The Student Room Group

Route to become a solicitor

( basically asking to explain the path to become a solicitor in detail)I’m applying for law at uni this year but I just want a heads up on what I’ll hopefully be doing after I’m done the degree, and the route to become a solicitor. Many of the information is changing and outdated so it’s kind of confusing. So once I’m done my law degree, I’m supposed to sit the SQE. But like how do i apply for these? Is this the LLM? Is it like a uni course?I’m honestly really confused. Im also supposed to get work experience for two years (QWE) which im also confused about ( do you get paid during those two years?). When am I supposed to apply for training contracts? Is it linked with the work experience? I’m honestly just very confused, so could someone tell me the path to become a solicitor in detail?
Reply 1
Original post by shehab1
( basically asking to explain the path to become a solicitor in detail)I’m applying for law at uni this year but I just want a heads up on what I’ll hopefully be doing after I’m done the degree, and the route to become a solicitor. Many of the information is changing and outdated so it’s kind of confusing. So once I’m done my law degree, I’m supposed to sit the SQE. But like how do i apply for these? Is this the LLM? Is it like a uni course?I’m honestly really confused. Im also supposed to get work experience for two years (QWE) which im also confused about ( do you get paid during those two years?). When am I supposed to apply for training contracts? Is it linked with the work experience? I’m honestly just very confused, so could someone tell me the path to become a solicitor in detail?



bump
Below is the ideal:-
In y ear one of your LLB apply for some law firm first year schemes. Get high grades in all exams as they go on applications for training contracts even year 1 marks. Do lots of extra law things - law society, moots if possible etc. I volunteers in university linked law centre in years 2 and 3 helping the public. I also did 2 weeks of informal work experience in my home town immediately after year 1 of my LLB.
In year 2 apply for "vacation schemes" - usually 1 or 2 weeks of paid work at a law firm. 80% of firms recruit trainees from their vacation schemes. It is like a week long interview in a sense.
I years 2 and 3 apply for law firm training contracts eg this one has just opened in September 2023 so now it the time (not 2 days before it closes) to apply for starting a training contract in 2026. So if you were just going into year 3 of your degree for the firm below you would have been working in the summer holidays on your application and get it in in Sept 2023. You could then start at the firm in September 2026. You could graduate in 2024, then do the SQE courses and exams 2024 - 2025 academic year and start at the firm in 2026.
"Applications for the September 2026/March 2027 law intake (for law finalists and graduates) will open on Friday 1 September 2023 and will close on Thursday 30 November 2023 at 11:59pm."
However if you do not secure a training contract/QWE by the time you finish your LLB if you want you can apply via the Central Applications Board even in Sept before you finish your degree when applications open (a kind of ucas for lawyers) for a place on an SQE1 and 2 course of which about £12k is available as a masters student loan if you pick an SQE with masters from someone like BPP or University of Law, but that won't cover your rent and the course fees via Kaplan are separate now and at least £4k. So if you find a law firm during your law degree to sponsor you you save that cost.
Then after the SQE you would start your 2 years paid training.

These training contracts are like gold dust particularly with firms that pay your SQE fees and very competitive indeed so many people end up not getting a TC.

You can cobble together voluntary work and pass SQE and qualify but may never get a ob as a lawyer if your 2 years QWE is not at a good firm so the fact it might be easier to qualify now is not really a massive advantage.
Original post by shehab1
( basically asking to explain the path to become a solicitor in detail)I’m applying for law at uni this year but I just want a heads up on what I’ll hopefully be doing after I’m done the degree, and the route to become a solicitor. Many of the information is changing and outdated so it’s kind of confusing. So once I’m done my law degree, I’m supposed to sit the SQE. But like how do i apply for these? Is this the LLM? Is it like a uni course?I’m honestly really confused. Im also supposed to get work experience for two years (QWE) which im also confused about ( do you get paid during those two years?). When am I supposed to apply for training contracts? Is it linked with the work experience? I’m honestly just very confused, so could someone tell me the path to become a solicitor in detail?


Hi @shehab1!

Don't worry about being confused! Currently the UK is transitioning in ways to become a solicitor which has made everyone slightly unsure of the right pathway to take so you certainly aren't alone :smile:.

As you are applying for law at undergrad this year I will focus on the route that the nation is heading towards (the SQE route). With the SQE route you will be able to self-study and then pay for the exams (there are two SQE 1 and SQE 2) without having to do the course. In theory, this makes this route cheaper and, thus, more accessible than it was before. However, in reality, it is advisable that you use a institution (such as the University of Law or similar) to do a course to prepare for these exams as the pass rate for the SQEs is not particularly high. If you choose to do a course with a university then you will likely do this over one or two years and sit your SQE exams as part of this course. Once you have done your SQEs and passed them, you will have to do 2 years of QWE (this is paid) and you find this independently through becoming a paralegal or similar. Once you have completed this QWE and your SQEs you will be qualified as a solicitor!

I hope this helps a bit :smile:

Sophie
Reply 4
Original post by UniofLaw Student
Hi @shehab1!

Don't worry about being confused! Currently the UK is transitioning in ways to become a solicitor which has made everyone slightly unsure of the right pathway to take so you certainly aren't alone :smile:.

As you are applying for law at undergrad this year I will focus on the route that the nation is heading towards (the SQE route). With the SQE route you will be able to self-study and then pay for the exams (there are two SQE 1 and SQE 2) without having to do the course. In theory, this makes this route cheaper and, thus, more accessible than it was before. However, in reality, it is advisable that you use a institution (such as the University of Law or similar) to do a course to prepare for these exams as the pass rate for the SQEs is not particularly high. If you choose to do a course with a university then you will likely do this over one or two years and sit your SQE exams as part of this course. Once you have done your SQEs and passed them, you will have to do 2 years of QWE (this is paid) and you find this independently through becoming a paralegal or similar. Once you have completed this QWE and your SQEs you will be qualified as a solicitor!

I hope this helps a bit :smile:

Sophie

Yes this helped me, thank you.
So is the SQE the same as LLM? Is it basically a masters? Also do you apply for the QWE while doing the SQE or earlier? ( is it basically a training contract?)
The SQE course does not have to be an LLM. There is an LLM version of it with UoL and BPP etc purely so people can get about £12k of student loan funding to cover some of the fees.
You apply for the QWE even BEFORE the SQE ideally, during your LLB. Law firms have their deadlines on their websites. Your aim would be to find a law firm during your LLB which would hire you years in advance for your QWE and also pay for your SQE course fees and exams.
The QWE is the 2 year training contract. However for those who cannot get a training contract, you can now do QWE even as voluntary work at up to 4 organisations such as citizens advice, law centres etc. The downside of that is that no one might hire you when you qualify so it is better to get the traditional contract from a firm of solicitors (or in-house)

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