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    Why study Law at Trinity College?

    Trinity College Dublin’s School of Law, is Ireland's oldest and most internationally renowned law school. The school is one of the world's top 100 universities for law (QS World University Rankings 2013).

    By national and international comparisons we are small in size but attract students of the highest calibre from Ireland and abroad. Our small size and dedication to small-group teaching fosters a friendly and vibrant relationship between staff and students, one inspired by mutual respect and co-operation.

    Trinity College Dublin's four-year law degrees offer an unrivalled number of optional modules in the final two years of study. Final year students have the option of taking a clinical legal education module, which involves placement of students in a variety of organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors. Under the supervision of experienced professionals, students will gain first-hand experience of legal practice, observing, assisting and, where appropriate, participating in the organisations' work. This gives students an opportunity to apply and develop their legal skills and knowledge in a practical way and to learn from this experience. Our modules in the final two years afford students the opportunity to specialise and gain a competitive advantage over graduates from many other universities. Students reading any of our undergraduate law degree programmes, will also have available to them all of the modules required for entry to the Irish and UK professional bodies.

    The School is home to one of Ireland's leading legal periodicals, the Dublin University Law Journal, and the Trinity College Law Review. The latter is published by the student members of the College’s Law Society and now enjoys international dissemination on HeinOnline.

    The School is recognised for providing a liberal environment where independent thinking, the promotion of the ideals of social inclusion and equality is strongly encouraged. We educate people to be the leaders of the legal profession, public service and society.

    Our five honors degrees in law provide students with a challenging and rewarding legal education but also instill more general skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Trinity College Dublin's LL.B. degrees prepare students not only for life as lawyers, but also enable them to enter many career fields such as business, journalism, financial services, politics, foreign affairs and diplomacy and public services. The skills learned through studying law in Trinity College Dublin are useful in all walks of life.

    Visit the Law School

    • If you are considering studying for a Law degree at Trinity College but want to be sure, you are most welcome to attend lectures. If you would like to avail of this opportunity, to come in and discuss your options with a member of staff, or to visit the Law School we would be happy to meet you. Please contact us by e-mail (see below) to arrange a visit.

    Is this course right for you?

    Law is an exciting, dynamic discipline, which is constantly evolving and reacting to social change. It governs every aspect of our lives, from food labelling and football transfers to elections and crime. The study of law appeals to people interested in society, governance and current affairs. If you like to be challenged and intellectually stimulated then one of our Law degrees may be for you. A general interest in history and political developments will be an advantage, as many legal modules cannot be fully appreciated without reference to their historical and political context. Legal training requires precise and careful use of language therefore good writing skills and a facility for articulate expression are important.

    Course overview

    Law at Trinity College is a four-year degree programme. The first two (Freshman) years are given over to the study of core legal modules (many of which are required by the legal professional bodies). There is an appropriate balance in the Freshman years between the academic and practical aspects of law, achieved through the introduction of legal skills and mooting (mock trials) programmes, and assisted in part by members of our academic body with experience of private practice. In your Sophister (third and fourth) years you can focus on particular areas of law chosen from a range of approximately 30 modules each year.

    Studying law at university involves a large amount of independent learning, including reading and research. This can be done in the library or at home using library databases available to current law students. Essays and other written work are assigned on a regular basis, and contribution in class is expected.

    Most of the teaching takes place at lecture level and is supplemented with seminars (small group teaching in classes of between 12-15 students). The academic year is divided into two terms (semesters). In the Freshman (first two) years, students take three modules per semester and a series of legal skills or mooting seminars and workshops. Each module is taught by three hours of lectures per week and four seminars per semester. In the Sophister (final two) years students take generally between six and eight modules (modules are weighted differently in the final two years, see below) and modules may also be supplemented by seminars and workshops.

