If you are a barrister who wants to become a solicitor, see details below of what you need to do to be admitted to the roll.
Barristers who qualified in Ireland can transfer to become solicitors without the necessity of undergoing the full training programme prescribed for trainee solicitors - per Section 51 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act, 1994.
Who is eligible to apply?
You can apply if you have been called to the Bar of Ireland and since then for a minimum of three years have:
- practised as a barrister in the State
- been a member of the Judiciary
- been employed in the provision of services of a legal nature and/or
- been employed by the State in the provision of services of a legal nature
How to apply
Your application consists of sending the following documentation and fee to the Law Society:
- A certificate of being in good standing while practising from two of the benchers of the Honorable Society of King's Inns confirming the period of practice.
- A certificate from the Registrar of the Kings Inns confirming that the applicant passed the Barrister at Law degree, certifying the results of that degree, that the applicant passed or was exempted from an Irish examination and the date they were called to the Bar.
- An up-to-date CV setting out either the history of their work at the Bar and/or as a member of the Judiciary and/or the history of their employment.
- In the case of a term of employment, a reference from the applicant’s employer confirming the period that the applicant has been engaged under a contract of employment full time in the provision of services of a legal nature and the nature of the work done. A character reference should be furnished from a solicitor outside the applicant’s firm which should verify the applicant’s work.
- Certified copies of academic qualifications (i.e. Law Degree if obtained, listing subjects and results). Note: this should be on the letterhead of the issuing authority and signed/stamped.
- Confirmation from the Kings Inns that the applicant has been voluntarily disbarred. (Note: the applicant may elect to hold off arranging to be disbarred until just before applying to go on the Roll of Solicitors in which case this confirmation may be submitted at that stage.)
- Details of the office of a practising solicitor where the applicant intends to complete any in-office period.
- If applying for an exemption from the 6 months in-office experience, confirmation from the applicant of the basis of the application and if relevant, confirmation from the applicant’s firm of any period worked, the experience obtained and whether the work done was equivalent to that of a solicitor.
- Application fee €70 (cheques to be made payable to Law Society of Ireland).
Send all required documentation and supporting information as detailed above, plus payment, to:
On receipt of the above documentation, the applicant may be called for interview by representatives of the Law School.
Referral to Education Committee
The next step is referral of your application to the Education Committee for a decision on whether the applicant is eligible to be admitted to the Roll of Solicitors and what conditions, if any, may apply. The Education Committee meets approximately 10 times annually.
Essentials of Legal Practice course (ELPC)
All applicants are required to attend the next Essentials of Legal Practice course (ELPC). This course runs annually in August and/or early September each year.
The next ELPC will run from Monday, 24 August until Friday, 11 September 2020 inclusive (weekdays only) - these dates may be subject to change.
The deadline for receipt of applications for the Essentials Legal Practice Course is 12 June, 2020.
The ELPC covers Professional Conduct, Solicitors’ Accounts, Probate and Taxation and Conveyancing. Attendance at all modules is compulsory. There is no examination. The fee for the ELPC is €2,860 (bring your own iPad) or €3,230 (32kb 7th Generation iPad included).
Six months in-office period
Applicants may be obliged to spend up to a maximum of six months in the office of a practising solicitor, for the purpose of receiving due instruction and obtaining experience in the practice and profession of a solicitor. This six month requirement may, in exceptional circumstances, be waived/modified - this is a matter for the interviewing panel and the Education Committee.
On completion of any in-office period, the applicant will be required to submit a letter from the practice confirming the period worked, whether it was full-time, the experience obtained and whether the work done was equivalent to that of a solicitor.
Apply for admission to Roll of Solicitors
On completion of the ELPC, the in-office period and on satisfaction of any other conditions outlined by the Education Committee, the applicant may apply to be admitted to the Roll of Solicitors. The fee for enrolment is €300.
Once you have your solicitor number, you can log in and access the Solicitors area and apply for a practising certificate online. If you need login assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general queries regarding the practising certificate process, contact email@example.com.
Download the privacy statement for admission to the roll.
Further details may be obtained from Dr. Rachael Hession, Law School, Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7.
Tel: 01 8815707