Diploma Centre General Information

For everything you need to know including terms and conditions about the application process, discounts, attending our courses, examinations and assessments, see below.

If you have any other queries, email the diploma team at diplomateam@lawsociety.ie or phone 01 672 4802.

Applications and Fees

Terms and Conditions for Diploma Centre Applications

The Law Society of Ireland’s Diploma Centre reserves the right to change the courses being offered, and course prices may be subject to change. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in these pages is accurate and up to date. We cannot guarantee that places will be available for any particular course. In the unlikely event that the Diploma Centre needs to cancel or reschedule a course, all fees are fully refundable.

Course participant cancellations will only be accepted if submitted in writing no later than two weeks before the start of the course. Refunds may be subject to an administration charge. Fees will not be refunded once the course has started. Course fees are non-transferable.

Care has been given to confirm the accuracy of the information presented in our prospectus, on the Diploma Centre web pages, in personal communications, during course modules, and in all written materials. However, the Diploma Centre is not responsible for errors or omissions and makes no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of the material delivered. The Diploma Centre cannot be held responsible for any consequences from the application of the information contained on the website or in the lectures, manuals, printed materials, and other communication and training provided.

If you intend to avail of the webcast resource, you confirm that you have accessed the webcast test page and there are no issues preventing you from viewing same. Log on to https://lawschool.lawsociety.ie Username is testwebcast and password is testwebcast.

We reserve the right to change the above terms and conditions.

What is the deadline for applications?

Each course has a deadline which is stated on the course webpage. Places are available on a first come first served basis. In order to secure a place on a course, we must first receive a completed Application Form together with payment in full. We strongly encourage you to apply for courses as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to hold spaces on courses without payment.

Can I start a course after it has commenced?

Should you wish to join a course after the course has commenced, please contact the Diploma Team by email at: diplomateam@lawsociety.ie to check if there are places available and what lectures/workshops have already taken place. We will assist you in every way possible and encourage you to access previously released lecture papers and to watch the webcasts, all of which are available on Moodle. However, you should note that from a learning perspective joining the course following its commencement is not the optimal option. We would ask you to fully satisfy yourself that you will be in a position to devote the necessary time to the course because once registered the course fee is non-transferrable and non-refundable and you will be required to complete the final examination in order to attain the qualification.

Are there any discounts available for jobseeker solicitors?

A 20% discount is currently available for jobseeker solicitors. Please state on the application form that you are relying on this discount and forward together with payment to the Diploma Team. If you have any queries, please contact the Diploma Team prior to sending in your payment and application by email to diplomateam@lawsociety.ie. 

Please note that you may be entitled to a further 10% discount if you have attended two or more certificates or diplomas in the Law Society (i.e. a 30% discount in total – see below).

I am not a solicitor/barrister/trainee – can I apply?

While our courses are primarily aimed at members of the solicitors’ profession, for certain courses we also accept applications from other suitably qualified professionals. For specific entry requirements, please refer to individual courses on the Diploma Centre Course List webpage.

Please submit your completed Application Form, together with a curriculum vitae and cover letter for review. Your cover letter should provide a brief statement of the background to your application and your specific interest in the chosen course. We will advise you as soon as possible as to the status of your application. In certain cases, we may arrange to meet with you for a brief interview.

If I have done a previous diploma or certificate courses will I be entitled to a discount on my current application?

A 10% discount can be obtained if you have previously attended two or more certificates or diplomas with the Law Society Diploma Centre. 

Are there any discounts available for multiple applications from the same firm?

When a firm (or employees paying for themselves from a firm) is paying for three or more solicitors who are attending the same diploma there is a 10% discount on each of those applications.  Please note all such applications must be received together in order for this discount to apply.

When a firm is paying for six or more solicitors who are attending the same diploma there is a 12.5% discount on each of those applications. Again please note all such applications must be received together in order for this discount to apply.Note: In the event of multiple applications from firms, all payment and applications must be submitted together.

Discounts 

  • A 20% discount is available for unemployed solicitors.
  • A 10% discount is available for trainees.
  • When a firm is paying for three or more solicitors to attend the same diploma course, there is a 10% discount on each application.  All such applications must be submitted together
  • When a firm is paying for six or more solicitors to attend the same diploma course, there is a 12.5% discount on each application.  All such applications must be received together
  • Where an applicant has attended two Diploma Centre courses the applicant is entitled to a 10% discount on subsequent diploma courses. 

