What is a solicitor?
A solicitor is a legal practitioner who traditionally deals with most of the legal matters in some jurisdictions. They are responsible for preparing legal documentation, representing and/or defending a client’s legal interests. Aside from legal support, they also provide advice in a variety of matters such as criminal law, business law, family law and property law to the client.
How to become a solicitor?
In order to qualify, you could do a law degree, then complete the postgraduate Legal Practice Course, do a non-law degree followed by the Common Professional Examination or Graduate or Diploma in Law
To get into some universities you’ll need to pass the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT).
You also could start with a legal firm and do on-the-job training like the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) Level 6 Professional Diploma in Higher Law and Practice.
You would then complete a period of further training to qualify as a solicitor.
Solicitor duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:
- Advise a client on the law and legal issues relating to their case
- Draft documents, letters and contracts tailored to the client’s individual needs
- Negotiate with clients and other professionals to secure agreed objectives
- Research and analyse documents and case law to ensure the accuracy of advice and procedure
- Supervise the implementation of agreements
- Coordinate the work of all parties involved
- Correspond with clients and opposing solicitors
- Attend meetings and negotiations with opposing parties
- Represent and advance a clients’ interests at pertinent gatherings
- Continuously engage with legal developments
- Promote the firm’s activities
- Generate comprehensive and persuasive legal texts
To be an effective solicitor, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:
- Sharp investigative capacities
- Negotiating skills
- Problem solving skills
- Attention to detail
- Motivation and commitment
- A resolute, solution-focused, and empathic disposition
- Commercial awareness
How to find a solicitor job
These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the solicitor jobs near you, you need to:
- Search for solicitor jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
- Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
- Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs
Solicitor Job Titles
When you search for solicitor jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for solicitor jobs include;
- Legal practitioner
- Legal officer
- Legal adviser
- Legal representative
What does a solicitor do?
The job of a solicitor varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of solicitor job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience.
The day-to-day tasks of a solicitor include;
- advise and represent clients in court
- instruct barristers or advocates to act for clients
- draft confidential letters, contracts and legal documents
- research legal records and case law
- attend meetings and negotiations
- manage finances and prepare papers for court
- use plain English to explain complex legal matters to clients
- keep up to date with changes in the law