Ireland’s membership of the European Union, combined with globalisation, makes it more important than ever that lawyers are able to understand other legal systems and cultures. A key global distinction is between ‘common law systems’, such as Ireland, England, and the USA, and ‘civil law systems’, found in France, most other European jurisdictions, and beyond. The Law and French programme will also provide you with the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding of French language and culture. You will spend one year of your studies at a partner university in France, where you will be able to learn about the French legal system. This appreciation of French language, law and culture provides an invaluable gateway to a broader understanding of civil law systems around the world. The French legal tradition has exercised particular influence on the European Union, so the skills that you develop in this programme provide an excellent basis for pursuing a career within the EU, e.g. working in a global law firm or within one of the EU institutions.
Programme Coordinator: Dr. Sarah Arduin
Is this Programme right for me?
If you like to be challenged and intellectually stimulated, have a keen interest in the cultural, social, historical and political backgrounds of France and would like to learn a second language, then this degree is for you.
Legal training requires the ability to think logically and critically, precise and careful use of language, good writing skills and a facility for articulate expression are key attributes for legal scholars.
Law and French is a four-year honors degree programme. The first year entails studying core legal modules in conjunction with modules in French language, culture and political systems.
At the end of the first year of your programme, you will have several options in relation to the balance between Law and French modules and your degree pathway/award. You can choose to:
- Major – Law, Minor - French
focus more on Law (Major – Law, Minor - French) – Degree Awarded - LL.B. (Law with French);
continue with an equal combination of the Law and French; – Degree Awarded - BA (Law and French);
- move to single honors in Law from your second year onwards – Degree Awarded - LL.B.;
- Major – French; Minor – Law
focus more on French - Degree Awarded - BA (French with Law);
- move to single honors in French from your second year onwards – Degree Awarded - BA.
In all variations of the programme, you will spend the third year at a partner university in France and then return to Trinity to complete your studies in the fourth year. During this final year of study, one-third of your credits will be devoted to the completion of a research project, which we call the ‘Capstone’. This allows you to apply and enhance the research skills that you have developed in the previous three years of the programme.
If you choose Law as a Major, then you will complete your Capstone within the School of Law. You will be part of a research group with other students where you will work independently and collaboratively to explore in-depth a topical issue. If French is your major your capstone will be completed in that subject.
In order to complete the modules that are currently pre-requisites for the professional stage of training to become a solicitor or barrister in Ireland, then you will have to choose to focus on Law from your second year onwards. See option 1 above, Law as a Major subject and French as a Minor subject.
Following your third year abroad, you will have the opportunity to choose to follow the relevant part of the third-year syllabus when you return for your final year of studies. This ensures that you are able to complete all the modules currently required in order to fulfil the pre-requisites for entry to the professional stage of training to become either a solicitor or barrister in Ireland.
What will I study?
For more description of each modules below, please visit the Modules page.
Year 1: Junior Freshman Year
- Foundations of Law 1 and 2
- French language and civilisation
Year 2: Senior Freshman Year
|Law Major||Joint||French Major||
Constitutional Law I
French language and civilization (to the value of 20 ECTS)
French language and civilization (to the value of 30 ECTS)
|Constitutional Law I
French language and civilization (to the value of 40 ECTS)
Year 3: Junior Sophister Year
Compulsory year abroad in a French university. Students majoring in Law must study EU law during this year.
Year 4: Senior Sophister Year
|Law Major||Joint||French Major|| ‘Capstone Research Project’
Legal Philosophy (unless an equivalent module was taken in the year abroad) or
‘Capstone Research Project’
Senior Sophister Law modules (to the value of 40 ECTS)
|‘Capstone Research Project’ – Law or French
Senior Sophister Law modules (to the value of 20 ECTS)
Senior Sophister French modules to the value of 20 ECTS) from*
French language and society
French report writing
Le monde est mon language
The enlightenment and the origins of humanity
|‘Capstone Research Project’ - French
French language and civilization (to the value of 40 ECTS) from* French language and society
French report writing
Le monde est mon language The enlightenment and the origins of humanity
*these modules are indicative only and represent modules currently offered.
Junior and Senior Sophister Law modules
The following modules are currently provided by the School of Law in either Year 3 or Year 4, but please note that this list changes over time.
- Advanced EU law
- Clinical Legal Education
- Collective Labour Law
- Commercial Law
- Competition Policy
- Corporate Governance
- Critical Perspectives on law
- Employment Law
- English Land Law
- Environmental Law
- European Human Rights
- Family and Child Law
- Financial Services Law
- Food Law
- Information Technology Law
- Insolvency Law
- Intellectual Property law
- International Human Rights
- International Trade Law
- Legal Philosophy
- Media Law
- Medical Law and Ethics Penology
- Public Interest Law
- Public International Law
- Refugee and Immigration Law
- Tax Law
If you would like to explore these modules some more, please look at the modules below which are currently on offer. The 2019/20 module outlines will be available in Spring 2019.
Having successfully completed this programme, students should be able to:
- Identify, evaluate and synthesise jurisprudential theories and concepts;
- Use appropriate legal theories, doctrines and concepts to identify, formulate, analyse and solve legal problems within national and international contexts;
- Understand the relationship between law and society, including the role of law in promoting and responding to social change;
- Conduct effective and targeted research in case law, legislation and academic legal commentary at both national and international levels;
- Discuss and debate different perspectives on legal problems, theories and doctrines;
- Communicate effectively in oral and written modes in professional and academic settings and work effectively in multi-disciplinary settings;
- Demonstrate flexibility, adaptability and independence in order to engage productively with a changing social, cultural and technological environment;
- Have the capacity to engage in life-long learning, including vocational training for the legal profession.
- Communicate effectively in oral and written modes with competent speakers of French in professional and social settings.
- Demonstrate critical cultural and linguistic awareness together with the strategies for dealing creatively with challenges in intercultural communication, in particular in professional legal settings.