Note: No discounts apply to the LLM Advanced Legal Practice.

What is the procedure if I require an invoice in order to pursue my application?

If an invoice is required to discharge fees please notify the Diploma Team in advance of submitting your application. We require a Purchase Order Number or Reference before we can issue an invoice.  Please note that if you are relying on an invoice it is your responsibility to ensure that payment is received by the Diploma Team in advance of the start date of the course.  

Does payment for my course qualify for tax relief?

Unfortunately, course fees paid by individuals do not qualify for tax relief.  The Higher Education & Training Awards Council (HETAC) administers tax relief on behalf of the Revenue Commissioners for approved courses. Under their codes there are specific requirements in respect of programmes and at present we do not qualify.  One such requirement is that these courses would need to run over a 2-year part time period to qualify for such relief.

If your employer is paying the course fee then such payment may in certain circumstances be tax deductible for them on the basis that it is an allowable business expense.  However, for definitive clarification it would be advisable to contact the Revenue Commissioners.

What if I can’t travel to Dublin on a weekly basis?

We are conscious that it is very difficult for many solicitors to travel to the Law Society on a weekly basis. As a result, we have introduced a combination of webcast and blended learning courses. In respect of webcast courses, lectures are webcast ‘live’ on our secure internet site.  This means that students can decide to attend the onsite lecture or, alternatively, to access the lecture online via the course website.  In respect of our blended leading certificates, these courses will comprise a mix of onsite and online elements.  Blended learning courses are specifically designed for students to follow a structured programme of work based around ‘active learning’. Thanks to our chat facility CoverItLive, participants watching the webcast live can submit questions to the Course Leader who will put any questions to the lecturer at the end of their lecture.

 IT/Learning Approach

What is Diploma Hub?

Diploma Hub is a learning management system but is effectively a “website”. The Diploma Team use it as a learning tool. The site is designed to keep you informed about all aspects of the course you are attending and will contain the links to the webcasting feature.  The site will also act as a repository for course schedule information, course materials and as a point of access to webcasts (if applicable).  Access to Diploma Hub is only for the duration of your particular diploma or certificate course and will be withdrawn upon course completion.  At the start of your course there will be an introductory lecture during which you will be shown how to use and access this site.  All course participants are given a log in and password at course commencement.

How do I to login to Diploma Hub?

  • In the Browser bar type the following address: https://lawschool.lawsociety.ie
  • To gain access to Diploma Hub, you will need to input the unique username and password provided to you by the Diploma Team.
  • Your username for the website will be numerical. You will be advised of your unique numerical username when commencing the course.
  • The initial password that is assigned to you is set to the default value of ‘changeme’.
  • So, for example, type “123456” as your username and then enter ‘changeme’ as the default password.  You will be prompted to change your password to something that you choose yourself the first time you login to the site.
  • Please email diplomateam@lawsociety.ie or call 01 672 4802 for guidance if you have any difficulties logging in.

Why are lectures webcast?

Lectures are webcast ‘live’ on our secure internet site.  This means that students can decide to attend the onsite lecture or, alternatively, to access the lecture online via the course website. The webcasts will remain on Diploma Hub for the duration of the course. Participants watching the webcast live can submit questions to the Course Leader via our chat facility CoverItLive , who will put any questions to the lecturer at the end of their lecture.

What is Blended Learning?

Blended leading courses comprise a mix of onsite and online elements.  Blended learning courses are specifically designed for students to follow a structured programme of work based around ‘active learning’.

How do I test to see if I can watch webcasts from my office/ home computer?

If you intend to rely on the webcasting resource, we ask that you ensure prior to the application process that your home/office PC is compatible with the relevant software. This requires a very straightforward test, go to: https://lawschool.lawsociety.ie

Username: testwebcast
Password: testwebcast

If you cannot view the webcast, follow the instructions provided. There may be local factors such as 'firewalls' and we suggest that at first instance you check with your IT provider.

Can I download webcasts onto my PC?

Unfortunately, you cannot download webcasts onto your PC.

For more about webcasting and the Diploma Centre's ‘mobile professional learning’ project, read about our learning approach.

Examinations

What is the format of the Diploma Examination?

All Law Society of Ireland Diploma Centre examinations are closed book.  You will be informed of your examination number by email.  Please ensure that we have your correct email and postal address. All changes to contact details should be emailed to diplomateam@lawsociety.ie. You must not write your name on any part of the examination paper. The venue for the exam(s) will be confirmed closer to the time of the exam(s).

