This issue of the Harvard Law Bulletin features Maeve O’Rourke, LL.M. ’10 and her “Forgotten Irish” Award. In 2011, O’Rourke appeared in Geneva and argued before the Committee Against Torture that the Irish government had allowed the enslavement and forced labor of thousands of women. In 2013, the state announced a €60 million restorative justice plan.
Reflecting on her experience and motivation, Maeve doubts she would have pursued the case had she not been at HLS. “The clinical approach to legal education is very empowering, and there was a real sense at Harvard that we weren’t just learning about the law for the sake of it. We were there to develop expertise and a mind of your own and a sense of what it was you could and should be doing to change things,” she said.
While she was an HLS student, Maeve participated in several clinics and was awarded a fellowship by the HLS Human Rights Program. She currently practices in London, focusing on child and family law.