Becoming a Solicitor: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Success

Becoming a Solicitor: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Success

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to become a solicitor. As a leading provider of solicitor training and preparation courses, we understand the importance of having a clear roadmap to success in your legal career. In this guide, we will take you through the essential steps to becoming a solicitor in the UK.

Step 1: Obtain an Undergraduate Degree

The first step towards becoming a solicitor is to obtain an undergraduate degree. Although there are no specific degree requirements to enter the legal profession, it is highly recommended to pursue a law-related degree such as LLB (Bachelor of Laws).

Having a law degree gives you a solid foundation in legal principles and an understanding of the legal system, which will be invaluable throughout your career. It is also worth noting that some law firms and employers may prefer candidates with a law degree.

If you have already completed another undergraduate degree, you can still pursue a legal career by taking a conversion course like the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or the Common Professional Examination (CPE).

Step 2: Gain Legal Work Experience

Building practical experience is crucial for aspiring solicitors. Legal work experience can significantly enhance your understanding of the legal profession and strengthen your application when seeking training contracts.

You can gain legal work experience in various ways, including:

  • Internships or placements at law firms
  • Pro bono work at legal advice centers or clinics
  • Volunteering at charitable organizations dealing with legal issues

These experiences allow you to develop important skills, such as client interaction, research, and drafting legal documents. They also provide valuable networking opportunities, enabling you to connect with legal professionals who may become mentors or potential employers.

Step 3: Complete the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is the new system replacing the traditional routes to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales. In order to become a solicitor, you must successfully pass both stages of the SQE.

The SQE consists of two parts:

  1. SQE 1: This stage assesses your functioning legal knowledge through multiple-choice questions and written tasks. To prepare for this exam, it is essential to practice with SQE 1 practice exam questions and SQE 1 practice mocks (FLK1, FLK2).
  2. SQE 2: This stage evaluates your practical legal skills through role plays, advocacy, client interviewing, and case and matter analysis. It is recommended to enroll in SQE 2 preparation courses to ensure you are fully prepared for this stage.

Passing the SQE grants you the qualification to move on to the final steps towards becoming a solicitor.

Step 4: Secure a Training Contract

Once you have successfully completed the SQE, the next step is to secure a training contract. A training contract is a period of structured training and practical experience with a solicitors’ firm or in-house legal department.

During this training period, which typically lasts for two years, you will work under the supervision of qualified solicitors and gain hands-on experience in various areas of law. This is a crucial step for your professional development and will help you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge required to practice as a solicitor.

You can apply for training contracts through various channels, including:

  • Law firm recruitment processes
  • Online job portals
  • Networking with legal professionals

It is important to start researching and applying for training contracts well in advance, as competition can be high.

Step 5: Admissions and Registration

Once you have completed your training contract, you are ready to be admitted as a solicitor. To do so, you must apply to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for admission and registration.

The SRA will review your application, assess your character and suitability, and ensure that you have met all the necessary requirements. If your application is successful, you will be admitted to the Roll of Solicitors and become a fully qualified solicitor.


Congratulations! You have now reached the end of our step-by-step guide to becoming a solicitor. By following these steps, completing the necessary education, gaining practical experience, and passing the SQE, you are well on your way to a successful legal career.

If you’re currently in the process of preparing for the SQE exams, be sure to check out our SRA SQE exam dates and explore our comprehensive SQE 1 preparation courses.


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