Attorney General Solicitor Usually the first point of contact for any person with a legal problem is their

local solicitor. Typical problems include road traffic offence summonses, transfer of property, house sales, wills, formation of companies, contracts etc. In other words, much of the solicitor's work could be described as office work. Generally speaking, the task of advocacy is left to the other type of lawyer, the barrister. Solicitors are entitled to engage in advocacy in all courts (including the High and Supreme Courts); however, in practice, they tend to restrict appearances to lower courts where the specialist skills of a barrister are not required. Importantly, a lay client cannot engage the services of a barrister directly; the)' must go through a solicitor, who will, if necessary, gather evidence, brief the barrister, conduct correspondence and attend preliminary hearings prior to the trial. The Law Society of Ireland is based at Blackball Place, Dublin and under the Solicitors Acts 1954-2002, exercises functions in relation io die education, admission enrolment, discipline and regulation of the solicitors1 profession. Anybody wishing to train as a solicitor must first sit an entrance exam. Knowledge oí the following subjects is essential for passing these exams: The Law of Torts, Contract Law. The Law of the European Union, Property Law, The Law of Equity, Constitutional Law. Criminal Law, and Company Law. Non-law graduates can also qualify as solicitors once they pass the requisite entrance exams. Once a prospective solicitor has passed the entrance exams, he/she must then secure a position in a firm in which to be trained. During this apprenticeship period, the apprentice will earn a minimum weekly wage. Some large Dublin firms have many partners and much of their work is for public or commercial bodies as opposed to private individuals. Many of these firms will visit universities and an excellent academic background is required in order to gain entry to these firms. Many trainee solicitors also find apprenticeships in firms dealing with private client work such as conveyancing, wills and probate, tax work, crime, divorce and family disputes, and a the quality oí training a hrm gives tramées. Having passed die requisite exams and served the apprenticeship, die trainee solicitor makes an application to the President of the High Court to be admitted as a solicitor. The ceremony consists of the President of the High Court presenting the applicant nie solicitor obtaining what is known as a practising certificate.