Course Description

Certificate in Strategic Development for In-House Practice

Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will be well-placed to:

  • Enhance their influence across the parent organisation;
  • Augment the stature and credibility of the in-house function;
  • Exploit opportunities for innovation, development, and growth;
  • Leverage their commercial awareness to overcome typical budgetary constraints;
  • Develop a more collaborative relationship with the parent organisation’s core functions;
  • Design and present a strategic plan that delivers on all of these outcomes.

How will students benefit from this programme?

Students will:

  • Develop a keener appreciation of your organisation’s perspectives and challenges;
  • Understand how to maximise the mutual benefit of the organisation/trusted advisor relationship;
  • Develop and promote the value that you and your team add to the organisation;
  • Become more influential on the direction and success of your organisation;
  • Enhance your managerial acumen and ability to deliver and implement a strategic plan.

Programme structure and approach to learning

This certificate has been designed for in-house counsel in both commercial and public sector organisations who wish to contribute to the growth and direction of their organisation through the development of their own in-house practice. Along with addressing the needs of in-house counsel who advise as part of an in-house legal team, we have taken into account in the design of the course that many inhouse counsel today may in fact be the sole legal adviser within the organisation.

The phenomenal growth in in-house legal service provision demonstrates the value in having legal services managed in-house. As in-house lawyers increasingly become ‘trusted advisors’ for their organisations, the need to be able to communicate and operate effectively within a non-traditional legal environment is essential.

Developing the in-house function and the delivery of legal services that meet the needs of the organisation requires an understanding of how the organisation itself works: collaborating and managing the intricacies of the organisation’s structure and identifying where development of in-house legal services requires innovative solutions – how well equipped are in-house lawyers to identify, promote, and communicate these solutions to the organisation?

This course harnesses participants’ commercial awareness and focuses on developing the capability to identify opportunities for expansion and innovation, along with the know-how to take advantage.
The certificate essentially focuses on the ‘business of doing legal business’ and takes a practical approach: during the course, you will work on a plan of action to enable you and your in-house practice to increase your foothold within the organisation, to improve service delivery in an existing practice area, or to diversify into a new one.

Deploying validated legal, commercial, and strategic nous to address the challenges faced by modern organisations whether private practice law firms, commercial entities, not-for profit, or public sector organisations, you will develop and present a plan of action that is coherent and complements your in-house practice’s existing expertise – without requiring significant investment in resources. Your organisation is also free to contribute to the plan, as it is designed for practical implementation.


The programme is based on the module scheme, covering key themes as listed below:

Module 1: Awareness

  • Identifying and assessing key trends in the provision of in-house legal services
  • Investigating how the legal department creates value for the organisation
  • Developing the identity and purpose of in-house legal, as trusted advisors

Module 2: Know-How

  • Identifying opportunities to expand the role and influence of the legal department
  • Harnessing financial metrics to develop the business case for improvements
  • Developing collaborative relationships with the organisation’s core functions

Module 3: Delivery

  • Communicating your ideas to the organisation’s key players and influencers
  • Developing initiatives that turn ideas into a strategic plan
  • Pitching and presenting the key message and rationale for the plan


Workshops are interactive sessions that focus on group problem-solving and are designed to revise all modules covered to date and to consolidate the participant’s knowledge.

  • Workshop 1: Friday 22nd March 2019
  • Workshop 2: Friday 26th April 2019
  • Workshop 3: Friday 10th May 2019


2,500-word written assignment and presentation

Who should attend?

Established in-house counsel in both commercial and public sector organisations interested in leveraging their expertise and role as trusted advisors, raising their profile and value within the organisation, and expanding the influence exercised by the in-house function.


Lecturers are drawn from experienced legal and commercial practitioners, as well as experts on strategy and business development. The addition of further lecturers from in house practice to be confirmed.

  • Michael Nicell, Solicitor and Module Leader in Strategy, Management and Organisational Behaviour at Griffith College. (Lead Tutor)
  • Lynda Ní Chualladh, EMEA Head of Privacy (Legal) and Assistant General Counsel at Citi and lecturer at the EUI Florence, Law Society, UCD, TCD.
  • Justin Keogan, Consultant, Programme Leader at Griffith College and National College of Ireland, and lecturer on Policy Evaluation at the Institute of Public Administration.
  • Alan Lynch, Financial Analyst and Head of Content ACCA at LearnSignal. Former Chief Financial Officer, Bank of Montreal Ireland.
  • Deirdre Ní Fhloinn, Barrister and Lecturer in Construction Law and Contract Administration at TCD and Construction Law and Dispute Resolution at King’s College, London. Former Principal Solicitor at London Underground
  • Ursula Earley, General Counsel, Inver Energy Limited.
  • Lubna Gem Arielle, Trainer, Facilitator and Executive Coach. Former in-house counsel at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Head of Legal at UK Arts Centre, Rich Mix.


The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to this course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. For further information and the booklet, see CPD scheme.

College Name Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre
Course Category Law
Course Type Blended - Mix of Classroom & Online
Course Location Dublin, Ireland
Location Postcode Dublin 7
Course Start Date 8th March 2019
Course Fee 1550
Awarding Body Law Society of Ireland
Title of Awarding Certificate in Strategic Development for In-House Practice
For information about Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre, please visit our college page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Law Society of Ireland – Diploma Centre

The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24, Dublin, Ireland

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