Meet Emily Sugrue, Legal Analyst in the Data Protection Commission

A collage of pictures depicting technology and data uses, with a woman in the centre image. She is wearing a light grey suit and has long blonde hair.

The Role

A Legal Analyst has a key role in what is one of Europe’s most prominent and active data protection regulators, with opportunities to contribute to the DPC’s extensive work at national level, as well as the high-profile and unique role it holds in the supervision of large international organisations based in Ireland. The role, equivalent to that of a legal researcher, involves legal research and analysis and the provision of legal support across a broad range of the DPC’s activities. As a result, Legal Analysts are involved in a diverse array of substantive data protection issues as well as novel legal and regulatory matters.


Emily Sugrue

I joined the DPC only recently as a Legal Analyst. Prior to joining the DPC, I worked as an attorney in New York and California in a practice that included US constitutional law as well as regulatory and administrative law and policy.  I applied for the Legal Analyst role after viewing a profile much like this one, which highlighted the opportunity to work in a dynamic field in a role particularly suited to my experience in regulatory law and policy.

The DPC is a significant player in the field of privacy and data protection, acting as the lead regulator (or “lead supervisory authority”) for a number of multi-national companies based in the EU. One of the key functions of the DPC is to work in harmony with data protection authorities (“DPAs”) across the EU, ensuring that data protection law is applied across member states in a consistent manner.  As a result, working in the DPC offers an incredible opportunity to help shape to the data protection law landscape in a way that impacts individuals within Ireland and beyond its borders.

I have maintained my professional qualification during my time at the DPC, and I look forward to expanding those qualifications concurrent with my employment here.  The DPC is currently sponsoring my enrolment in courses to obtain a professional privacy certification.  In addition, I hope to avail of a continuing education scheme offered by the DPC to study for the Qualified Lawyer Transfer Test to become an Irish qualified solicitor. 

As a Legal Analyst in the DPC, I work on domestic complaints and inquiries into private companies and public sector organisations. I help build public awareness of data protection and privacy law by researching and drafting materials to be published to the DPC’s website.  I also provide legal support to my unit, researching legal issues of particular relevance. I have also been able to utilise and  share my experience in administrative law with my team in discharging the DPC’s regulatory functions.  Looking forward, I am excited to continue my contributions within the team and to take advantage of the opportunity to represent the DPC at conferences and events.

When I was offered the role of Legal Analyst I was excited about the area of practice, but was admittedly unsure about the atmosphere.  However, I have found the people of the DPC to be friendly, helpful, engaged and incredibly knowledgeable about their work.

If you are looking for a uniquely interesting application for your legal skills and the opportunity to contribute to a quickly developing area of law, then I would highly recommend the role of Legal Analyst with the DPC.