The School of Law at UCC- Reflecting on Change and Opportunity

AuthorUrsula Kilkelly
PositionHead of the College of Business and Law, Dean of the School of Law, University College Cork
Professor Ursula Kilkelly1
I am grateful to the editorship of the Cork Online Law Review (COLR) for the invitation to
contribute to this, the 15th anniversary edition of this student-led journal, published under the
auspices of the Law Society of University College Cork. In my capacity as Dean of the
School of Law at UCC, it is timely to reflect on what we have achieved in that time and to
look ahead a little to what the next few years might bring.
By any standards, it is fair to say that since the first edition of the Cork Online Law Review
was launched in March 2002 by Justice Ronan Keane, the School of Law has changed
greatly. The staff and student population have increased in number and mix, programmes
have evolved at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, our international reach has
continued to extend outward and our graduates’ careers have taken on ever more diversity.
Despite the challenges of economic recession, the constants in this time have been our
commitment to excellence in what we do and our ability – both staff and students - to
compete with the best anywhere in the world. Among all of the uncertainty of the 21st
century, what is clear is that the next decade will bring even more challenge and opportunity
than the time that has gone before.
The Law School has enjoyed great leadership - Professor Irene Lynch Fannon (1999-2002),
Professor Maeve McDonagh (2002-2003), Professor Caroline Fennell (2003-2009) and
Professor Steve Hedley (2009-2012) were Head of Department and Dean of Faculty before I
become Dean in 2012. It is unusual perhaps that most of our leaders have been women and it
is significant too that during that time women have made up the majority of the academic
staff. In 2016, the Law School has 37 full time staff, including nine professors (Professor
Caroline Fennell is now UCC’s Registrar and Senior Vice President (Academic)), five Senior
Lecturers, 11 Lecturers, three researchers and nine staff in managerial, administrative,
clinical and technical roles. Since COLR began, the total number of registered students of the
School of law has increased to 630; comprising 525 full-time and 105 part-time students;
with 526 taking undergraduate programmes, 77 postgraduates and 27 PhD students. We have
a large panel of adjunct or part-time staff who lecture and tutor across our programmes and
currently have four Adjunct Professors including Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Supreme Court;
Judge Anthony M Collins, Judge of the General Court of the European Union; Dr Vincent
Power, Partner in A&L Goodbody, and Teresa Doherty, former judge of the Special Court of
Sierra Leone.
1 Head of the College of Business and Law, Dean of the School of Law, University College Cork.

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