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How to become a Solicitor

solicitor careers

What does a Solicitor do?

Solicitors give advice and support to clients on legal matters by providing an interpretation and explanation of the law and researching past, similar law cases. They may represent or act for clients by appearing in court, or instructing a barrister/advocate to act for them.

Solicitors deal with a lot of paper work including writing letters, drafting contracts, preparing documents for court and keeping records.

Many solicitors choose to specialise in an area of law, such as:

  • company and business law - including contract law, tax, export law, employment law, patents,VAT legislation, and acquisition and sale of companies
  • conveyancing - the legal side of buying/selling businesses and domestic property
  • litigation - including civil law, debt, landlord/tenant disputes, family law, and breach of contract
  • probate - drawing up wills, administering estates, acting as property trustees
  • other specialist areas, including criminal law, personal injury/accident claims, human rights and mediation.
Solicitors can work in a range of sectors, including:
  • central and local government - advising on how the law affects services provided
  • Crown Prosecution Service/Procurator Fiscal (Scotland) - deciding whether cases should be prosecuted
  • private practice - offering a range of legal services to individual and business clients
  • commercial practice - specialising in a specific field of law, working for companies and organisations
  • in-house legal advice - dealing solely with an employer's legal affairs.

What's the working environment like working as a Solicitor?

Solicitors are normally contracted to work 37 hours a week but longer hours are common. They may be on call at weekends and bank holidays. They may attend some evening court sessions.

Solicitors are office- based but travel is involved when visiting clients. Some may spend a large proportion of their time in court.

What does it take to become a Solicitor?

As a solicitor, you should:

  • be able to assimilate and analyse large amounts of information
  • be confident and able to communicate with all kinds of people
  • think logically and pay attention to detail
  • be able to explain matters clearly, in speech and writing
  • be able to avoid becoming emotionally involved in distressing cases
  • cope well when working under pressure
  • be discreet - a lot of information must be kept confidential
  • be good with figures for property or financial work.

Solicitor Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Solicitor that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Law Society
Ipsley Court
Berrington Close
Redditch
Worcestershire
B98 OTD
Tel: 01527 504433
www.training.lawsociety.org.uk

Law Careers Advice Network
www.lcan.org.uk

The Law Society of Scotland
26 Drumsheugh Gardens
Edinburgh
EH3 7YR
Tel: 0131 226 7411
www.lawscot.org.uk

The Law Society of Northern Ireland
Law Society House
98 Victoria Street
Belfast
BT1 3JZ
Tel: 028 9023 1614
www.lawsoc-ni.org

National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT)
www.lnat.ac.uk

Law Careers
www.lawcareers.net



Facts and Stats:

  • In 1445 a case was brought in the French courts against certain beetles that had destroyed a farmer's crop. The beetles failed to obey the summons and the case was abandoned.
  • In 1924, a Pike County Court in Pennsylvania, USA sentenced a dog to life imprisonment for killing a cat.
  • In America, 50 to 70 cents of every dollar awarded in damages by a jury goes to the lawyer.
  • A woman in Israel is suing a TV station and its weatherman for $1,000. Their heinous crime? They predicted a sunny day and it rained. She claims that the forecast led her to wear light clothing causing her to catch the flu.