The Law Society’s new fused Professional Practice Course (PPC) starts tomorrow (6 September), with 472 new trainees being welcomed to the Blackhall Place campus.
The new course consolidates solicitor-training education, meaning trainee solicitors are now required to complete one academic course, instead of two.
This unitary approach streamlines the entire taught elements of solicitor training, marking the most significant reform to solicitor education in Ireland in over two decades.
This innovative new course was developed by the Law Society as part of its strategic plan to increase access to solicitor training in Ireland.
Chair of the Law Society’s Education Committee Richard Hammond SC said: “The Law Society’s strategic drive to innovate legal education has culminated in the launch of the new fused Professional Practice Course (PPC).
“We are confident that this new streamlined course will set the global standard for first-class solicitor training, where equal priority is given to psychological development, and legal skills and knowledge.”
Evolution of the PPC
Trainee solicitors will now be required to complete four or more advanced electives as part of their overall training.
These programmes can have the scope to cover specific law, or even non-law, activities, such as participating in moot and skills competitions, publishing a substantive piece of legal research, or participating in a public legal-education initiative.
“This course is designed specifically to equip trainee solicitors with extensive future-focused legal knowledge, innovation and technical skills. This flexible academic approach is also complemented by the expanded core subject, ‘Psychology of a Lawyer’, to equip trainees with the empathy, imagination, creativity and curiosity they will need to conduct their work,” explained Rory O’Boyle (Education Standards Manager at the Law Society).
The 24 months of in-office training continues as a vital and essential vocational component of the overall training to become a solicitor.
“The legal sector is in an era of opportunity, as new areas of practice emerge alongside technological advances to deliver cutting-edge client service,” said O’Boyle.
This new era is set against a backdrop of rapidly changing social, political, technological, and environmental factors.
The reimagined PPC is a unique educational offering, providing essential and modern skills to develop the next generation of solicitors capable of innovating and collaborating together to address current and future global legal needs.
Centre of legal excellence
“As the largest English-speaking common-law jurisdiction in the EU, Ireland is well placed to be a centre of legal excellence. Our new course will prepare solicitors to meet the fast-paced and evolving demands of business, society and legal services in a globalised world.
“Trainee admissions to the Law Society are at a ten-year high, with trainee intake this year up 10% on last year, and access to solicitor education and the profession continuing to increase apace.
"We look forward to making further progress in this area as we welcome the first cohort of trainee solicitors on the new fused PPC,” O’Boyle concluded.