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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.

Careers in Law 2020

The Careers in Law event could not go ahead this year, so here are some videos recorded by some of the speakers:

The main route to qualifying as a solicitor

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 come into effect in September 2021 and will be a cheaper way to qualify.

The new SQE qualification route:

From 2021, the solicitors qualification exam (SQE) will replace the current system and require law and non-law graduates to sit two exams - the SQE 1 & SQE 2. See our training page for more information. 

Candidates will also need to complete two years of qualifying work experience. This could be a law apprenticeship, paralegal role, work placement or volunteering. 

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.

Schemes and events to increase diversity in the legal sector

Professional associations

The Lawyer Portal

Related sectors

These sectors may be of interest to those who want to work in a legal profession: