Lawyer Job Description and Duties

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I am investigating the career of a lawyer for my project. A lawyer can either be a barrister or a solicitor. They practise and study law.

A solicitor advises clients and drafts legal documents. It is, primarily, a desk job. A solicitor can represent a client in court, but if the trail takes place in the High Court or Supreme Court, a barrister will represent the client. Solicitors can work for large companies or some can be self-employed, and join with another solicitor to open up a business.

A barrister acts on behalf of a client in court and pleads their case in front of the judge and jury. Barrister work at higher levels of court compared to solicitors. While in court, a barrister wears a wig, white collars and a gown. Most barristers are self-employed, but some can work for larger companies.

Reasons to Become a Lawyer

I would consider being a lawyer for several reasons. You can earn a lot of money from working as a solicitor or a barrister.

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Also, the job is quite flexible. You get to choose your own clients, where you work and you can also, to some extent, decide your own hours and days off. But most importantly, it would give me the ability to help people. I would be able to free people who I believe is innocent or to ensure that criminals see justice.


Experienced barristers earn between €55,000 and €110,000 a year, whereas the average wage in Ireland last year was €45,611.

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The top earners can make €280,000 a year. Newly qualified solicitors can earn around €40,000. Solicitors who work in the Dublin region can earn up to €10,000 more. In larger firms, solicitors can earn an excess of €100,000.

Steps to Become a Solicitor

To become a solicitor use must follow a series of steps, which include: a preliminary examination, an entrance exam, two practical courses, an apprenticeship and admission to the roll.

  • Preliminary Examination – If you do not have a degree, you must take the preliminary examination. The exam takes place in either February or March, and it only happens once a year. The exam contains three sections on English, the Irish government and politics and other general knowledge.
  • Entrance Exam – Once you have passed the preliminary exam or if you are exempt from doing it, you must take this exam to enter the Law Society of Ireland. The entrance exam covers eight different areas of law: Company Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, European Union Law, Equity, Real Property, Law of Contract and Law of Tort.
  • Professional Practical Course I (PPCI) – The first course takes about five months, from September to March. In this course, you are tested on: Applied Land Law, Probate & Tax, Business Law, Litigation, Legal Practice Irish and Legal Skills.
  • Apprenticeship – After you have completed the PPCI, you start an apprenticeship for 24 months in an office. The first part of the apprenticeship lasts eleven months. Then, three months is allocated to train for the PPCII. An additional ten months of the apprenticeship takes place after successfully completing the exam.
  • Professional Practical Course II (PPCII) – This course begins in April and finishes in July. To take the course, you need a letter of recommendation and a letter from your training solicitor about your experience and the amount of time you have spent in the office.
  • Admission to the Roll – To be considered for admission to the roll, you must of successfully completed all the requirements and you will need a letter from your training solicitor that you are fit to be a solicitor.

These exams and courses are held in the Law Society of Ireland. The building is located in Blackhall in Dublin.

Steps to become a Barrister

The three stages of becoming a barrister are: the academic stage, the vocational stage and the training contract stage.

  • The academic stage – This is the degree that the person already has. Having a degree allows you to apply for a place in The Honorable Society of King’s Inns, which runs the Barrister-at-Law degree. The King’s Inn is the only professional practice course for barristers, in the Republic of Ireland.
  • The vocational stage – Law graduates also have to sit an entrance examination, to be accepted to the King’s Inn. The exam covers various aspects of law. After this, once you get accepted to the King’s Inn, you take the course. The course lasts one-year full-time or the two-year part-time.
  • Training contract – A newly qualified barrister has to train for one year with an experienced barrister, known as a master, based in Dublin. The barrister does a lot of background research and they draft documents with their master. They also accompany their master to court.

Courtroom Dress

Barristers wear wigs, white collars and black gowns while in court. In certain courts, like the children’s court or family law courts, barristers do not wear the wig and gown.

The layout of the Courtroom?

In the courtroom, the table the lawyers sit at is situated in the middle of the room. The lawyers sit facing the judge.

In the High Court or Supreme Court when there is both the solicitor and barrister, the barrister will sit facing the judge and the solicitor will sit directly across from the barrister, that they recommended.

A Day in the Life of a Lawyer

A typical working day for most lawyers includes: research, writing, studying, meetings, phone calls and court appearances.

All lawyers must carry out a lot of research on each of their cases. While doing this, the lawyer will be taking detailed notes that they believe is important. Also, a lawyer does a lot of writing. Some of the things they write include letters, emails, briefs and various legal documents. As well as this, lawyers have to do a lot of studying. They have to spend hours preparing for a hearing, by reviewing the case and their research. Meeting with clients is a big part of being a lawyer. Some lawyers meet with more clients than others. Lawyers have to make daily phone calls to clients, court clerks and other lawyers. The most recognized part of being a lawyer is representing clients in court. Once you are in the court, you could be waiting for an hour for the judge to arrive. When a trial is taking place, lawyers can spend up to eight hours inside the courtroom.


After researching this career, I would greatly consider pursuing it as a profession. I know that I would like to fight for someone’s freedom and ensure that criminals see justice. This would be something I could achieve working as a lawyer.

While I was researching, I found out that more than half of those qualified as a barrister, never practice in court. Half of those who do, drop out after five years. Also, I found out that a solicitor’s job is largely a desk job. This would pursue me not to work as a lawyer.

But all jobs have negative aspects and I would still like to work as a lawyer.

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Lawyer Job Description and Duties. (2021, Mar 03). Retrieved from

Lawyer Job Description and Duties

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