There are several entry routes to a career as a Solicitor. It is not necessary to study law at University to become a Solicitor. If you hold a degree in any discipline you may apply to sit the Entrance Exams (known as FE-1 exams) for the Law School at Blackhall Place where the professional training of solicitors takes place. You must sit these exams even if you hold a law degree.
Qualified Solicitors have such diverse degrees such as Arts, Commerce, Science or Psychology prior to becoming Solicitors. However many prefer to study straight law such as a Bachelor of Civil law or Corporate law. The advantage of studying law in University is that it gives you an opportunity to study the various subjects in more detail rather than just studying all courses over one year for the entrance exams. However there are also advantages to studying degrees in Commerce or Science in that you will have a larger skillset and knowledge base to bring to a firm or company
Having successfully completed the Entrance Exams (in which you have to sit 8 exams consisting of Land Law, Equity, Irish Constitutional Law, Law of the European Union, Law of Tort, Criminal Law, Company Law and Law of Contract) a graduate must obtain a traineeship in a Solicitor’s office and apply for admission to Blackhall Place as a Trainee Solicitor. The traineeship consists of a 32 month duration and involves periods of in-office training and two periods of study at the Law School during which the trainee sits exams and completes various assignments and moot skills. These periods at the Law School are referred to as the Professional Practice Course – One (PPC1) and the Professional Practice Course – Two (PPC2). The exams which trainees sit during this period are called the FE2 and FE3 respectively. The average age of a newly qualified solicitor is 26.
The skills, which a Solicitor develops, are highly transferable and many Solicitors move into business, the media, politics or work with non-governmental organizations.
Qualifying as a solicitor provides you with a good base from which to move into other fields and provides you with a qualification with which you can travel the world.