Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament

For those of you who are interested in law, a career as a solicitor can be a very rewarding profession. The job of a solicitor is to advise clients on the law and help them to find solutions to legal problems. Solicitors are usually the first point of contact for people when they want legal advice and at some point in your life, you are likely to end up seeking advice from a solicitor. It could be when you are buying your first home or when you’re dealing with a problem at work or when you need someone to review a contract. Either way, solicitors provide advice to people every single day and the legal profession is a fundamental part of our society.

Where can I work?

It’s rare to go to a town or city in the UK and not find a firm of solicitors ready to help the local population. Law firms vary from sole practitioners on the high street to large international law firms employing thousands of people. 

Where you choose to practise as a solicitor depends very much on the type of work you want to do and the lifestyle you want. For example, if you enjoy advising the local community on day-to-day legal issues, you might enjoy working in a small firm on the high street. However, if you’re interested in advising on headline grabbing deals that feature in the Financial Times, you’re probably more suited to a large international law firm.

What does a solicitor do?

The type work a solicitor does varies enormously depending on what a solicitor specialises in and the type of firm that he or she works for. Work can vary from advising an individual arrested on suspicion of committing a crime to providing transactional advice to a multi-national company acquiring another business. 

Solicitors undertake a variety of different day-to-day tasks such as researching into points of law, drafting documentation and giving legal advice to clients. The work can be intellectually stimulating, fast-paced and very rewarding when you see a positive outcome to a case that you’ve been working on. 

How do I become a solicitor?

Completing a qualifying law degree or the Graduate Diploma in Law followed by the Legal Practice Course and a two-year training contract is the most common way to become a solicitor. However, another way of qualifying as a solicitor is through the CILEX route and this gives people the opportunity to qualify without a degree.

How much can I earn as a solicitor?

In the same vein as other professions, the salary of a solicitor varies according to where you work, which company you work for and your area of practice. The highest salaries are likely to be found at commercial law firms based in London or other major cities around England and for those looking to work in this area, salaries for newly qualified solicitors can vary from £50,000 to over £100,000 per year.

Shiva is Managing Director of The Law Tutors which is a legal education company based in London.