinion about the programme?
The flexibility and choice of modules is great but the content is particularly impressive. It is both in depth and diverse. It’s also very practical. It brings you face to face with real life scenarios and situations which will be extremely useful once I graduate. It gives me confidence to use my degree in the real world.
…the content is particularly impressive. It is both in depth and diverse… It brings you face to face with real life scenarios and situations…
Can you tell us about some of the facilities you’ve availed of or experiences you’ve been presented with?
The facilities available to me are a great help, especially the library. Both in person and online it has been a great asset. The Postgraduate Students Union (PSU) have also been a great help, their online events have kept me in touch with UL. In addition, we have had many guest speakers which have been very insightful.
Can you provide an insight into how the course is delivered and how you are assessed?
Like many others, up until covid happened, the course was delivered in person. I didn’t see any difference in the quality of the course as it was kept pretty much the same. We have reading assignments which we all know how to do, the papers are kept the same and you can access the library online. I am able to do everything at my desktop; read my notes, follow the course outline and email professors if I have any problems.
What are your future plans? How has this course improved your future prospects and outlook?
I would like to go on to write extensively about law, democracy and governance; they would be my specialities. In the future I would like to advise governments and NGO’s especially in third world countries, like where I come from in Africa. I would also like to be a champion of the voiceless. Where I come from in west Africa, if you are poor it is very difficult to access justice, so I would like to be the voice for those people – I want to make life better for people through law.
I would also like to be a champion of the voiceless. Where I come from in West Africa, if you are poor it is very difficult to access justice, so I would like to be the voice for those people – I want to make life better for people through law.
Any advice/tips for prospective students thinking of pursuing the LLM General?
From day 1, you have to hit the ground running. Attend lectures! Don’t try and skip lectures. Do the assignments and pay attention in class. Do extensive reading and research that’s all it comes down to. Go beyond the call of duty and really try to impress the professors with the additional readings. It will all be worth it in the end.
Would you recommend the LLM Law (General) to others?
Yes, 100% I have no qualms about that. I would definitely recommend it! But remember the more effort you put into it the more you will get out of it.