    Modules

    Junior Freshman (first year)

    • Torts
    • Constitutional law I
    • The Irish legal system (including Legal skills)
    • Contract law
    • Criminal law
    • Legislation and regulation

    Senior Freshman (second year)

    • Administrative law
    • Constitutional law II
    • Equity
    • European Union law
    • Land law
    • Private law remedies (including Mooting)

    The Sophister years (third and fourth year)

    Throughout the four years of study, students must take modules worth 60 ECTs (European Credit Transfers) each year. The majority of modules bear 10 ECTs; however, in the Sophister years there are also 5 credit modules available. The modules which may be available to study are as follows:

    Advanced European Union law; Advanced evidence; Advocacy; Child law; Clinical legal education; Collective labour law; Commercial law; Company law; Comparative law; Contemporary issues in Constitutional law; Corporate governance; Corporate insolvency law; Criminology; Critical perspectives on law; Economic and legal aspects of competition policy; Employment law; English land law; Environmental law; European human rights; EU food law; Evidence; Family law; Intellectual property law; International family law; International human rights law; International trade law; Jurisprudence; Legal philosophy; Media law; Medical law and ethics; Penology; Public interest law; Public international law; Refugee and immigration law; Restitution; Tax law; Transnational contract law; Sport and the law.

    In the Senior Sophister year, students may also opt to write a research dissertation on a topic of their choice in place of a taught module.

    If you would like to find out more detailed information on the modules offered above, please visit www.tcd.ie/Law/undergraduate/law/freshman.php and www.tcd.ie/Law/undergraduate/law/sophister.php

    Broad Curriculum programme

    The School of Law is committed to making available to students the option of taking a module from outside its discipline, under the Broad Curriculum programme. Students may choose to study modules from a variety of disciplines, not just from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. See http://www.tcd.ie/Broad_Curriculum.

    Study abroad

    In the Junior Sophister (third) year, students have the opportunity to apply to study abroad in a prestigious European university with the EU funded Erasmus programme. In addition to exchange programmes in Europe, the School of Law also has bilateral links with leading universities in North America and Australia. Our exchange programmes are highly successful, and are a very popular option for a large number of law students each year. Participating students find that they are hugely enjoyable, academically and culturally rewarding, and a valuable asset to prospective employers.

    Career opportunities

    A law degree provides the ideal foundation for the aspiring solicitor or barrister. However, law offers wider opportunities than professional practice alone, with many graduates finding employment in public administration, business, journalism, accountancy, banking, insurance, politics, foreign affairs, diplomacy and international financial services.

    Law degrees and professional qualifications

    No law degree entitles a person to practise law as a solicitor or barrister. If you wish to go on to obtain a professional qualification, the governing bodies for the profession require that you study certain specific modules in your primary law degree. These modules are taught as compulsory modules during the Freshman years and/or as optional Sophister modules. The School of Law's five undergraduate law degree programmes enables students the opportunity to study all modules required by the Irish and English professional bodies.

    Students contemplating a career as a barrister will need to continue their studies with the Honorable Society of the King's Inns. To qualify as a barrister, law graduates must complete the one-year degree course with the King's Inns before 'devilling' with a qualified barrister for a year. Further information on becoming a barrister is available from www.kingsinns.ie

    Prospective solicitors must undertake the professional training programme for solicitors delivered by the Law Society of Ireland (www.lawsociety.ie).

    Separate requirements apply in Northern Ireland. Prospective barristers should consult the Under Treasurer, The Inns Court of Northern Ireland (www.barlibrary.com), while prospective solicitors should consult the Secretary, the Incorporated Law Society of Northern Ireland (www.lawsoc-ni.org).

    In view of rapid changes relating to the rules of entry into professional study, all students are advised to maintain regular contact with the relevant professional bodies so that they are aware of any new requirements coming on-stream.

    Further information

    www.tcd.ie/law/undergraduate

    Tel: +353 1 896 1125 / 1278

    E-mail: law.school@tcd.ie

    Did you know?

    • Trinity College Dublin is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for Law (by the QS World University Rankings 2013).
     

