What do solicitors do?
Solicitors form the largest part of the legal profession and they deal directly with clients who may be private individuals, companies or government departments.
The type of work in which a solicitor may get involved is extremely varied – from a husband/wife seeking advice on a divorce to matters such as buying a house, as well as dealing with high powered companies looking at mergers and acquisitions.
Solicitors work under either contentious or non-contentious work. Non-contentious work is where there is no dispute between the parties, for example the drawing up of a will, or simply a contract for sale. Contentious work is undertaken where disputes arise, for example a breach in a contract for sale.
The overarching role of the solicitor is to advise the client on any legal issues they may face.
How do I qualify as a Solicitor?
There are three stages to this process.
The first is the Academic Stage in which you must study either a Law Degree or a Non-Law Degree. You preferably should obtain either a 2:1 or above.
Secondly comes the Vocational Stage in which you must study your Legal Practice Course at Law School for one year (e.g. BPP, University of Law etc.). If you studied a Non-Law Degree then you must complete a conversion course such as the CPE, GDL or PgDL.
Finally comes the Practical Stage in which you must secure and complete a two year Training Contract in which you will work in three or four different departments before becoming a fully qualified Solicitor. Then you must find a qualification position. A lot of firms have a high retention rate for trainees, however it is not guaranteed they will keep you on, so you may have to find a job elsewhere.
How much do solicitors earn?
This varies largely depending on location and the firm you work for.
Firms in London tend to offer starting salaries beginning at £30-40,000 with these often jumping to over £60,000 upon qualification. Regional firms such as in Manchester, Liverpool and the like will typically offer lower salaries in accordance with the lower price of living in comparison to London. Starting salaries are usually hovering around £25,000 and jumping to approximately £40,000 on qualification.
Once qualified the figures vary on how much you will earn depending on which source you use, however the vast majority suggest an average salary of around £40,000 – £70,000, with the top earners and partners easily making £100,000+.
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