Postcards from Ireland - An Introduction

September 23, 2015


My name is Brendan J. Ketchum and I am a third year law student pursuing my J.D. with a Concentration in International and Comparative Law. I am from a town in upstate New York called Endicott and I am a graduate of the University at Albany, SUNY.

Currently, I am studying at University College Cork School of Law (UCC) in Cork, Ireland through SLU LAW's Center for International and Comparative Law (CICL). This opportunity allows me to study the fields I am interested in with a focus on global considerations. Because I am primarily interested in business related issues, my studies in Ireland are focused on international trade including European Union trade regulation, data security, environmental law and intellectual property. It is no secret that most any business has an international component. More than ever, lawyers need to have the ability to understand and address complex business issues in an international context. I chose to come to UCC to study for the above reasons and because the knowledge and network I will gain while here will be unique and valuable assets as I begin the practice of law. UCC is an exceptional law school which is consistently rated very well internationally, and I am proud to be studying here.

U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O'Malley ('73) with SLU LAW students (l-r) Katie Burke, Brendan Ketchum and Claire Kates at a reception at the ambassador's home as part of a SLU LAW alumni trip. The students are all studying abroad at University College Cork School of Law this semester.

The people of Ireland are very welcoming and my adjustment to Irish life has been 'just grand', as they say. I have met people from a dozen countries because UCC has a robust international program consisting of nearly 2,500 students from all over the world (though very few are law students).

This past weekend, I was able to take part in an event at the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland's residence at Deer Field in Phoenix Park, Dublin. As many of you know, the ambassador, Kevin O’Malley, is a graduate of SLU LAW (’73) and as a cab driver said to me, “It is not every day that you get invited to meet an ambassador.” Off we go as I traveled three hours by bus to Dublin and arrived at the ambassador's residence on foot. As I approached, I saw a perfectly manicured, picturesque compound which was built in the late 18th century for a high ranking British official. What followed was spirited conversation and networking with distinguished guests including the ambassador, Irish barristers and solicitors (two types of Irish lawyers), American lawyers, former judges, members of the SLU community, and, of course, Dean Wolff. I am so glad SLU LAW afforded me this wonderful opportunity, and I want to thank all who were involved the planning process.

It has been a busy few weeks but I am excited to see what the next few months have in store. I am particularly interested in starting to work in UCC Law's Information Technology Law Clinic where I will be providing legal information to the start-up community relating to copyright, domain names and other IT issues.


I invite anyone who has questions for me to email me at I hope all is well in St. Louis. Go Cardinals!

Cheers from the Emerald Isle,
Brendan J. Ketchum