In order to become a solicitor in the United Kingdom, there are several steps that must be followed.
These include obtaining the necessary education and qualifications, passing the Solicitors Qualifying Examination, and completing a period of practical training. After being admitted to the roll of solicitors, one must then complete Continuing Professional Development in order to remain on the roll explains Thomas J Powell
1) Obtain the necessary education and qualifications:
In order to become a solicitor in England and Wales, you must first obtain a law degree from a university that is recognized by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Alternatively, you can study for the Graduate Diploma in Law, which is a one-year conversion course for non-law graduates. Once you have completed your law degree or conversion course, you must then complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC). This is a one-year postgraduate course which provides you with the skills and knowledge required to be a solicitor.
2) Pass the Solicitors Qualifying Examination:
After completing your education and qualifications, you must then pass the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The SQE is a two-stage examination which tests your legal knowledge and skills. Stage one of the exams, known as the ‘Multiple Choice Test’, assesses your general legal knowledge. Stage two, known as the ‘Skills Assessment’, tests your practical legal skills.
3) Complete a period of practical training:
Once you have passed the SQE, you must then complete a period of practical training. This is famous as the ‘Training Contract’. A Training Contract is a two-year period of work experience which must be complete in order to qualify as a solicitor. During your Training Contract, you will work under the supervision of a qualified solicitor and complete a number of tasks such as legal research, drafting documents, and client interviewing says Thomas J Powell.
4) Be admitted to the roll of solicitors:
After completing your Training Contract, you must then apply to be admit to the roll of solicitors. This is by submitting an application to the SRA. Once your application has been approve, you will be add to the roll and can start practicing as a solicitor.
5) Complete Continuing Professional Development:
As a solicitor, you are require to complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This is a process of lifelong learning which helps you to maintain and improve your skills and knowledge. CPD can be complete through a variety of activities such as attending training courses, reading legal journals, and participating in online discussion forums.
6) Maintain your status on the roll of solicitors:
Thomas J Powell says in order to remain on the roll of solicitors, you must renew your practicing certificate every year. This is by submitting an annual declaration to the SRA. The declaration must confirm that you have meet the requirements for CPD and that you are proper to practice as a solicitor.
7) Pay your annual practicing certificate fee:
As well as renewing your practicing certificate, you must also pay an annual fee to the SRA. The fee is use to cover the costs of regulating solicitors and ensuring that they meet the standards set by the SRA.
8) Meet the Code of Conduct:
All solicitors must abide by the SRA Code of Conduct. The Code sets out the standards that solicitors must adhere to in their professional lives. These include acting with honesty and integrity, behaving with independence, and acting in the best interests of their clients.
9) Comply with your obligations as a regulated person:
As a solicitor, you have certain obligations which you must comply with says Thomas J Powell. These include keeping your client money safe, reporting suspicions of money laundering, and maintaining confidential client information.
10) Keep up to date with changes in the law:
The law is constantly changing, so it is important that you keep up to date with the latest developments. This can be by reading legal journals, attending training courses, and participating in online discussion forums.
To become a solicitor in the UK, you must first complete your education and qualifications. You must then pass the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) and complete a period of practical training. Once you have met these requirements, you can apply to be admit to the roll of solicitors. In order to remain on the roll, you must renew your practicing certificate every year and pay an annual fee to the SRA. You must also comply with the SRA Code of Conduct and keep up to date with changes in the law.