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Thinking of becoming a Solicitor?

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27 December 2019

Thinking of becoming a Solicitor?

Are you thinking of becoming a solicitor and don’t know where to start? 

Do you like delving deep into information, helping clients understand the true nature of their case? 

Do you know how to get the best deals and want to secure your place with one of the UK's leading law firms? 

In this post, JWP Solicitors look at what you need to know to start your journey to becoming a solicitor and the qualifications and training required to achieve such goals. 

About the person 

Knowing what it takes to be a solicitor, and a good solicitor at that can often mean more than simply academic learning (although this is a big part of it). 

It takes dedication, perseverance, a whole host of persuasive techniques, hard work, money, and above all else, talent. 

However, the bottom line is, to become a fully qualified solicitor takes anywhere from 4-7 years, depending on the training route you choose. 

Considering a profession as a solicitor? 

A solicitor’s work is wide-ranging, diverse, and exciting. It is an ever-changing and thriving area that continues to grow in popularity. 

In essence, a solicitor works with clients on all aspects of the law. For example, you could work for criminal solicitors in Leeds where you and your firm represent those who need representation with police or in court. You could provide services such as family law, specialist divorce solicitors, employment law, conveyancing, and so much more. 

For all knowing the legal aspects of the law is essential, so too is having excellent people skills. 

For example, some of the softer skills you will be required to demonstrate as a solicitor include: 

  • Eye for detail 
  • Business management skills 
  • Good and clear communication skills 
  • Interpersonal skills 
  • IT skills 
  • Leadership ability 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Organisational skills 
  • Literacy skills 

How to become a solicitor 

There are two routes to becoming a solicitor: 

  1. You can enrol in a 3-year University LLB Law Degree. 
  2. You already have a degree in another profession so now need to undertake a law conversion course (typically completed in 1 year and include either the Common Professional Examination or the Graduate Diploma in Law). 

Once you have completed and received your degree, meeting all of the SRA formal standards, you will then follow onto Legal Practice Course. Depending on whether you study full or part-time, the LPC takes between 1 to 2 years.  LPC forms an important part of your overall training as it allows you to apply your knowledge practically, building and developing your legal skills with real-life cases. 

If you don’t have a contract in place with a firm for this training, you will need to start applying to law firms that offer such programs (be careful to consider where you apply, as often these firms can be your stepping stone to your future career path). 

During your time on your training contract, you will be considered a trainee solicitor, and it is not until you have at least two further years working as a solicitor before you will be accepted by the law society and considered a fully qualified solicitor. 

The role of a solicitor 

Acting as confidential advisors, solicitors have direct contact with their clients, helping in a range of legal situations and most certainly putting their knowledge and skills to the test. 

Solicitors: 

  • Provide guidance 
  • Support businesses and financial transactions/deals 
  • Protect the rights of individuals 
  • Support the community 

Have you got what it takes? 

Have you got: 

  • The dedication and commitment to the law? 
  • Commercial awareness? 
  • Personal effectiveness? 
  • Flexibility/versatility? 
  • Comprehension? 

Finding out as much information as possible as well as talking to practising solicitors will all help to provide an insight into what life as a solicitor in Leeds is really like – as well as the best routes to qualifying and gaining specialist training and qualifications. 

Ultimately you need to make sure that the profession you choose is the profession that’s right for you.  For solicitors, it can be the choice between becoming a family law solicitor or a criminal lawyer. 

At JWP Solicitors we’re happy to help answer any of your questions and certainly provide further information on how some of our specialist solicitors got started! 

Call us today on 0113 3979 550. 

Delia Crofts-Turnbull