Catherine Mc Loone studied LLM in School of Law University Limerick

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Catherine Mc Loone. I am from Dublin originally, now living and practising in Limerick as a Barrister for the past 10 years, having previously practiced in Dublin for 10 years. I am married to Kieran with two young boys, Michael and Patrick, aged 7 & 8.

What course did you study, and what year did you graduate?

I studied the LLM, Master of Laws (General). I started in 2020 and graduated in January 2023 with a First Class Honours.

Why did you choose to study at UL?

A major factor for me was UL’s reputation for having strong academic excellence and its consistent high ranking among the top universities. I had received a place on the LLM after I completed my undergraduate degree back in 2001, however, I transitioned to study in the Honourable Society of Kings Inns to qualify for professional practise and focused solely on that. I had always wanted to return to complete an LLM and the timing was right in 2020. It had always been a dream to complete an LLM in University Limerick and I have never looked back.

Can you tell us about your own personal experience of the course, the benefits/challenges etc?

I had the benefit of learning from some of the most esteemed academic minds in the field. Modules were taught by experts and passionate educators dedicated to the success of their students. My dissertation was completed under the supervision of Eoin Quill and through that I gained invaluable insight and direction in the area of Tort Law.

The LLM allowed me to delve deeply into new areas of law, to focus, for example, on The Judicial Council Personal Injuries Guidelines, and advanced family law. To this day the invaluable education I received stands to me when drafting legal opinions and practicing in all areas of civil law, with my specialised focus on adoption, child and family law. The variety of legal subjects across the broad spectrum of criminal law to competition law certainly enriched and advanced my legal education and has helped shape my career positively. It was somewhat of a challenge returning to academic study having first completed my undergraduate degree in 2001! However, the teaching and learning supports available via sulis ( now Brightspace) were  so detailed and of great assistance allowing me to achieve a complete all round knowledge of my chosen modules on the LLM. I enjoyed attending campus after lockdown, the campus being world class.

What have you done since you graduated?

I firmly believe the LLM has given me a huge boost of confidence and led me to do things I would never have known I could. I have worked internally with the Law Society for over ten years as tutor and internal examiner, and now I am currently a dissertation supervisor for a number of LLM students studying the LLM Advanced Legal Practice in the Law Society of Ireland. I have designed and delivered tutorials on new areas of law for the Law Society of Ireland and I am a tutor on the Barrister at Law Degree programme for the Honorable Society of Kings Inns. The academic experience of completing the LLM in UL certainly paved the way for me to qualify for these roles.

The LLM has also been a huge benefit to my career at the Bar as well as benefitting my academic career. I am currently working as a teaching assistant in the University of Limerick, leading three Modules per academic term, while continuing to practice at the Bar. Completing the LLM ensured I am up to speed both professionally and academically in my career as a Barrister. I have been invited to speak at conferences and I have continued to publish articles in peer review journals.

Would you recommend the LLM to others?

Absolutely. It has been life changing. It is a wonderful course, the lecturers are fantastic and the teaching methods are set in a way that makes learning most enjoyable. I have met amazing people and would highly recommend UL to anyone.  The opportunities on offer upon completion of the LLM are incredibly exciting.