The Isle of Man Law Society has recently amended the route to qualification as an advocate, signifying huge changes to the qualification system following ongoing review of the Manx Bar exams.
The recent implementation of the Advocates Admission Regulations 2022 has removed the requirement for new trainee advocates to have taken and passed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) in order to become a member of the Law Society and commence a period of Articles.
Entry requirements to the Law Society are now a qualifying law degree with second class honours, or a non-law degree followed by the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), although firm-specific requirements may apply. Following degree completion, trainee advocates can commence their Articles (also known as a training contract), subject to the approval of the Law Society and the First Deemster and Clerk of the Rolls. Articles ordinarily last for a period of two years but can differ slightly if an individual is qualified as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales or another jurisdiction.
During their period of Articles, trainee advocates are required to study toward and pass the Manx Bar exams, comprising five heads:
- Civil law and practice;
- Criminal law and practice;
- Public and property law and practice;
- Business and finance law and practice; and
- Accounts and ethics.
The Manx Bar exams are to be held annually, previously bi-annually, and trainees are given a maximum of three attempts in which to successfully pass.
Prior to the implementation of the new Regulations, individuals could not apply to become a member of the Law Society without first having taken and passed either the LPC or the BPTC. In the UK, the Solicitors’ Qualifying Exam (SQE) has been introduced to eventually replace the LPC, but it is not required in order to qualify as an advocate in the Isle of Man.
For more information on the Isle of Man’s legal profession and the route to qualifying as an advocate, please visit the Isle of Man Law Society website at http://www.iomlawsociety.co.im. If you are interested in a career at DQ Advocates please email a copy of your CV to email@example.com.
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