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The GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law): A Pathway to Becoming a Solicitor

The GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law): A Pathway to Becoming a Solicitor

Are you a graduate with a non-law degree and aspire to become a solicitor? The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) might just be the perfect pathway for you. In this blog post, we will explore what the GDL is, its benefits and requirements, and how it can lead you towards a successful career as a solicitor.

What is the GDL?

The GDL, also known as the Common Professional Examination (CPE), is a conversion course that allows graduates from non-law backgrounds to acquire the necessary legal knowledge and skills required to pursue a career as a solicitor. It is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time program that covers key legal principles and subjects.

The GDL is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the law, giving you the foundation you need to continue your legal studies and professional training. It allows you to enter the legal profession, even without having completed an undergraduate law degree.

Benefits of the GDL

The GDL offers several benefits to graduates who wish to pursue a career as a solicitor:

1. Conversion: The GDL enables you to convert your non-law degree into a qualifying law degree, making you eligible for further legal training.

2. Flexibility: Whether you choose to study full-time or part-time, the GDL offers flexible study options to suit your needs and accommodate other commitments.

3. Widens Career Options: By completing the GDL, you open up a range of career opportunities in the legal profession, including solicitor roles in various practice areas such as family law, commercial law, criminal law, and more.

4. Practical Skills Development: During the GDL, you will develop essential legal skills such as legal research, analysis, and effective communication, which are crucial for success as a solicitor.

GDL Requirements

To be eligible for the GDL, you must have a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in any discipline. The course is open to graduates from various academic backgrounds, including arts, science, business, and more. However, it is advised to check with individual institutions for their specific entry requirements.

Additionally, you may be required to submit a personal statement and attend an interview as part of the application process. Ensure you highlight your passion for law, relevant experiences, and why you believe the GDL is the right choice for you.

Studying the GDL

The GDL curriculum covers core areas of law, including contract law, criminal law, constitutional law, and more. You will gain a thorough understanding of these subjects through lectures, seminars, workshops, and independent study. The emphasis is on developing your legal analysis, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

During the GDL, you will have the opportunity to engage in practical exercises, such as legal research projects, mooting, and simulated client interviews. These experiences will enhance your practical skills and provide insight into the realities of practicing law.

After completing the GDL, you can choose to progress onto the Legal Practice Course (LPC), which is the next stage of professional training required to become a solicitor. The GDL serves as a solid foundation for further legal studies and will equip you with the essential knowledge and skills needed to succeed in your legal career.


The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is a valuable pathway for graduates with non-law degrees who aspire to become solicitors. It offers a conversion route into the legal profession, providing you with the necessary legal knowledge and skills to pursue a successful career. By completing the GDL, you open up a range of opportunities in various areas of law and gain a solid foundation for further legal studies. So, if you are passionate about law and have dreams of becoming a solicitor, consider embarking on the GDL journey.

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