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How can I become a Solicitor?

View profile for Laura Cotton
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There are now two different routes to qualify as a solicitor following the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

The traditional route to qualifying has the following requirements:-

  • Qualifying Law degree
  • If you have obtained a degree in another subject, you will need to also need to obtain a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)
  • Legal Practice Course (LPC)
  • Training Contract

The new SQE path has the following requirements:-

  • A degree in any subject OR an Apprenticeship or equivalent experience
  • SQE Assessments including:

SQE1 which tests the identification and application of legal knowledge and principles

SQE2 which tests the application of legal knowledge and practical legal skills

  • Qualifying work experience over two years

The main difference in the two routes is that the new route replaces the LPC with the SQE assessments and replaces the Training Contract with qualifying work experience. It can often be difficult to obtain a Training contract and the competition is extremely high. Many candidates have to work as Paralegals first before applying for Training Contracts, however with the new system in place, it will mean that provided that you have completed two years of qualifying work experience, you will be able to qualify as a Solicitor, without the need of a Firm having to offer a Training Contract.

The SQE route is due to come into effect from September 2021, however you can continue to qualify under the current route until 2032.

More information can be found on the SRA website about which route may be more suitable for you.

Visit our Careers page to see if there are any current opportunities to progress your legal career with Johnson Astills.