Becoming a Solicitor or Barrister

These professions are highly competitive and you will need a good cluster of A's at GCSE level and excellent A level results in core subjects to be accepted by university law courses and to get onto the radar of law firms and chambers offering training and pupillage contracts. This means planning your career as far in advance as possible, ideally arranging work experience while still at school, at either a firm of solicitors, or in a barristers chambers. To succeed as a barrister or solicitor you need first rate communication and people skills. This is because you will not only be working with teams of other professionals, but having to represent the brand of your firm or set of chambers to clients and potential clients.

Anyone interacting with you needs utmost confidence that you and your firm/chambers will deliver to the brief given. The ability to write and draft clearly in language those reading your work will understand is crucial and you need to be a good listener as well as a good speaker. The other thing to bear in mind is that you need to be committed to very hard work and to the likelihood of having to work long hours when a particular case or deal is ongoing in order to meet deadlines.

The most rapid way of qualifying as a solicitor or a barrister is to obtain a qualifying law degree. To research the institutions offering these, simply click onto our Legal Education Directory and select the category: Training: University Undergraduate.

Becoming a Solicitor

Becoming a Barrister

Law Graduate

Non-law Graduate

Non-Graduate

Law Graduate

Non-Law Graduate

A-levels A-levels GSCE or mature student A levels A levels
Qualifying law degree Non-law degree Trainee legal executive role in practice Qualifying law degree Non-law degree
Legal Practice Course (LPC) Conversion Course (Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law) ILEX Part I Bar Vocational Course Conversion Course (Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law)
Training contract Legal Practice Course (LPC) ILEX Part II First six months’ pupillage Bar vocational course
Professional Skills Course (part of Training Contract) Training contract 2 years legal experience Second six months’ pupillage First six months’ pupillage
Practising Certificate Professional Skills Course (part of Training Contract) Legal Practice Course (LPC) Tenancy in chambers Second six months’ pupillage
  Practising Certificate Training Contract   Tenancy in chambers
    Professional Skills Course (part of training contract)    
    Practising Certificate    
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