Mock Trials and Court Visits for Transition Year Students

03 November 2015

Release date: 03/11/2015

Minister for Education and Skills launches The Bar of Ireland’s Transition Year Programme.

  • 20 of 100 places reserved for students from DEIS schools
  • Programme to take place in February 2016 – deadline for entry December 16, 2015

Dublin: November 3, 2015:   The Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan TD today launched The Bar of Ireland’s Transition Year programme, encouraging students from the around the country, and from all backgrounds, to consider a career at The Bar

One hundred transition year students from around Ireland will participate in The Bar of Ireland’s Transition Year programme next February, with twenty places being reserved for students from DEIS schools. A new competition for entry was revealed at today’s launch, which will see students reflect on their legal aspirations in an 800 word essay.

Activities during the week-long programme will include mock trials, court visits, talks from the Chief Justice and court Gardaí, and shadowing a working barrister.

Speaking at the launch, which was attended by transition year coordinators and career guidance counsellors, as well as members of The Bar of Ireland, Minister O’Sullivan said:

“Transition Year is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore their interests and to find what career path is right for them. They say that if you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life and that is an ideal that all students should aspire to. The Bar of Ireland’s Transition Year programme offers students a valuable insight into the inner workings of the legal profession. In particular, I welcome the move by The Bar of Ireland to reserve a fifth of the places for students from DEIS schools. It’s important that all students know and believe that every career option is open to them. Every vocation, not least the legal profession, benefits from diversity.”

More than 25 barristers are involved in the running of the Programme, including the Chairman of the Council of The Bar of Ireland David Barniville SC. Sara Moorhead SC is the Programme Coordinator.

David Barniville SC said:

“Students taking part in the programme will get a real sense of the varied work of a barrister; The Bar represents a very exciting career opportunity for young people with an interest in access to justice and civil rights. Barristers today have a varied and stimulating work load, providing specialist advocacy and advisory services in a wide variety of areas and in many different arenas aside from the courtroom, such as arbitrations and mediations. Through all our outreach programmes, including the Transition Year Programme, we want to engage as widely as possible to promote the changing face of The Bar of Ireland and to encourage more diverse participation in the profession.”

David Somerville, a senior cycle student from St Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 – a DEIS school neighbouring The Bar of Ireland – participated in the first year of the Programme last year. Speaking at the launch tonight he said:

“Experiencing first-hand the work of a barrister has given me a unique insight into the profession – it is much more informative than simply having a guidance councillor tell you what to expect. The programme has certainly encouraged me to continue my pursuit of a career in the legal profession.”

Schools are asked to submit details of the winners of their individual essay competitions to The Bar of Ireland before Wednesday December 16th.  For further information see


Media Contacts:
Shirley Coulter, The Bar of Ireland, 083 4496576
Ruth O’Byrnes, Q4PR 0860558331