This chapter uses law students to examine the initial stages of community building. The analysis locates the Irish student in place and time by mapping out admissions to the London Inns of Court, focusing on where students came from in Ireland, and when and why they left. Irish law students differed from one another in terms of regional origin and religious affiliation, but most were young, impressionistic, and belonged to the lower gentry or middle class. Students also shared a particular migration experience; they left the same ports, arrived at the same destination, and faced similar problems. With a heightened awareness of being Irish, which distinguished them from the rest of the city's population, students became more receptive to the idea that they shared something in common with each other. By navigating the challenges posed by the Irish Sea, the Inns of Court and life in London, students made the difficult transition from youth to adulthood, and in the process learned how to craft relationships that provided mutual support. Those who stayed on in London after completing their terms continued to use the strategies they had developed as students, as did those who returned home or migrated elsewhere.
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