How to Become a Solicitor

Solicitors tend to not get as much prestige as barristers because they don’t have the same freedom to pick up a case, or drop one, as barristers do (plus they don’t wear the fancy robes that barristers wear during court.) While barristers work on their own, solicitors work for a law firm and provide direct legal services to their client. They refer people to barristers if the case involves needing to go to court. They advise on legal steps that need to be taken and manage the case until it’s been concluded. These clients can range from individuals to public bodies.

Once someone decides to become a solicitor. They complete the LL.B (Latin: Legum Baccalaureus) which is the undergraduate program for law. After the LL.B is complete they prepare to complete the legal practice course (LPC) which generally takes a year depending on if they go full time or longer if they go part time. Note: If a student isn’t a law student they have to complete the GDL before starting the LPC.

As a student you should start looking for firms to start training you when you’re in your second year in law school, or third year in a non-law degree. (If you get lucky, you’ll find a two year contract and a firm that will pay for your LPC.) Practical training is the most common way to qualify to become a solicitor. This is the most important part of preparing to become a solicitor. You need to apply two years before finishing your schooling because big law firms recruit two years in advance. The most crucial time for researching and applying is actually early during your penultimate year.

After you complete your training and pass the PSC (professional skills course) you are eligible to practice as a solicitor and can apply for for a practising certificate. After that step is completed you are fully qualified.