Professional Qualifications for Solicitors and Barristers
Many Law graduates go on to become solicitors and barristers. However a law degree does not qualify a graduate directly as a solicitor or barrister, further vocational qualification is required.
Persons wishing to practise as solicitors or barristers in Northern Ireland must undertake a course of professional training at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (Tel: (028) 9097 5566). The Institute is part of Queen's University and is located at 10 Lennoxvale, Belfast. As a condition of entry to the Institute a student must have a recognised Law degree. Entry to the Institute is competitive and depends on the applicant's Law degree classification and the Institute's admissions examination.
Full details of the vocational courses offered by the Institute and application forms are available from: The Institute of Professional and Legal Studies
Practicing outside Northern Ireland
Graduates from the School of Law who wish to practise in England or Wales normally have exemption from five of the six subjects in the Common Professional Examination. The School now provides an additional optional course in English Land Law which will enable those who take it to be completely exempt from the Common Professional Examination.
Anyone intending to practise as a lawyer in some other jurisdiction, including Scotland or the Republic of Ireland, should contact the relevant professional body for advice. The joint degree in law with French does not exempt students from any of the professional legal examinations in France.
Many law graduates go on to become solicitors and barristers but an increasing number are pursuing careers in other walks of life e.g. public administration, accountancy, commerce and industry, banking and insurance, industrial relations, management, estate agency, the tax inspectorate, social work, journalism and a host of other fields. Law is a useful subject to know something about and a law degree is highly regarded by many employers, even if their work has little direct bearing on the law.