Once qualified, solicitors often concentrate on one legal area like family, litigation, property, or tax. Solicitors working in law firms advise large corporate clients on transactions or cases. they may draft the contracts for the development of a brand new shopping mall or advise on the merger of 1 FTSE 100 company with another. Solicitors in Southend are good for legal advice.
High street solicitors advise smaller companies and individuals on legal matters like writing wills, property conveyancing, custody cases, divorce settlements, and then on.
Typical duties include:
- giving legal advice
- researching cases and legislation
- drafting legal documents
- liaising with clients and other professionals like barristers
- representing clients in court.
- It is a responsible and trustworthy job that necessitates integrity, confidentiality, and a non-prejudicial manner.
Typical employers of solicitors:
- private practice law firms
- legal departments within large organizations called ‘in-house’
- the Crown Prosecution Service or CPS
- the Government Legal Service (GLS) or local authorities.
There is strong competition for vacancies. Penultimate-year placements are popular, so early and speculative applications are advisable. Training contracts are advertised in careers services and specialist directories like TARGETjobs Law. University campus law fairs are a useful source of contacts and further information.
Vacancies for qualified legal professionals appear in national newspapers: Legal Week, The Lawyer, and Law Society Gazette.
Qualifications and training required
The main route to qualifying as a solicitor remains via a (law or non-law) university degree followed by a vocational, postgraduate course called the legal practice course (LPC). Graduates from any academic background can train as a solicitor but should have a wonderful record of educational achievement, including good tier results. Graduates with a non-law degree must first pass a conversion course called the graduate diploma in law (GDL) or common professional examination (CPE) before taking the LPC.
Following qualification, it’s necessary to complete a two-year training contract or ‘period of recognized training’. in the slightest degree stages, early applications are essential: some firms arrange training contracts up to 2 years ahead.
It is possible to become a solicitor without a degree by qualifying as a registered CILEx (the Chartered Insititute of Legal Executives) fellow. Qualification requires passing the CILEx exams and undertaking a period of employment. to search out out more about becoming a solicitor via this route see our article on legal executives.
Another way for varsity leavers to become solicitors is by completing an articled apprenticeship. to seek out out more about becoming a solicitor via this route see the law section of TARGETcareers, our website for varsity leavers.
There are entry restrictions regarding criminal records. Relevant experience is of benefit, particularly for mature candidates.
Key skills for solicitors
- organizational skills
- commercial awareness
- good interpersonal skills
- written and language skills
- analytical skills
A solicitor could be a qualified legal practitioner answerable for preparing legal documentation, representing, and/or defending a client’s legal interests. As a solicitor, you’ll provide specialist legal advice on a range of areas of law, acting directly for a range of clients including:
- Small businesses
- Large national and international organizations