It is a position some law students only dream of but for Andrew McMahon, pictured on the left, interning with the Attorney General of Ireland was not only a reality but also an experience unlike any other.
This past June, Andrew spent every weekday morning interning with the highest legal officer in Ireland where he was able to contribute on intern projects, draft reports and research legal issues concerning immigration and asylum. His background in both European Union law and business provided him a firm foundation upon which to excel in his internship with the Attorney General.
“The internship program was off the charts,” he said. “Working in such an esteemed office is a quick way to take lessons in the way that government bodies interact with one another. It was also incredibly interesting to see how the highest legal office of the land interacted with the supra-national European Union with respect to the way the two different legal entities integrate their activities and aims. It was also an incredible lesson in self-sufficiency, organizational and time management, and professionalism.”
The end of his internship culminated at a group dinner to honor all of the internship providers for the study abroad program, where he was able to mingle with not only his supervising attorney but also some of the other attorneys who participated in the program. The Attorney General even gave Andrew a pair of 150-year-old cufflinks that were made from colonial coins for all of his hard work while in Dublin and because he was “a snazzy dresser.”
“One of my favorite memories was the mentor dinner, which was a great opportunity to meet some of the barristers my colleagues had been working under,” he said. “It was like one great big Irish networking dinner. It was a ton of fun to see my boss out of our stuffy, government setting and in a fun, carefree dinner environment.”
After hearing about how great the program was from older TU students, he knew that he wanted to study there. Not only was it the culture and people that drew him to Ireland, but it was also the combination of political and religious history that drew him to this once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I viewed it as a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said. “Ireland has a very politically driven history, not to mention a history impacted greatly by religious influences. These two factors make for an interesting background for a legal system.”
Dublin was not the first time he had studied abroad in Europe. While he was earning his Bachelor’s Degree in International Business from the University of San Diego, he was fortunate enough to study abroad in Vienna, Austria where he focused on international law and worked for an international marketing research company.
“I think my experience and background working in European Union countries was undoubtedly a catalyst to my nomination for the position,” he said.
Study abroad programs including the Dublin Study Abroad program through TU Law are undoubtedly a large part of McMahon’s secondary education and it is something he wants every person to take advantage of.
“It is an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a new culture in a beautiful country,” he said. “Even if a student doesn’t see themselves studying international or EU law, it is a tremendous opportunity to broaden one’s sense of global citizenship and the responsibilities that come with that citizenship, as well as an incredible opportunity to expand the thought processes and reasoning methods used to analyze and study law.”