- Advise clients about the law, and act on their behalf in legal matters
- You'll need excellent communication skills, research and analysis skills
- You could become a partner in a private practice firm of solicitors
As a solicitor you could work in different areas, including: Private practice - providing legal services such as conveyancing, probate, civil and family law, litigation, personal injury and criminal law; Commercial practice - advising and acting for businesses in areas including contract law, tax, employment law and company sales and mergers; Providing in-house legal advice - for companies, the government or local authorities or The Crown Prosecution Service - examining evidence to decide whether to bring cases to court.
- 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
- Explaining complex legal matters to clients
- Keeping up to date with changes in the law
You may be on call at weekends and bank holidays and may need to attend police stations at any time of the day or night. You could work in an office, in a court, in a prison or at a police station.
This role would be ideal for someone with excellent communication skills, research and analysis skills and active listening skills.
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks.
There are several ways to become a solicitor. You could do a law degree, then complete the postgraduate Legal Practice Course or you could 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).
You could also 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.
Alternatively, 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.
It may be helpful to join The Law Society, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
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. You could do further training and become a barrister.