Many institutions offer law degrees, some in combination with other subjects such as languages or business subjects. Law degrees can cover a wide range of law related subjects such as jurisprudence, ethics, and criminology. If you choose to study for a degree in law, check that it is a qualifying course covering the seven core law subjects and legal research skills.
You cannot qualify as a Manx advocate without an honours degree, however, it is not necessary to study law at university in order to qualify as an Advocate. It is possible to study any honours degree from Anthropology to Zoology and then complete a conversion course. Your final degree classification is more important than its subject matter, so it is worth considering your personal strengths and interests before embarking upon your degree. Many Practices actively recruit individuals with diverse educational backgrounds who can utilise their scientific, business or linguistic skills. This route will, however, involve extra study and extra time.
It is recommended that whilst at university you should apply for a short period of work experience with an Advocates’ practice. This will give you a good idea of what the work actually involves and can be invaluable in helping you decide your future career. Applications should usually be made during your first year of university, and continue throughout your degree and should be made to a wide range of practices with different specialities. Many universities also provide pro bono work schemes which provide invaluable experience in dealing with clients and allow students a unique insight into legal matters.
Before entering articles with an Advocates’ practice, students must undertake a legal vocational course. Most students undertake the Legal Practice Course, which is compulsory for all English Solicitors, or alternatively the Bar Professional Training Course, the training necessary to become an English Barrister.
This choice of routes reflects the fused nature of the profession on the Isle of Man. The courses have different areas of focus but both last one academic year. It is possible, however, to study the Legal Practice Course on a part-time basis over a longer period.