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27 August 2008

Increase in Number of Students Training to Be Solicitors

More law students than ever before have been admitted to train as solicitors in Northern Ireland according to figures released this week by the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

More law students than ever before have been admitted to train as solicitors in Northern Ireland according to figures released this week by the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

The Society, which represents and regulates the solicitors' profession in Northern Ireland, has confirmed that all 148 places at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queens University in Belfast and at the Graduate School of Professional Legal Education at the University of Ulster at Magee in Derry have been filled.

Places for the vocational training courses offered by Institute of Professional Legal Studies and the Graduate School of Professional Legal Education have increased by nearly 50% on last year’s figure with additional places offered at the Institute and a new course at the Graduate School.

The Law Society has been working closely with both the Institute at Queen’s and Graduate School at the University of Ulster to develop training opportunities and to enable law students to have greater access to training courses throughout Northern Ireland. 

Courses at both the Institute and Graduate School offer an integrated training programme, which enables apprentices to have a greater understanding of how the law operates and in-office training within a law practice.

The Society also confirmed that all 148 students enrolled at the two Universities will train under the guidance of Master, who is an experienced practising solicitor who supports the apprentice throughout the two-year training programme.

Speaking about the figures, the Chief Executive of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Alan Hunter said:

The Law Society are delighted that all 148 training places at both the Institute at Queens University and at the Graduate School at the University of Ulster have been successfully filled.

Furthermore we are pleased that so many of our members have offered to become Masters despite the relative downturn in the Northern Ireland Economy.

The increase in places at both training courses and the availability of Masters to support apprentices underscores the commitment of the Law Society and its members to the development of the legal community in the Northern Ireland.  

ENDS

For more information please contact:

Paul O'Connor

Communications Officer

Telephone:      028 90231614

Mobile:           07812207172

Email:             paul.oconnor@lawsoc-ni.org

Website:         www.lawsoc-ni.org

 

Notes to Editor

 

About the Law Society of Northern Ireland

  • The Law Society of Northern Ireland was established by Royal Charter in 1922.
  • It has an elected Council of 30 solicitors and employs staff including solicitors and accountants to carry out its work.
  • As well as having a Royal Charter, Parliament has given the Society powers in the Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976.
  • The Society is a professional body, which has the authority to discipline, educate and regulate practising solicitors in Northern Ireland. It carries out that control to ensure that solicitors give their clients the required standard of work.
  • Regulation of solicitors is mainly through the annual issue of a Practising Certificate to each solicitor. This is a licence, which enables the solicitor to carry on his/her practice.
  • The Society has a dedicated department handling complaints against solicitors.
  • The Society runs Continuing Professional Development seminars for its members on an ongoing basis.
  • The Society has a very well stocked Law Library with highly qualified library staff. This stocks major legal textbooks, law reports and periodicals and is fully equipped with a modern computerised information system.
  • The Society contributes to draft legislation and frequently comments on changes in the law, not only as to how they will affect solicitors but their clients also.