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Headlines for the Weeks of June 10 & 17, 2013

Irish American Law Student Association

On June 12, 2013, the Irish American Law Student Association will be hosting our first "dining in" to take place at:

Chief O'Neill's
3471 N. Elston Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

6:30 p.m.
Cocktail hour

7:30 p.m.

C-K Students............$40

A ticket covers dinner, drinks before and after dinner, and entertainment. Entertainment will include Irish dancers, music and light-hearted speeches.

Tickets go on sale on the third-floor Spak on Monday, May 6, from noon to 2 p.m. You can also contact Shane Mahoney or Rory Quinn to purchase tickets.


Before the Norman invasion in 1169, Ireland was occupied by several Celtic tribes scattered across the island. Central to early Celtic life was the Brehon Law, a set of intricate statutes governing matters of commerce, marriage, property, civil wrongs and other aspects of daily life. Even after the Normans began to exert their will over the native Irish in the wake of the 1169 invasion, the Brehon traditions persisted in various forms. It was not until the 1607 "Case of the Tanistry" that Brehon law was declared incompatible with the law of England, a declaration that the English had great difficulty enforcing among the resistant Irish population.

One unique feature of Brehon Law was the legal requirement that hospitality be extended to all free persons, particularly strangers. This was not a mere custom, but rather a legal mandate that could be enforced as a matter of right. While this mandate was eventually lost to the ages, the spirit of the Brehon tradition continued in Irish culture and legal education.

In 1541, during the reign of Henry VIII, the Honorable Society of the King's Inns was established in Dublin as the exclusive training ground for barristers in Ireland. At the time of its founding in medieval Ireland, the King's Inns was a hostel where apprentice lawyers would live, study and partake in the ritual of dining with senior members of the bench and bar (called "benchers") in order to better learn their future craft. Even today, students at the Honorable Society of King's Inns, Dublin, are required to attend dinings as an integral part of their curriculum.

Dining-in is a centuries old tradition of the legal community in Ireland that brings together leading members of the bench and bar (called "benchers") with students and junior lawyers in a convivial atmosphere of professional fellowship. While the modern tradition has evolved into a largely social occasion, it was once viewed as a primary means of training would-be barristers before being called to the bar.

In the modern-day adaptation of the dining-in, the "dining" portion of the dining-in experience usually concludes well before the night it over, as benchers, honorees and guests typically remain for good conversation, drinks and music. Speeches of welcome for (or by) the honored guest(s) are encouraged, especially when laced with good-natured humor.

We hope to see you there!


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