How to become a solicitor

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

In order to qualify, you could:

  • do a law degree, then complete the postgraduate Legal Practice Course
  • do a non-law degree followed by the Common Professional Examination or Graduate Diploma in Law

To get into some universities you'll need to pass the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT).

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 3 A levels or equivalent
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could do a solicitor degree apprenticeship to qualify as a solicitor.

This route usually takes around 5 years and you'll need your employer's support to do it.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • 3 A levels or equivalent

More Information

Work

You could start with a legal firm and do on-the-job training like the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) Level 6 Professional Diploma in Higher Law and Practice.

You would then complete a period of further training to qualify as a solicitor.

More Information

Career tips

Competition for training contracts is tough so you need to show that you have consistently good grades as you progress through your education.

Getting work experience in different types of settings can help you to stand out and show your commitment. There are work experience schemes to encourage people from black and minority ethnic communities, women and people with disabilities into the legal profession.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join The Law Society for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a solicitor through The Law Society, Law Careers.Net and All About Law.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • excellent verbal communication skills to work with different people
  • active listening skills
  • analytical thinking skills for working on complex cases
  • knowledge of English language for explaining legal matters to non-experts
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent written communication skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • advise and represent clients in court
  • instruct barristers or advocates to act for clients
  • draft confidential letters, contracts and legal documents
  • research legal records and case law
  • attend meetings and negotiations
  • manage finances and prepare papers for court
  • use plain English to explain complex legal matters to clients
  • keep up to date with changes in the law

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a court, in a prison or at a police station.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a partner in a private practice firm of solicitors. As a commercial solicitor, you could manage an in-house legal department.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a solicitor right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a solicitor?

Search for training courses near you.

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.