Exam results will be communicated on Diploma Hub approximately 12 weeks after the examination has taken place via your profile which is completely secure and only you can access.

Diploma/Certificates will be awarded on a Pass (50% and above)/ Fail (49% and below) basis.  

Will there be a second sitting examination?

Participants must sit the examination(s) the first time it is offered in order to be eligible to sit the second sitting examination.  There is no guarantee however that second sitting examinations will be offered in all subjects.  If a student is ill and cannot attend the first sitting of an examination, a medical certificate must be submitted to the Diploma Team. Other extenuating circumstances will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and must be made in writing to the Head of the Diploma Centre.

NB: Where the final mark for a course is awarded through a combination of a continuous assessment element (tasks and/or quizzes) and a final exam, students are permitted to re-sit the exam portion only in the case of a fail or deferral. The marks already obtained from the tasks and /or quizzes portion of the course will carry forward and cannot be re-taken.

The fee to repeat an examination is €250.

I require adapted arrangements to attend the course/ take the examination – how do I arrange it?

If you require any special arrangements with regard to attending any of the weekly lectures, please contact the Diploma Team as early as possible and not later than one month before the commencement of the course, with full details of your particular needs.

Participants who require adapted arrangements for examinations due to illness or disability should contact a member of the Diploma Team at least two months in advance of examinations.  This timeframe will only be reviewed in exceptional circumstances. Candidates will be required to provide medical evidence of disability from a consultant/specialist or education psychologist. This enables the appropriate adapted arrangements to be put in place. A copy of the Law Society’s Disability policy is available on request.

Order Transcript of Results 

You can order a transcript of your course examination results for a fee of €10 per transcript, using the form in this section. A separate form and fee apply for each course for which you require a transcript.
A transcript is an account of Diploma course examination results, i.e. confirmation of course completed, dates in attendance at the Diploma Centre (where possible) and grade awarded (where available). The Law Society cannot release details of individual examination results to any person other than the applicant.  It is a legal requirement (under the Data Protection Acts) that any third party obtains a letter of release, signed by the applicant, approving the issue of his/her examination results to a named third party.  Examination results cannot be given over the telephone under any circumstances.

To order a transcript of results, download and complete an application form. Please note the fee for a transcript is €10 per copy

Please return the completed form and fee to: Examinations Team, Diploma Centre, Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7, DX 79 Dublin.

If you have any queries in relation to transcripts, please contact the Diploma team at diplomateam@lawsociety.ie.

Conferring Ceremony

When will the conferring ceremony be?

A conferring ceremony will take place in the Law Society after the examination results have been communicated. 

Full details of the ceremony will be communicated in due course.  If you do not attend the ceremony your diploma will be posted after the ceremony has taken place.

NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications)

Section 49 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act, 1994 (the "1994 Act"), which amends Section 40 of the Solicitors Act 1954, sets out the legislative basis under which the Society is empowered to award diplomas and certificates, stating, "the Society may award diplomas, certificates and other awards of merit". Given that the Society is empowered to make awards under separate legislative provisions, the Society has opted to remain outside the National Framework for Qualifications. However, given the pervasiveness of the National Framework criteria within the educational system, it is worth considering for illustrative purposes the particular criteria applied to certificates and diplomas within the National Framework:

Higher Certificates / Advanced Certificates are categorised as Level 6 qualifications within the National Framework, which means that such qualification must comprise of a "comprehensive range of understanding and/or skills which may be vocationally specific and/or of a general supervisory nature. Also includes detailed theoretical understanding."

Diplomas are categorised as Level 8 qualifications within the National Framework, which means that such qualification must comprise "being in the forefront of a field of learning in terms of knowledge and understanding."

LLM (Practitioner)

I am interested in the LLM (Practitioner). If I complete a diploma course will it count towards such a qualification?

The Diploma Centre and the Faculty of Law at University College Cork (UCC) are offering a collaborative LLM (Practitioner) programme for solicitors and barristers.

To qualify for the Masters level award, a student must earn 90 credits. This can be done by studying six individual modules (each worth ten Masters level credits, one of which is compulsory clinical practice/reflective learning module), and completing a thesis (30 Masters level credits).

