Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Brian Howard from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:

Brian Howard

Guidance Counsellor

Department of Education and Skills

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Brian Howard

This career involves working with people in a caring capacity. If you have no interest in helping people personally or educationally then this may be the wrong profession for you.

Empathy, patience and respect are important qualities for this job, in addition to be able to relate well to the person you are dealing with. As there is also a large amount of information to be handled in the job, good organisational, IT and time management skills are also quite important.

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The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Route to Qualification as a Solicitor

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.

Visit LawEd for more information here.

Article by: LawEd