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How to Become a Solicitor in the UK

How to become a Solicitor. Read this guide if you want to become a Solicitor.

Job Description of a Solicitor

Solicitors are persons who are responsible for understanding the law. They assist people to live within the laws of the country, and help people who are accused of breaking the law. Solicitors are generally expected to be reasonable, fair, Level -headed and willing to work unsociable hours and capable of remaining calm in stressful situations. The hours vary, but tend to be 8-12 hour shifts. Being a Solicitor is a good job for many people, but the key traits to have are a sociable personality, helpful, intuitive, a good sense of humour and calm under pressure. You must be aware of the laws of the United Kingdom, and not be prejudiced towards anyone.


Entry Requirements

To become a Solicitor you must be a British Citizen, EC/EEA National, Commonwealth citizen or a foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the UK. You will be subject to a CRB check to ensure that you have no serious convictions. You will have to study Law at University, which takes 5 years minimum, and may take longer should you choose a speciality. You will then be eligible to practice law in the United Kingdom.

Responsibilities and Duties

Standard duties vary dependent on the type of Solicitor you are. Many Solicitors are responsible for assisting persons accused of crimes to defend their innocence, or are instructed to help prosecute a person for a wrongdoing. You might have to attend court with the client you are representing and address the judge or magistrate. Some solicitors deal with employment law and primarily assist employers ensure that they are managing their staff correctly, or assist ex-employees to sue their former employers. Some Solicitors work for families, for example where a couple have divorced, to arrange who will have custody of the children. Many solicitors work in property, assisting buyers to purchase properties by overseeing the sale of the property. Some solicitors also deal with other legal paperwork tasks such as the writing of will and last testament, contracts or the serving of legal papers upon people such as summonses or orders.

Working Hours

These may vary depending on the duties and job you are doing. Many Solicitor Jobs can be 9-5, whilst just as many can be out of hours. Usual shift length is 12 hours. Many defence solicitors are expected to work weekends and evenings if called to a police station if a suspect is under arrest.

Skills and Training Development

Solicitors can expect to progress through their careers with improving skills and knowledge as well as time served. You may find yourself studying other aspects of law such as immigration, employment or family law in order to specialise in a certain department. You might wish to set up your own firm of solicitors in order to become your own boss. You might also consider volunteering at a Citizens Advice to help those in need of advice.

Average Salary

The average salary for a Trainee Solicitor is £28,000 PA.
The average salary for a qualified Solicitor is £40,000 PA.

photo by: gillian

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