Solicitor

Alternative titles for this job include Lawyer

Solicitors advise clients about the law and act on their behalf in legal matters.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter

to

£100,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 50 a week

You could work

on call at short notice

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) including English and maths
  • 3 A levels at grade C or above

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

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 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
  • you will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • advising and representing clients in court
  • instructing barristers or advocates to act for clients
  • drafting confidential letters and contracts
  • researching legal records and case law
  • attending meetings and negotiations
  • managing finances and preparing papers for court
  • using plain English to explaining complex legal matters to clients
  • keeping 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.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Solicitor Apprentice with Addleshaw Goddard

  • Wage : £297.85 Weekly
  • Location: Manchester M2 3AB

Solicitor Apprentice (Bristol City Council and WBD)

  • Wage : Competitive salary
  • Location: Bristol BS1 5TR

Courses In England

Legal Secretary Diploma with City & Guilds CILEx Level 2

  • Provider: Pitman Training London
  • Start date: 01 October 2019
  • Location: LONDON

CILEx Level 6 Land Law

  • Provider: Chichester College Group
  • Start date: 18 September 2019
  • Location: Chichester

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