University College Dublin is today officially opening what it says is Ireland’s first purpose-built university law school, following a €25m investment.
Designed by Molony O’Beirne architects, the UCD Sutherland School of Law measures over 5,100 square metres and is located on the edge of a newly designed and landscaped lakeside setting on the Belfield campus.
The €25m project was financed from a major leadership gift from Peter Sutherland SC, significant government investment under the National Development Plan 2007 – 2013, and gifts from other leading benefactors, major law firms and private donors.
According to UCD, teaching spaces in the new school are designed to promote the active engagement of students with the law. These include a clinical legal education centre where students can develop their advocacy, dispute resolution, client counselling and negotiation skills in simulated courtroom and office settings. The largest theatre in the facility also serves as a ceremonial moot court.
“UCD Sutherland School of Law will propel Ireland’s growing international reputation as a location for the study and research of law to the next level,” said UCD president, Dr Hugh Brady. “This outstanding new facility brings all of our research and teaching activities in the law into one single location to create a vibrant atmosphere where our scholars can share their knowledge and ideas and lead Ireland to the forefront of legal education and research.”
“It is through the singular vision and generosity of one of our most distinguished alumni Peter Sutherland that this development was made possible, and from which generations of students and scholars will enormously benefit.”
“Education is one of the most important benefits we can pass on to future generations,” said Sutherland. “The rule of law underpins the cohesiveness and prosperity of society, making a sound legal education one of the most important we can deliver.”
“The new school has been designed to further deepen a strong sense of community within a transformative educational environment where staff and students work together and flourish,” said Prof Colin Scott, dean of law at University College Dublin.
“The new building offers the school, for the first time, state-of-the-art facilities for research to engage with those who both use and inform its research, in meetings and seminars, but also through professional development conferences and courses at graduate diploma and master’s level.”