If, however, you have successfully completed one or more of our diplomas, as a student embarking on the LLM programme your will receive credit for those awards. Each diploma will account as an individual module (that is, ten Masters level credits), up to a maximum of two such diplomas (that is, 20 Masters level credits).

For further information on the LLM, please contact us on 01 672 4802 or email diplomateam@lawsociety.ie. Alternatively, you can view further details of the course on UCC’s website.

PPC II Credits

If I am a trainee and I complete a diploma or certificate will I get elective credit for my Professional Practice Course II?

All Law Society of Ireland Diploma Centre courses will give participants credit for one PPC II elective. The course of academic study must take place during the training period, which means after your indenture date and before your PPC II.  Application for such credit must be made with a certified copy of proof of successful completion of the relevant examination/assessment. Examination results may take 12 weeks to issue after an examination has taken place but we try to expedite corrections for PPC II trainees. Trainees will note that although the pitch of diploma courses is at a more advanced level than PPC II courses, there may be an unavoidable overlap in some course content and this may limit your choice of elective subject on the PPCII course. Trainees must advise us that they require their paper expedited at least two weeks in advance of the examination date.

Course Materials

Is it possible to purchase course materials?

Individual materials for a particular module cannot be viewed in isolation but must be interpreted in the context of the overall course syllabus.  However, individual materials may be available for purchase on a case-by-case basis for certain topics, generally for a fee of €80.00 per session. Such application should be made to the relevant Course Leader.

CPD

The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions.  For further information please visit the  CPD scheme website and download the CPD 2016/2017 booklet

If you have a CPD query that is not related to our courses please contact the CPD Scheme Unit at cpdscheme@lawsociety.ie.

CPD Bonus Day for Solicitors - Management and Professional Development Skills Requirement and One-Hour Regulatory Matters Requirement

The Diploma Team is again offering a facility this year to ensure that you have an opportunity to fulfil your Management & Professional Development Skills CPD Requirement and Regulatory Matters CPD Requirement. Whilst some courses will have specific lectures with Management & Professional Development Skills content, the Diploma Team will also hold a dedicated Management & Professional Development Skills and Regulatory Matters session to which all solicitors attending our courses will be invited.

A minimum of three hours of the minimum CPD requirement in each cycle is required to be spent on education/training in Management & Professional Development Skills relevant to the practice of a solicitor. In addition, one hour of the minimum CPD requirement in each CPD cycle is required to be spent on education/training in Regulatory Matters. The above session will cover those requirements. The content of such lectures will not form part of the core syllabus of the diploma/certificate attended. 

Library

When is the library open?

The library is open from Monday to Thursday 8.30am till 6.00pm and on Friday from 9.00am till 5.00pm. The library does not open on a Saturday. Diploma participants have access to the Law Society library for the duration of their course. Access the Library webpage here.

Library contact details:

Law Society of Ireland Library
Blackhall Place
Dublin 7
Tel: 01 6724843/4
email: library@lawsociety.ie

eBooks

In order to access the eBooks please contact the library for their username and password. You are then free to borrow the eBooks and read them online for a 3 week period. During this time they also have permission to print 5% and copy 5% of the book. Alternatively, you can also download the ebook to a laptop or memory stick for offline reading but printing or copying will not be available offline. The ebook can be downloaded in a PDF format for a maximum of 7 days. For further information visit the Library webpage and follow the ebooks tab or click here for the library.

Car Parking

How do I get to the Law Society?

For help to find the Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 location, please click here for the map.

Are there car-parking facilities available?

Car parking is available onsite in the Law Society. Places are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis.

In the event that there are no free spaces in the Law Society, there is street parking in the immediate vicinity in respect of which standard rates apply. Alternatively there are a number of public car parks in area, including the Smithfield Market Car Park at which hourly rates apply.

Smithfield Market Car Park
Queens St
Dublin 7
Co. Dublin 
(01) 4850846

View a PDF map of parking near Blackhall Place.

If there is a Diploma Course you would like to see introduced or if you are interested in lecturing or tutoring on a diploma or certificate course, please contact Freda Grealy, Head of Diploma Centre, at f.grealy@lawsociety.ie or tel:  01 672 4802.

Please note that the Law Society of Ireland’s Diploma Centre reserves the right to change the courses that may be offered. In addition, course prices may be subject to change and dates for lectures, workshops and exams are current, as at date of publication but may change.

Freda Grealy, Solicitor
Head of Diploma Centre

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