Certificate in Professional Legal Studies (Legal Executive)

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Independent College Dublin’s Professional Legal Studies program leads to the award of a Certificate in Professional Legal Studies (Legal Executive) after Stage One. The program has been specifically tailored for those students who wish to practice as a Legal Executive in the Republic of Ireland.

This course is endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. Students that complete the Stage One Certificate are eligible to progress to Stage Two, the Diploma in Professional Legal Studies (Legal Executive).

Duration & Delivery

This is a 20-week course that commences for our spring iteration on 23rd February 2022 delivered via blended learning. The course will be delivered via three-hour lectures delivered every Wednesday from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm delivered in-class, streamed live, and recorded to suit learners’ needs. There will be approximately four Saturday workshops within the 20 week period, which run from 9.30am to 12.30pm that you will be required to attend as part of the blended learning approach.

In the event that the Government guidelines change in a manner that will not facilitate in-class delivery prior to the commencement of, or during the course, we will advise you immediately. In those circumstances, the live stream lectures will delivered and recorded and uploaded to Moodle for repeat viewing.


Our classes take place at Independent College Dublin, Block B, The Steelworks, Foley Street, Dublin 1. Our campus will fully adhere to all the requirements for education delivery in these changing times. The health and safety of our learners are paramount.

Blended Learning

All live online classes will be recorded for repeat viewing on our VLE, Moodle.

Apply today or contact [email protected] for more information.

Meet the Lecturers

Anastasia Ward, BCL (HONS); Barrister-at-Law

Anastasia Ward Certificate in Professional Legal Studies Lecturer at Independent College Dublin Programme Leader of LawAnastasia Ward B.L. graduated from U.C.D. with B.C.L. (Hons), and qualified as a Barrister in 1994, and practiced for in over 20 years at the Bar. Since 1995, Anastasia has lectured in institutions as diverse as the City of Dublin VEC (1997-2004) , DIT (1999-2001), Griffith College Dublin (2001 – 2010), and the Law School on behalf of the Law Society of Ireland (1995-2009). Anastasia joined the teaching team here in Independent College in 2007.

In the Law Society, in addition to her role as an associate faculty member teaching inter alia Landlord and Tenant, Civil and Criminal Advocacy, Practice Development, Negotiation Theory and Practice, she acted as Examiner in both Civil Advocacy and Criminal Advocacy.

Anastasia currently holds the positions of Program Leader for the Master of the Arts in Dispute Resolution, Program Leader for the FE1 and Kings Inns Preparatory Courses, and the Certificate and Diploma in Irish Legal Studies.
In addition, on the MA in Dispute Resolution she lectures in Principles of Negotiation Theory, Applied Negotiation Practice, Theory and Practice of Arbitration, and Workplace Dispute Resolution. On CILEX and DILEX she lectures on the Introduction to the Irish Legal System, Civil Litigation Practice and Procedure, Wills and Succession, and Family Law and Procedure Modules.

Nadia Bhatti, LL.B.

Nadia Bhatti
Nadia Bhatti graduated with an LLB degree from Trinity College Dublin. She is currently a PhD candidate with the Law School at Trinity College Dublin. Nadia has over six years of experience in teaching law students at an undergraduate and professional levels. Nadia lectures on Independent College’s LLB (Hons) program in Constitutional Law and Administrative Law. She delivers the EU and Constitutional Law courses on the FE-1 preparatory course, as well as the Employment and Criminal Law modules on the CILEx Diploma. Having formally tutored at the Law School in Trinity College Dublin in Employment Law, she also delivers Independent College’s Employment Law Diploma.

Certificate in Professional Legal Studies

Unit 1: Introduction to the Irish Legal System; Legal Research
Unit 2: Law of Torts; Contract Law
Unit 3: Civil Litigation
Unit 4: Land Law & Conveyancing

*Each unit has a 2 hour and 15 minutes examination.

February Timetable 2022
+ View the Spring 2022 course timetable here.

