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Solicitor, Legal Executive and Other Legal Roles

The role of a solicitor

Solicitors are lawyers who are qualified to give legal advice and are generally office-based rather than representing clients in court like barristers. They may work with private or commercial clients depending on the size of their firm. Although they usually specialise in one area of law, a solicitor's training is more broad than that of a legal executive.

The main route to qualifying as a solicitor

There are currently three stages to qualifying as a solicitor:

1. You first need to complete a law degree or a graduate diploma in law (GDL) if you are a non-law graduate.

2.  After completing your law degree or conversion course, you will need to do a Legal Practice Course, which takes one year of full-time study.

3. Following completion of the LPC, you will need to do a training contract with a firm where you work and study for two years as a trainee solicitor.

You can also qualify as a solicitor via the CILEx training route.

Note: The Solicitors Regulation Authority has recently announced a new standardised assessment for law and non-law graduates who want to qualify as a solicitor. This new assessment route is expected to fully come into force in 2020.

Schemes to increase diversity in the legal sector