Student Case Study: Catherine Barry

By Frank Bolger - Last update


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I had been unemployed for approximately two and a half years and really wanted to get back into the workforce and acquire some training. After taking on a suitable Community Employment Scheme, I am now doing a FETAC course in Family Law Studies, in the Coolock Community Law Centre one afternoon a week. I am also hoping to re-sit my ECDL exams and obtain a certificate in same.

I am thoroughly enjoying my family law studies as I expected, having always had a huge interest in politics/law and social issues. Having personally fought my own family law cases nine times through the District Court and the Circuit Court, I realise I have quite a flair for barrister/solicitor/legal representation.

Participating in the family law course has helped me enormously. I really enjoy it – especially the debating end of things. We recently had a mock set up of a Supreme Court, where some of us were appointed as Judges and jury. I really enjoyed being on the defence!

I would recommend further education to all mature students. It is a fantastic way to learn and improve on previous skills. I have a lot of experience in community work having worked with long term unemployed people, lone parents, and those generally on the margins, and have encountered many family law enquiries along the way. This course is validating all I know and the certificate will certainly help me secure the type of job I want.

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Frank Bolger

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