Bachelor in Law and French (LL.B. (ling. franc.))
Law regulates every aspect of social life. This ranges from the contracts that we make when we buy products to the laws that determine when people can be jailed for committing criminal offences, and through to significant political decisions, such as constitutional reforms on marriage or abortion. As a law student, you learn what these laws are, how they work and how they change. You learn the skills of a lawyer – how to research the law, how to make legal arguments, how to use the law to protect and serve your clients. As importantly, though, you also learn to be critical of law. Law can control power but it can also concentrate power, in the hands of large political and commercial organisations.
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 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 more 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.
Please note that admission to this programme requires evidence of competence in French in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent qualifications. The College Course page provides further information.
Law and French is a four-year honours degree programme. The first year entails studying core legal modules in conjunction with modules in French language and culture. In particular, you will be supported in developing your legal skills through the Foundations of Law module.
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. You can choose to focus more on Law, more on French, or an equal combination of the two disciplines. If you wish to complete the modules that are currently pre-requisites to proceed to the professional stage of training to become a solicitor or barrister in Ireland, then you will have to choose to focus on Law; this is Law as a Major subject in your degree programme and French as a Minor subject in your degree programme.
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.
How many hours of teaching are involved?
The academic year is divided into two terms (semesters): one in the autumn and one in the spring. Students complete modules to the value of 30 credits in each term. Modules are normally either 5 or 10 credits. The volume of teaching depends upon the credits attached to each module, but a 10 credit module in Law would typically be composed of 3 hours of lectures per week. Lectures are a large group teaching format, but they include opportunities for student participation, e.g. discussing questions with the lecturer.
In the first year, we have a special programme of weekly seminars to accompany our Foundations of Law module. These are small group teaching sessions that are designed to support you as you develop basic legal skills. In addition, during years one and two of the law programme, other modules are delivered by a combination of weekly lectures and four seminars per term. Seminars are focused upon active student participation, e.g. discussion, presentation, group work. Seminars are taught by academic staff, postgraduate researchers or by practising solicitors or barristers with particular expertise in the area.
Assessment takes place on a continuous basis across the academic year. There are examinations at the end of each term, but modules are often assessed also by other means, such as written assignments and oral presentations.
European Credit Transfers
Students reading for any law degree at Trinity College Dublin must study 240 ECTS over the duration of the four years. Generally, this entails 60 ECTS per year. The ECTS weighting for a module is a measure of the student input or workload required for that module, based on factors such as the number of contact teaching hours, the number and length of written or orally presented assessment exercises, class preparation and private study time, and examinations. In Trinity College Dublin, 1 ECTS unit is defined as 20-25 hours of student input so a 10-credit module will be designed to require 200-250 hours of student input including class contact time, private study and assessments.
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.
For descriptions of each of the modules below, please visit the module page.
Year 1: Junior Freshman Year
- Foundations of Law
- 30 ECTS of modules from the Department of French
At this point, each student chooses between several pathways for combining the two disciplines. The programme structure indicated below is where the student has chosen to follow Law as a Major and French as a Minor. There are two other pathways: (i) Law and French (Joint) – an equal balance of credits in Law and French; (ii) French as a Major and Law as a Minor – the majority of credits will be taken in French.
Year 2: Senior Freshman Year (Major in Law)
- Constitutional Law I
- Criminal Law
- Land Law
- 20 ECTS of modules from the Department of French
Year 3: Junior Sophister Year (Major in Law)
Compulsory Year Abroad, this will include studying EU Law see Junior Sophister year abroad for further details.
Year 4: Senior Sophister Year (Major in Law)
- 20 ECTS: ‘Capstone’ research project module in Law
- Administrative Law
- Company Law
- Legal Philosophy (unless an equivalent module has been completed during the Year Abroad).
Law and French Programme Director (Law) - Kouroch Bellis
Undergraduate Course Office:
School of Law, House 39, New Square,Trinity College, Dublin 2
Tel (Country Code + 353) (01) 896 1125/1278; Fax (Country Code + 353) (01) 677 0449; Email law.school at tcd.ie