Why law? Legal expertise is invaluable across a wide range of industries
There is no shortage of places to study law in Ireland
Working in law can be exciting and rewarding, and there’s always something new to learn
The long arm of the law isn’t confined to the work of solicitors and barristers: legal expertise is invaluable across a wide range of industries.
Why study law:
The skills of a law graduate – problem-solving, analysis, research and, indeed, identifying potential problems and finding solutions – are highly sought by employers. So if law appeals but you don’t know if you want to work in it, fret not: you’ll still leave college with a valuable degree.
Solicitors, by and large, prepare cases for court or deal with litigation, whereas a barrister represents a client in court.
Working in law can be exciting and rewarding, and there’s always something new to learn.
There are not many aspects of life that aren’t regulated or tied up in law: from the make of the bed you sleep in to the legalities of a marriage, what you can make and what you can buy and how – law is everywhere.
Many law grads will want to work as a solicitor or barrister. Be warned, however, it’s not all high-profile criminal cases straight out of detective thrillers. The majority of legal professionals work in areas including tax, property, corporate law and employment law. Being inside a courtroom can actually be relatively rare.
Barristers are self-employed, so those who want to make a career of it will have to be good at making connections and drumming up business. This isn’t for everyone, and it can be hard to get off the ground, but once established the pay can be very good.
Solicitors can also expect to work long hours, at least in their early years.
Earnings and progression:
An undergraduate law degree can help prepare students for a life as a barrister or solicitor but it isn’t sufficient in itself. To train as a barrister or solicitor a law graduate can apply directly to King’s Inns (barrister training) or Blackhall Place (solicitor training).
Graduates from other courses must study a two-year legal studies diploma before they can apply to sit the entrance exam for King’s Inns, or the one-year diploma in legal studies to sit the FE-1 exams that gain entry to Blackhall Place.
Data from a recent HEA study shows that, on average, business, administration and law graduates earned €36,845 and €38,286 nine months after graduation.
Where to do it:
There’s no shortage of places to study law in Ireland, with courses available at NUI Galway, UL, UCC, Maynooth University, Trinity College, UCD, DCU, TU Dublin, WIT, IT Sligo, Letterkenny IT, DBS and Griffith.
WIT and IT Carlow offer level six qualifications in legal studies which can be useful for work in business, law, the civil service, finance or regulation or to be a stepping stone to further study.
Law can be taken as a standalone subject in many of the higher education institutions. Business and law is a popular and useful combination, while legal graduates with a language are highly sought due to the shortage of language graduates here.
2020 CAO points
DCU: law and society: 466
Griffith College: law: 244
TU Dublin: law with a language: 342
NUI Galway: law: 499
UL: law plus 490
Maynooth: law: 473
UCD: business and law: 545
UCC: law: 507