How to Become a Qualified Solicitor

There are several routes you can take to qualify as a Solicitor which includes the following:

  • The SQE route
  • The LPC route
  • Qualified Lawyers - such as Barristers, CILEX Practitioner or Chartered Legal Executive, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Scottish Solicitor
  • Solicitor Apprenticeship
  • Registered European Lawyers
  • Barrister England & Wales

For the most up to date information and the requirements for each different pathway to becoming a qualified solicitor please click here

A career as a Solicitor can be rewarding and intellectually challenging. There are many different areas of law you can specialise in, so the work can be varied. Becoming a Solicitor takes a lot of commitment. You must study and train for at least six years full time, and competition for training contracts is high.

You can find out about what a career in law is like by:

  • talking to solicitors, for example at career fairs
  • applying for work experience

The Skills Required to Become a Solicitor:

  • You need to be determined and motivated to succeed
  • Intellectual ability – the law is complex
  • Flexibility – no two days are the same
  • Commitment – training requires significant effort and resource
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • A strong academic background is important, but employers also look for personal skills and attributes, for example:
    • dedication
    • a capacity for hard work
    • personal integrity and an ethical approach
    • commercial awareness
    • being able to communicate with people at all levels and win their respect

Solicitors can work in:

  • law firms (Private Practice)
  • central or local government (Public Sector)
  • legal departments within organisations (In-house)
  • the Crown Prosecution Service
  • law centres

What Solicitors Do

Solicitors represent and defend clients’ legal interests, giving expert advice on every-day issues, such as buying and selling homes, and dealing with relationship breakdowns. They help businesses with commercial transactions, protecting individuals’ rights, making sure they’re treated fairly by public or private bodies. Solicitors provide free help (pro bono) in certain circumstances, for example for people who are unable to pay for legal services

A Solicitor’s work can be divided into contentious legal work – resolving disputes between two or more parties, usually in a court or tribunal. Non-contentious legal work – dealing with the legal aspects of a client’s business or personal matter, for example managing a company merger, or making a will.

Duties can include researching cases and legislation, drafting letters, contracts, wills and other legal documents, liaising with clients and other professionals such as barristers and representing clients in court or at tribunals.

How much can a solicitor earn?

Take a look at our annual Salary Survey here to gain more of an understanding on the salary you can expect to earn based on location and sector.