40 Transition Year students immersed in Law Society legal education programme.
The Law Society of Ireland is leading the way in inclusive public legal education through its annual Solicitors of the Future programme where 40 Transition Year students across Ireland explored a future career as a solicitor from 22-25 February 2022.
The Solicitors of the Future programme aims to show students how the law can be relevant to their daily lives, and to promote awareness of the legal processes, constitutional principles and values which underpin the rule of law in Ireland.
Insights into law
Hillary Walsh, aged 16, a TY student at Coláiste an Phiarsaigh, Glanmire, Co Cork attended this year’s programme.
“I have a keen interest in law and I took part in the Solicitors of the Future programme to broaden my knowledge and understanding of how the legal profession operates in Ireland,” explained Hillary.
“The course provides a great insight into the legal profession and the opportunities available. I listened to various speakers throughout the course which included solicitors, barristers, lecturers and judges. This gave me a better understanding of the numerous career pathways in the legal world,” she said.
“The highlight of the course was definitely the mock trial. I was nervous to present my case at first, but I got great satisfaction speaking in front of the other participants.”
“Another highlight of the programme was completing a case study. We were given facts about a case and discussed the evidence as a group,” she said.
Chairperson of the Law Society’s Education Committee, Richard Hammond S.C., said, “The Law Society is committed to making the solicitors’ profession more diverse and inclusive. Encouraging an interest in law at a younger age, for all members of society, is one way to do this.”
“The Solicitors of the Future programme invites TY students to consider a career in law and offers an insight into the role of a solicitor in practice. Importantly, it helps foster a greater understanding of our basic legal rights and responsibilities as citizens, and provides an important life lesson on how to exercise our rights and access justice.”
Access to education
With over 280 schools applying each year, the Solicitors of the Future programme is highly sought after and offers spaces through a nation-wide lottery system. Following a successful switch to online delivery in 2021, the programme retained its virtual format for 2022 making it easier for students throughout the country to participate.
“By offering the Solicitors of the Future programme online again this year, we have broadened access to the course, and have facilitated and encouraged participation by students across the country,” said Mr Hammond.
The Solicitors of the Future programme offers a comprehensive schedule of guest speakers and interactive activities including, a human rights lecture, a criminal defence lawyer presentation and a panel discussion. The programme also offers a career seminar and finishes with an engaging mini mock trial.
“I enjoyed every minute of the course and I would definitely love to pursue a career in law in the future,” said Hillary.
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