The Law Society Access Scholarship Programme has been operating successfully since 2001.
Its aim is to financially and practically assist students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to enter professional legal education and be financially supported from the Final Entrance Exams – First part (FE-1) right through to admission to the role of solicitors.
The Access Programme is helping to promote greater diversity within the solicitors’ profession. This is vital in building a legal profession that reflects the diversity of the society it serves.
Since 2001 there have been over 200 Access students. Many of these are now successfully practising in a wide range of legal positions including as in-house solicitors, within commercial top commercial law firms and as sole practitioners.
Stages of education funding
Students are assisted throughout all stages of their professional legal education:
Final Entrance Exams – First part (FE-1)
Funding is available for expenses directly related to taking FE-1 entrance exams to study to become a solicitor. This includes overnight accommodation during the week of exams, contributions towards additional childcare costs, support with loss of income while taking exams and travel expenses to and from the exam venue. Access FE-1 candidates are entitled to use the Law Society of Ireland library when preparing for exams. Students living outside of Dublin may have books posted to them.
Procuring a training contract
The Law Society assists Access students with best practice tips on how to secure a traineeship. Law Society staff and experienced practicing lawyers work with students to provide vital information on what works best in terms of CVs, cover letters and approaches to interviews. Mentoring appointments are also available at all stages of the programme to help build confidence and communication skills.
Professional Practice Course (PPC) Trainees
Up to 98% of PPC Access trainees are in receipt of Higher Education Authority funding through SUSI. However this only covers a portion of fees. The Access Programme usually makes up the substantial shortfall, together with modest maintenance payments during PPC I and PPC II.
For more details on funding under the Law Society Access programme, visit our Become a Solicitor Funding page.