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 Jonathan Pugsley from Sustainable Energy Authority to give some advice for people considering this job:

Jonathan Pugsley

Energy Manager

Sustainable Energy Authority

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Jonathan Pugsley

Communication and team skills are probably the most important aspect overlooked.

In energy management, it is not I that saves the energy, but often it is folks on the ground using the equipment.

It is the energy managers job to educate by communication, the importance of doing the right things, savings then come as a result.


Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Occupation Details

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Job Zone

Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience plus specialist training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. They may also require very specialist skills. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

€19k > 200
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€19 - 200
Related Information:
Salaried Partner: 80 - 200
5+ yrs PQE: 80 - 110
1-5 yrs PQE: 45 - 90
Newly Qualified Solicitor: 35 - 65
Trainee: 19 - 40
Data Source(s):
CPL / Robert Walters / Abrivia / Lincoln /

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Occupational Category

Barristers, Judges, Solicitors & Related Professionals

Also included in this category:

Advocates; coroners; circuit and district judges; legal advisers; legal consultants.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 7%
Aged over 55: 26%
Male / Female: 43 / 57%
Non-Nationals: 6%
With Third Level: 99%
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At a Glance... header image

Solicitors provide people with legal advice and assistance. They work directly with their clients and are usually the first point of contact for anyone looking for legal advice.

Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Search YouTube for Solicitor videos

The Work header image

Most solicitors work in private practice, in partnership with other solicitors. Others are employed solicitors, for example, working for central or local government, the Court Service, or a commercial or industrial company.  
Private practice solicitors can specialise in a specific area of the law, although sole practitioners and small firms tend to deal with all aspects of the law. Medium and larger sized firms of solicitors may specialise in areas such as conveyancing, crime, family law, probate and business law.  
Conveyance means the transfer of ownership and rights of property (for example, a house, flat or area of land) from one person to another. Solicitors carry out in-depth checks (called 'searches') on all the factors that may affect the buyers, for example, rights of way, ownership of adjoining fences and walls, and planning proposals for new roads, houses or factories nearby. The solicitor investigates any original agreements or covenants that may still be legally valid. Then they draw up the contract for the client.  
Solicitors advise anyone who is in dispute with another person. They help their clients plan how to deal with a dispute, advising them if the matter could be settled out of court or if the threat of court action may influence the other party. If legal proceedings begin, solicitors may attend Court to represent the client. In serious cases, they seek the services of a barrister. The solicitor 'briefs' the barrister, which means giving the barrister information and instructions about the case.  
Solicitors who deal with probate work are responsible for drawing up wills and advising clients on how best to provide for relatives. They calculate the amount of money that people named in a will are entitled to receive, and may trace named relatives who have left the country.  
Those solicitors who deal with business law advise clients on issues such as taxes, employment law, export law and company mergers. Some large solicitors' firms specialise in large, corporate clients. Solicitors in these firms may deal with large, multi-million pound deals, perhaps involving international companies.  
Some solicitors' firms specialise in areas such as patents and copyrights, shipping, banking, computer law, media law or environmental law.  
Some firms specialise in helping legally aided clients (who can not normally afford a solicitor's fees). Legal-aid practices deal with a wide range of issues, including crime, injury claims, divorce law, welfare rights and clinical negligence. Employed solicitors may work in the legal departments of large companies or other organisations.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Represent clients in court or before government agencies.


Present evidence to defend clients or prosecute defendants in criminal or civil litigation.


Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges and question witnesses during the course of a trial.


Study Constitution, statutes, decisions, regulations, and ordinances of quasi-judicial bodies to determine ramifications for cases.


Interpret laws, rulings and regulations for individuals and businesses.


Present and summarize cases to judges and juries.


Prepare legal briefs and opinions, and file appeals in state and federal courts of appeal.


Analyze the probable outcomes of cases, using knowledge of legal precedents.


Examine legal data to determine advisability of defending or prosecuting lawsuit.


Evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments in preparation for presentation of cases.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.


Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Law and Government: Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Administration and Management: Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


Clerical: Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will need an in-depth knowledge of law, and excellent communication skills. You must be able to absorb and interpret complex information and use concise, plain English to explain this to clients. You must be able to work with people from all backgrounds, some of whom may be angry or distressed - you will need to use your knowledge, and a calm, professional manner to win the confidence and respect of your clients.  
You will need to be a good listener, and know how to ask the right questions to find out more about the client's situation. Appearing in court demands confidence and the ability to argue a case persuasively.  
Solicitors need interpersonal skills to work with other professionals, including barristers, judges and other court staff.  
Preparation for cases requires a thorough, methodical and patient approach to research. You must have good organisation skills to plan and prioritise cases, which you may have to take on at short notice. The ability to work well under pressure is very important.  
You should have the information technology skills to use, for example, word processing packages, spreadsheets, e-mail and information retrieval systems.

Entry Routesheader image

Entry into this profession is competitive.

In the Republic of Ireland, it takes almost three years from start to finish to become a Solicitor. Completion of the Law Society's Professional Practice Courses (PPC 1 & 2) plus an apprenticeship (in-house training of 24 months duration) with an approved solicitor is necessary.

The vast majority of students would first have completed a degree, though not necessarily a law degree. Most trainees without law degrees will first take some form of preparatory course to equip them with the required legal background.

There is a qualifying examination (Preliminary Examination) for non-Graduates seeking to become apprenticed. It is held once a year, is of degree standard and is restricted to candidates who are aged twenty-one years and upwards.

Full details of entry requirements from The Law Society are available here

Last Updated: February, 2015

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Solicitor - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Solicitor - from: Discussion
Go..Solicitor - from: YouTube [UK]
Go..Solicitor - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Law Society of Ireland
Address: Blackhall Place, Dublin 7
Tel: (01) 672 4800 ( Law School Tel No.: (01) 672 4802)
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Law & Legal

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