Frequently asked Questions

Who is the certificate accredited by? Is it a CPD certificate?
+ Our Certificate in Professional Legal Studies is endorsed by CILEx (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives – UK). This is the professional accreditation body for Legal Executives in the UK. Founded in 1892, the Institute of Legal Executives became a company limited by guarantee in 1963 with the support and co-operation of the Law Society. On 30 January 2012, the Institute became incorporated by Royal Charter and is now known as the ‘Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
+ Our Certificate in Professional Legal studies is ideal for people who have not studied law before but wish to start a legal career. It offers a recognised professional legal qualification that will allow graduates to begin a career in legal practice.
+ The Programme has been specifically tailored for students who want to practice as Legal Executives in the Republic of Ireland. Therefore, while it is not classified as a CPD certificate, for all intents and purposes, it could function as a CPD certificate for applicants with some background in law already.

What’s the difference between this course and a legal secretary course?
+ The principle difference between this course and a legal secretary course is that the emphasis on this course is exclusively on legal theory, practice and procedure. Secretarial skills are not included in this course.

Is this course open to anyone?
+ Yes, this is an open entry course. There are no minimum entry requirements.

What careers do most students pursue after completing this course?
+After completing the Certificate stage of this course, most of our students pursue a career as legal executives. A Legal Executive is a person qualified by accumulated practical experience and/or academic credentials to offer rather more than secretarial or administrative assistance to a Solicitor or other legal practitioner in the handling of client cases relating to conveyancing, probate, criminal, civil, family or other legal matters.
+ To further develop their careers are students often take the next stage in our programme the Diploma in Professional Legal Studies.

What NFQ Level is the Certificate?
+ The Certificate in Professional Legal Studies is equivalent to NFQ Level 5

What is the examination, assessment structure for this course?
+ Each module is assessed by a single examination of 2 hours and 15 minutes. All examinations take place at the end of the delivery of the course. Where impacted by COVID related restrictions, these exams take place online, and the time is extended to 2 hours and 30 minutes.

“I undertook the Certificate and Diploma in Professional Legal Studies in Independent College Dublin from 2018-2020.
They were very enjoyable and in-depth courses that helped me in understanding the tasks of my day-to-day job. The course was through blended learning whereby, you could attend campus or view the lecture online. This was a great advantage when it came to studying for the exams as you could listen back on each lecture and gain a vast amount of knowledge on the subject. The lecturers were down to earth and highly qualified, and they could not do enough to help you in any way possible. They were very approachable, and the lectures were engaging from start to finish. I obtained my Diploma in Legal Studies with a Distinction and this gave me the confidence to successfully apply for my new position as a qualified Legal Executive.

I would recommend this course to anyone with an interest in Law or working as a Legal Secretary who wanted to increase their knowledge and day to day workings of the law. The team in Independent College Dublin is professional and will always do what the can to help. I would highly recommend this course or indeed, any course in Independent College Dublin to anyone who wanted to further their education. All you need to do is to make contact with the team and they will make the rest easy for you.”

Lisa Neville, class of 2018/2020

“I am now working as a Legal Executive which is a job I got within 4 weeks of obtaining my Certificate and Diploma in Professional Legal Studies from Independent College Dublin. I am so happy and owe them everything. Once I received my qualifications it opened many doors for me and is highly recognised by many employers. The courses are run to a very high standard and all the college team show an interest in every student. I would highly recommend Independent College Dublin and these courses. The lecturers in the college are amazing and genuinely want you to succeed.”

Aishling Currivan, class of 2018/2019

“I believe the knowledge and confidence I have gained from the Certificate in Professional Legal Studies has been invaluable to me professionally. As I take on more legal executive tasks in my role as legal secretary, the course has helped me to grow and build confidence in the my abilities to understand and anticipate what is required of me. I found each module to be interesting and beneficial. In my day to day job the Civil Litigation and Contract and Tort modules were most applicable but the Intro to Irish Legal Systems provided further comprehension as to the Court structures and procedures within the Courts along with a history of the Irish legal system which was very informative. I have now started the Diploma in Professional Legal Studies and am very enjoying it. I chose Independent College based on their reviews and the recognized qualifications associated with the course.”

Mary Mockler, class of 2020

Course Costs & Payment Options

The fee is €1,850 made payable by credit transfer or credit/ debit card. Please enquire about payments options upon application.