Paralegal and legal studies students explore the culture and court systems in London, Paris, and Dublin as part of a course called International Travel.

Students and faculty met with Martin Ferris (front row, center), of the Irish political party Sinn Fein, on the Dublin portion of the trip. They were also able to reunite with former exchange student Sinead Loughran (left of Ferris).

Students Tour European Legal Systems

Last fall, a group of 16 students completed a course called International Studies, which examines the history, culture, art, and legal systems between England and France. Their studies came to life during semester break, when paralegal and legal studies faculty led the students on a ten-day trip to London and Paris for a course called International Travel. For many paralegal and legal studies students, it is their first experience of the court system in another country.

On January 5, faculty, friends, and family members joined the 16 students on an overnight flight to London. The next few days were full of seeing and experiencing everything they had talked about in class–from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and Westminster Abbey, to eating fish and chips in a London pub.

Boarding the EuroStar, they traveled under the London Channel to arrive in Paris, France, where students marveled at the size of the Eiffel Tower and the splendor of Versailles.

“The Eiffel Tower is just an outstanding symbol. Actually being on it looking down at Paris was stunning,” said Jessie Murray ’15, a criminal justice major.

After Paris, twelve of the students were able to extend their trip with a visit to Dublin, Ireland. Students saw the Pearse Street Garda station and were able to hear about the Garda, the police force of Ireland. They visited the historically famous Mansion House with the Lord Mayor of Dublin and even had a private meeting with him, which included tea and biscuits.

The group visited Ireland's Houses of the Oireactas, their version of Congress, where they toured the building known as Leinster House, watched Leader's Questions from the Teachta Dálas (Irish deputies) to the Ministers. They even had a private meeting with Sin Fein's Teachta Dálas Martin Ferris.

“Martin Ferris is a personal friend of my family and worked closely with Jerry Adams, the late Senator Ted Kennedy and Congressman Richard Neal to implement the Good Friday Agreement,” said Caroline Murray, J.D., associate professor of paralegal and legal studies.

For the students, what turned out to be even more important than seeing the monuments and landmarks of Europe, was the chance to sample two cultures so different from their own.

“The feeling I got when I actually could see, smell, and touch the places we studied was overwhelming,” said Hillary Roy ’15, a legal studies major. “Walking on the cobblestone roads at the Tower of London and in Montmartre let me grasp the historic moments that have occurred.”