Thinking of pursuing a career in Law? Caroline Holland shares her experience of studying at Trinity College Dublin…

Why choose TCD?

Founded in 1592, the beautiful campus of Trinity College Dublin is amongst the most recognisable in the world. What makes this campus even more distinguishable is its location in the centre of Dublin, allowing you to explore all that the city has to offer between your lectures.

Trinity’s academic reputation is word-renowned and offers a first class college education. Unlike in the US, a law degree in Ireland is completed at the undergraduate level. Four years of studying law ensures every student has a solid grounding in the foundational subjects of law, while also allowing time to take more specialised modules such as Food Law or IT Law.

International students are offered support from multiple sources across the college. Support comes from fellow students, through the S2S programme, and from a member of the college’s academic staff by an allocated tutor. A great resources is TCD’s Global Room. This space is aimed at the international community within Trinity. The Global Room allows you to connect with students from your home country as well as other international students at events hosted through out the year.  This is in addition to the college’s counselling and health services.

The logistics

Law at TCD typically consists of three modules per semester, with three hours of lectures per module each week. In addition, there are seminars for each module typically running on a biweekly basis.  Seminars are classroom style lessons focusing on particular issues in that subject. As there are such few contact hours (9-12 per week), this course requires a lot of reading and independent learning.  Independent learning creates flexible working hours which, as an international student, makes it easier to travel within Ireland and Europe!

Although studying law in Ireland as an international student may seem limiting, the course teaches highly transferable skills and principles. As Ireland is a relatively small jurisdiction, comparative studies are threaded throughout each module. Moreover, the relationship between the Irish legal system and law at the European level is a particularly interesting relationship to study for non-EU students.

The academic year follows a traditional structure consisting of two teaching terms, the Michalmas Term (first semester) and the Hilary Term (second semester), with study leave and examinations taking place during Trinity Term (April/May). Although you study two separate groups of modules in the first and second terms, all of your final exams take place during the Trinity Term. However, most modules contain some element of coursework contributing to your final grade. Essays are the most popular form of graded coursework in Law, although previous elements of my grade have consisted of legislation drafting and a moot court. For visiting students, lecturers are very accommodating and offer alternative arrangements for sitting exams and submitting coursework if necessary.

The Law School and legal community

The expertise of the faculty at TCD Law School is evident from your first day of lectures. Not only are the lecturers experts in their field in Ireland, but they often have distinguished careers internationally.  For a lot of modules your lecturer is also the author of the leading textbook in that area. Last week, we have a Supreme Court Judge deliver a guest lecture on privacy in my Media Law class!

As a relatively small Law School, there is a real sense of community amongst students and staff.  Annual events include a Howth cliff walk, Christmas drinks, and the infamous Law School Cabaret, with students and lecturers participating!

The clubs, societies, and sports teams at Trinity are countless, with several aimed at Trinity’s legally minded. One of the most popular societies in college is Trinity’s Law Society, or LawSoc. LawSoc runs mock trial competitions, hosts world renowned guest speakers, and organises some of the most popular social events at Trinity! Guest speakers have included former Irish Presidents, such as Mary Robinson, and social events include MasqueRave, Swing Ball and Law Ball.

Studying Law at Trinity College Dublin is an amazing academic and social opportunity, right in the heart of Dublin!

Interested in studying abroad? Visit the Education in Ireland website for more information.