Law Society to close Cork law school

 

THE LAW Society will close its law school in Cork at the end of this academic year in July.

The decision was taken by the council of the society last month for both educational and economic reasons, according to a report in the current issue of the Law Society Gazette.

The number of people training as solicitors has been falling since 2007, when it reached a high of 671. The Cork school was opened in 2006, when a similar number of people trained. The previous year there were 109 students enrolled in the society’s Dublin law school from Munster-based firms, and it was assumed that this level would continue. The Cork school had 76 students in 2006 and 106 students in 2007. In order to be self-financing it required about 100 students a year.

However, by last year the number of students in Cork had fallen to 44, out of a total number of 414 students taking the Law Society training course, a drop of 38 per cent in four years. There has also been a drop in the number sitting the final examination – first part, which fell by 45 per cent between the 2008 and 2011.

According to the Gazette, the educational experience of the trainees would suffer with much reduced numbers and losses of €1 million would have arisen in the next three years if the school was not closed now.

This is despite a cost-cutting programme that included four redundancies among staff and attempts to generate income through room hire and a diploma course.

Students who would have attended in Cork will now receive their education in Dublin, as they did before 2006.