Guide to Pursuing a Career as a Solicitor in the UK
Becoming a solicitor in the United Kingdom is a prestigious and rewarding career choice, attracting many aspiring legal professionals. This guide to pursuing a career as a solicitor in the UK will walk you through the essential steps and milestones on how to become a solicitor.
View the How to Become a Qualified Solicitor With a Law Apprenticeship roadmap.
The Traditional Route: Law Degrees
Bachelor of Laws (LLB): The journey often starts with a three-year LLB degree, providing a comprehensive understanding of legal principles and systems.
Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL): For those with a non-law degree, the GDL offers a one-year conversion course to legal studies.
This pathway involves a two-year training contract with a law firm, where you apply your knowledge in a real-world setting.
Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)
The SQE, a new assessment, is gradually replacing the LPC and training contract model. It’s a unified exam for all aspiring solicitors.
The Apprenticeship Pathway
Solicitor Apprenticeships: An alternative to the university route, these apprenticeships blend work experience with part-time study over approximately six years, culminating in taking the SQE.
Benefits: Earn while learning, gain practical experience, and minimise student debt
Registration and Practice
After successfully completing the SQE, register with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to practise as a solicitor.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
The legal field is dynamic. Ongoing CPD is essential to stay updated and maintain your practising certificate.
Once qualified, there are ample opportunities for specialisation and career growth in various legal fields.
Networking and Professional Growth
Building a strong professional network is crucial, regardless of the pathway chosen.
In summary, pursuing a career as a solicitor in the UK involves deciding between a traditional law degree followed by the LPC or SQE, or opting for the more hands-on solicitor apprenticeship route that includes the SQE. Both routes require dedication, commitment, and a passion for the law, leading to a rewarding career in the legal profession.