Solicitors are usually the first point of contact for the public with legal questions and as such they provide their clients with specialist legal advice and help. Solicitors increasingly appear in court on behalf of their clients too. Most solicitors are employed by a partnership while others are employed by bodies such as government departments, court services or even charities. An increasing number of solicitors are now found within alternative business structures, which allow firms to be run by non-lawyers and allow external investment.
Law firms range from the smaller ones found on high streets with only a few solicitors, to very large international organisations with thousands of employees. As such, the work carried out by solicitors also varies enormously, ranging from conveyancing and drawing up wills, to advising companies on formations and takeovers.
To become a solicitor, you must complete a law degree or the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) before studying the Legal Professional Course (LPC). You will then have to complete a two year period of training with a solicitors’ firm. The format of the training contract varies between firms but usually involves spending six months in four different departments, before qualifying as a full solicitor.
See a guide to training contract deadlines here: http://www.allaboutcareers.com/campaigns/training-contract-deadlines.
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