Becoming a Barrister or Solicitor in Northern Ireland
To practise as a barrister or as a solicitor in Northern Ireland, you need to complete three stages of training:
- Academic – a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD), which could be a degree in law or a conversion course following a degree in another subject
- Vocational – the Institute of Professional Legal Studies course for barristers or solicitors
- Professional – an apprenticeship for solicitors or a ‘pupillage’ for barristers following a stringent pre-entry test and meeting the character and suitability requirements of the relevant professional bodies.
Our QLD courses
We offer a choice of degrees depending on whether you already have a degree in another subject.
Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (R81)
Our law degree is the most popular law degree in the UK and is recognised by legal professional bodies as a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD).
View our Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (graduate entry) (R82)
This graduate-entry route will enable you to pursue a career in the legal professions or improve your legal understanding in your current career.
This qualification is planned for October 2022.
Careers related to law
Studying law gives you skills and knowledge that you can readily put into practice on a daily basis in a wide variety of roles. Law graduates are very marketable in the Civil Service, local government, trade unions, marketing, human resources, personnel and advisory work, the emergency services and health services, general and retail management, merchandising, transport and distribution, imports and exports, business, banking, insurance, finance and accountancy.
Other relevant jobs include barristers' clerk, legal adviser (e.g. magistrates' courts), employment tribunal caseworker, citizens advice/legal advice worker, Crown Prosecution Service caseworker, mediator, court reporter or administrator.
For information about what is available, and the training routes required, have a look at the Law Careers.Net website or the Prospects website to explore career options related to law.
Enhancing your career prospects
Law is certainly a very competitive profession, and whilst the Bar requires a minimum of a 2:2 (pass 3) the higher the class of degree awarded will improve your chances. To help give yourself an added advantage you should also look at ways to enhance your CV through work and voluntary experience.
One example is our online clinic, the Open Justice Centre, which is run by OU law students and supervised by qualified solicitors. It provides free legal advice on contract, tort, employment law and consumer issues.
Once you’re a registered OU student, you’ll have full access to our Careers and Employability Services. This includes a comprehensive range of resources and individual advice on applications, CVs and interviews.