Trinity College Law School, founded in 1740, is Ireland's oldest and most internationally renowned Law School. It has a distinguished team of professors and lecturers and a student population of approximately 120 postgraduates of the highest calibre.
The Law School aims to educate people who will be the leaders of the legal profession, the public service and society, and who will demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity and professional ethics and a deep concern for social justice in their practice of law and public service. It is also strongly committed to maintaining and further developing its reputation for rigorous legal scholarship and research, both in a national and international context. It is widely recognised as providing a liberal environment where independent thinking is encouraged and as promoting the ideals of social inclusion and equality. In summary it seeks to serve society through education, research and public service and to promote standards of excellence in all its activities. Many staff and student members are heavily involved with the governmental, commercial and voluntary sectors both nationally and internationally, in areas such as children's rights, constitutional law reform, environmental policy, legal aid, law reform, minority rights, public interest and pro bono litigation, social welfare policy and women's rights.
The Law School offers a M.Litt./Ph.D. degree programme and has a reputation for excellence in terms of research supervision. It currently has around 65 students registered for M.Litt./Ph.D. degrees across a wide range of subjects some of whom have formed into research groupings. Seminars are organised on a weekly basis for all research postgraduate students to provide a forum for such students to present and discuss their work, and also as a means for providing instruction and assistance to students in respect of various aspects of postgraduate study including issues pertaining to research facilities, research funding and presentation and publication of research. A student registered for the degree of M.Litt. is required to carry out research under the supervision of a full time member of the academic staff in a legal topic. The minimum qualifications for admission as a Ph.D. student are higher than those for admission as a M.Litt. student. In particular, applicants must show evidence of marked aptitude for research. A student on the M.Litt register who wishes to transfer to the Ph.D. register must undergo a transfer process which involves submission of a transfer report which is defended on a viva voce basis before an assigned transfer panel. Students on the Ph.D. register must similarly be confirmed on the register again by submission of a confirmation report which is defended on a viva voce basis before an assigned confirmation panel. In both cases this will usually happen in the second year of the student’s time on the relevant register. The Law School requires that all M.Litt. students complete their research and submit their dissertations within two years of entering on the M.Litt. register, and that all Ph.D. students similarly complete their studies within four years (which period will include any time spent on the M.Litt. register).
Applications may also be made by graduates of the University of Dublin of not less than eight years standing for the degree of Doctor in Laws (LL.D.). This degree may be awarded to candidates who are judged to have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of knowledge as evidenced by the publication of their work of high academic distinction. The level of attainment required for such a higher doctorate is substantially higher than that required for the degree of Ph.D.