Becoming a solicitor in the Republic of Ireland: entry and training

Last updated: 22 Jun 2023, 13:19

Becoming a solicitor involves studying for exams and completing a training contract

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Republic of Ireland

The Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin is responsible for the education and training of solicitors. Blackhall Place runs the Professional Practice Course, parts I and II, which forms the solicitor’s essential training. Completion of the Professional Practice Courses, plus a traineeship with an approved solicitor leads to qualification as a solicitor.

Steps to qualification

The entire training period from start to finish involves a seven-step process.

Step one

Sit and pass the Law Society entrance examination, the Final Examination – First Part (FE-1). Exams are held twice a year, in autumn and spring, and there are eight papers.

Step two

Secure a two-year training contract (Indentures of Apprenticeship) with an eligible solicitor who has been practising for at least four years. An eligible solicitor must be a partner within a firm or a sole practitioner.

Step three

Apply to start Professional Practice Course I. Courses run in Dublin and Cork and start in September, running through to April–June when examinations are held.

The Law Society is now offering a Professional Practice Course Hybrid (PPC Hybrid) which combines online lectures with face-to-face tuition. Commencing on the 14th of December 2022, the PPC Hybrid is a more flexible route into practice that does not include the requirement to be on-site in the law school for a substantial continuous period. The course is also structured so that trainees will potentially be able to continue working during the PPC Hybrid. The new offering may be of particular interest to some trainees located outside Dublin.

Course delivery

This PPC Hybrid delivers an optimised blended learning experience through:

  • Incremental release of lectures in play on demand mode
  • On-site face-to-face tuition through weekend sessions (10 monthly weekend sessions for PPC I)
  • On-site educationally immersive week-long sessions (two week-long sessions for PPC I).

In-office training

The same two-year in-office training requirement will apply, but the trainee solicitor may also be in a position to accrue credit of up to five months for in-office training occurring during PPC I. (PPC II for the 2020 PPC Hybrid will commence in August 2021).

Step four

Begin 24-month training contract/ apprenticeship.

Step five

Return to Law Society for Professional Practice Course II. Courses start in April and last for 12 weeks, with final examinations in June.

Step six

Return to training solicitor to complete in-office training, usually 11 months.

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Listen to Vance Power talk about his experience as a trainee solicitor. Learn about his day to day tasks, the skills he thinks are important in his line of work and his advice for student.

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