    Student profile


    Aoife Beirne

    "I chose to study at Law at Trinity because the Law School has an excellent reputation, both nationally and internationally. Some of the most respected legal minds in the country are among the staff there. The course is divided so that I studied four different subjects each year, so after four years I have gained an in-depth knowledge of sixteen different areas of law. I believe that my degree from Trinity will give me the backing I need to become a successful lawyer someday. The diverse mixture of nationalities and backgrounds in Trinity, as a university, helps to broaden the mind and create a better rounded student. There are endless societies to choose from and becoming a member of one or getting involved in the Students Union as a class rep, which I did, is a great way to make friends who share your interests. After four years of studying at Trinity I feel a little nostalgic at the prospect of leaving, and I am applying to do my Masters here next year. If you want a legal education that is second to none and if you want to have some fun while getting it, then I would strongly recommend Trinity."

    Grainne McAnaney

    If I am honest, I chose to study Law at Trinity College on a bit of a whim. Coming from Northern Ireland, most of my school friends were going to college there or in England and I very nearly did the same. I am now in my final year of Law here and I can honestly say I am so glad that I decided to go against the grain and come to Trinity College. The Law School is relatively small compared with other leading universities and it allows for a friendly close-knit environment between the staff and students. The four-year degree allows students not only to study the core legal subjects but also to delve into more specific areas of the law that they are particularly interested in. Law students are also given the invaluable opportunity of studying abroad for the third year of the degree in other world class universities. Studying in the United States gave me the chance to broaden my perspectives on legal issues and also to set up connections and friendships in another country that will last a lifetime. The teaching in the Law School here is second to none. Aside from the fact that most of the lecturers have written the book on what they are teaching, they are friendly and always willing to help. The lectures, especially in the third and fourth years, are not just aimed at making you pass an exam, but to have a wide and practical knowledge of the subject and to have an inquisitorial approach to what you are learning.

    Trinity College is an internationally recognised university of world class standards and the Law School is a testament to that. If you are looking to have a great four years, learn about the law from outstanding teachers, and make a lot of friends in the process, then Trinity College is the place to be."

    Ben Mitchell

    “Trying to sum up in only a few lines what I enjoy most about Trinity is particularly difficult. The four years that I have spent here as a student have been fantastic for a whole host of reasons. The ultimate aim of any college education is obviously to get a degree at the end and I’ve found that Trinity is a great place to study, not least because it’s a university that makes you want to learn. The professors and lecturers are all experts in their fields, which mean they have a passion for their subjects that is infectious.

    The College also places a lot of emphasis on student life and while I’ve been here I’ve been able to write for newspapers, debate, edit the law review, sit on student committees and compete for the university’s sailing team as well as take part in a huge range of other activities. I came into first year with the intention of taking part in everything, but after only a few minutes I realised that was simply impossible as there is literally something for everyone here as there are well over one hundred different societies on offer.

    Trinity has global links with other universities, which gave me the opportunity to spend my third year on exchange to a US Law School. This was a brilliant experience and was one of the most enjoyable parts of my undergraduate education but, for however much I enjoyed it, what I got most out of it was an understanding of what sets Trinity apart as a place to be a student. There is a culture here that I haven’t seen replicated elsewhere, which makes it such an exciting place to be a student. I’ve spent the last year living in the College, right in the heart of Dublin city, in some of the most impressive buildings in the country, so I have seen firsthand the entertainment, friendliness, support and inspiration that Trinity has to offer. From what I’ve experienced here, I can’t recommend it highly enough as a place to study.

    Graduate profile


    Garrett Simons

    Garrett Simons, S.C. graduated from the School of Law with a first class honours degree in 1992. Garrett is a Senior Counsel specialising in planning and environmental law, and the author of “Planning and Development Law” (Thomson Round Hall, Dublin).

    “My reasons for choosing Trinity College were, first, the excellent reputation of the School, and, secondly, the fact that it offered a four-year honors degree course. A four-year course not only allows for a greater choice of subjects, but also affords an opportunity to study those subjects in depth. Your degree is awarded on the basis of your performance in third and fourth year, which is a much fairer basis of assessment than in most colleges. The Law School is relatively small, and thus has a very friendly atmosphere. My lecturers were excellent, and in many cases were the leaders in their field. I particularly enjoyed the Environmental Law course taught by Professor Yvonne Scannell, and subsequently decided to specialise in planning and environmental law. I have no doubt but that the questioning approach which Yvonne and other lecturers encouraged us to take to legal issues has been of great benefit to me in my practice at the bar.”

     

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