Law Career Routes

Law Careers

A Lawyer or Solicitor normally deals with different aspects of legal matters including advising, drafting and conducting proceedings in courts. A lawyer can give practical or procedural advice and is more generic in practice but cannot give legal advice to the public. However a Solicitor deals directly with the public or an organisation and can advise legally.

In order to be admitted into the solicitor’s profession, training and qualification is required before the regulators, Solicitors Regulation Authority will then enrol you as a solicitor. There are two graduate routes and one non-graduate route of entry into the profession.

Graduate Route

Prospective solicitors holding a qualifying law degree proceed to enrol with the Law Society as a student member and will be required to study the Legal Practice Course (LPC). The LPC is provided by a number of providers including Universities, the College of Law, Inns of Court and BPC etc.

If you hold a non law degree but one which holds a degree recognised by Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Law Society which is known as a “qualifying degree”, you must complete a conversion course i.e. Common Professional Examination. This is a postgraduate law course in England and Wales that is taken by non-law graduates wishing to enter into the solicitor or barrister profession in England and Wales. Once this conversion course is completed you may enrol onto the Legal Practice Course.

Non-Graduate Route

It is also possible to qualify as a solicitor without having attended university by being admitted as a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (FILEX), and thereafter completing the required number of years of practical experience, and studying for the Legal Practice Course.

Training Contract

Once the Legal Practice Course has been completed, the prospective solicitor is required to undertake two years’ apprenticeship, which is known as a training contract with a solicitors firm or a firm that has the correct approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority to take on trainee solicitors. The training contract will normally be for duration of two years, but you can apply for a reduction of your term of training to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, if you have worked as paralegal for a firm of solicitors or company or organisation that has been approved by the Solicitors Regulations Authority. The reduction will be on the discretion of the Solicitors Regulations Authority.