Solicitor

Average Salary: £35,000 - £40,000
Competition: HIGH
Years Experience: 2-5 years

“Don't ever get emotionally involved in a family law client’s case.”

Reshma, Solicitor

Job Summary

Some things like buying a property and getting a divorce are not as easy as just buying a newspaper or breaking up with your girlfriend or boyfriend. These issues need legal advice in relation to what is stated in law, which Solicitors sought to do. Oh the joys of growing up! Not only personal issues, Solicitors gives advice on commercial work to individuals, companies, local authorities and government.

Duties

As a Solicitor you’ll have the choice to specialise in different areas of law, such as Family Law, Immigration, Employment, Wills and Probate, Conveyancing and Commercial Law to name a few. However, throughout all the specialities, a typical day could look like:

  • Giving specialised advice to clients on the law and legal issues in relation to their cases
  • Researching through legislation and case law to support advice
  • Writing tailored legal documents, contracts and letters
  • Constant communication with client and parties involved, leading by client’s instructions
  • Preparing papers and acting on behalf of clients in court
  • Maintaining financial records making sure they are up-to-date
  • Keeping relevant in the field by being aware of changes and developments in law

Key Skills & Characteristics

A Solicitor should:

  • Possess excellent verbal, written and listening skills
  • Show patience and be resilient as cases can be complex and take a long time to resolve
  • Have strong interpersonal skills being able to show empathy
  • Be organised and have the ability to prioritise effectively
  • Be analytical and have an attention to detail
  • Be professional, non-opinionated and respect confidentiality of clients

Entry Routes

Don’t be fooled by episodes of the series ‘Suits’. You will need to do a degree or go through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) route. The degree doesn’t necessarily have to be in Law. However, it would be advisable to do a Law LLB degree, which Reshma decided to do. It will also save you taking the Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).

You then need to complete your Legal Practice Course (LPC) which normally takes a year or two and covers areas such as Business Law, Probate, Criminal and Civil Litigation.

The final hurdle is undertaking work-based training by obtaining a training contract with a firm of solicitors or legal department, whilst completing your Professional Skills Course (PSC). And then you’re finally there!

Job Progression

Trainee Solicitor

Solicitor

Senior Solicitor

Associate

Senior Associate

Legal Director/Partner

Advice From Our Experts

Top Tip

“Don't ever get emotionally involved in a family law client’s case.”

- Reshma, Solicitor, on the importance of separating emotions from work.

The Good

  • New People - It brings a good opportunity to meet a lot of people of different backgrounds
  • Rewarding - It’s pleasing being able to help someone in a difficult situation
  • Court - The experience of going into court is pretty exciting

The Bad

  • Strict Deadlines - There’s a lot of strict deadlines which makes the job quite stressful
  • Difficult Clients - Dealing with difficult clients can be frustrating
  • Litigants - Working in person with the people getting sued or are suing you, is not great