Solicitor Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Solicitor, or Advocate is a qualified legal practitioner who provides legal advice and conducts legal proceedings. Their duties include preparing legal documentation, representing and defending a client’s legal interests and attending meetings and negotiations.


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Solicitor duties and responsibilities

The duties of Solicitors vary depending on factors such as whether they work for a private law firm or as part of an organisation’s in-house legal department. The size of the firm also influences the scope of their work. Those working for larger firms typically specialise in one area of the law. Generally their daily duties include:

  • Meeting with clients to gather information and explain legal matters 
  • Liaising with Barristers and instructing them on cases that go to court
  • Researching and interpreting complex questions of law
  • Defending clients in court if they have extended rights of audience
  • Researching relevant laws and previous cases of interest to provide a client with accurate advice
  • Supervising and training junior Solicitors and Paralegals
  • Advising clients about appropriate behaviour while charges are pending, including social media use and confiding in family and friends
  • Keeping up to date regarding new developments in the law
  • Building strong relationships with a firm’s client base


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Solicitor Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Fortune Law has a fantastic new opportunity for a 1-3 year PQE solicitor handling a variety of business commercial matters. We are a boutique Central London Law Firm based in Chancery Lane. We specialise in supporting founders, entrepreneurs and start-ups. The key business areas which the firm advises on are company commercial, dispute resolution, employment, commercial property and intellectual property. This role is extremely hands-on with a need for high levels of accuracy and attention to detail including meeting deadlines. Excellent academics together with written and oral English skills are essential for this role along with having the ability to work under pressure and meet client expectations. We are a small and highly motivated team and are looking for someone with commercial acumen, sound legal knowledge and excellent client care skills. If you have a 2:1 or above from a reputable university and feel you would be a great fit, then please send your CV with a covering letter with specific details of your commercial experience and career aspirations to the team at detailing your availability both to interview and start work should you be successful in your application. This position is available immediately and salary will depend on the level of experience but will meet current market expectations for a Central London boutique law firm.

Example 2

Solicitor (Property) Location: Wheatley House, 25 Cochrane Street, Glasgow, G1 1HL Salary: SCP 45-48 £47,921 - £51,354 per annum Duration: Permanent Location: This role will be primarily based from home with some regular travel when required to offices Wheatley is Scotland’s leading housing, care and property-management group. It comprises six Registered Social Landlords, a care organisation and a commercial subsidiary. The Group provides homes and services to over 210,000 people in 19 local authority areas across Scotland Wheatley Group believes that providing a great service to our customers starts with employing great staff, and works hard to be an employer of choice in Scotland. Wheatley offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes a generous holiday allowance. Increasing the supply of quality, affordable homes which meet the needs and aspirations of our communities is a key focus for Wheatley Group. Wheatley’s multi-award-winning regeneration team operates across Scotland and was instrumental in Wheatley Group being named as the UK’s biggest developer of social rented homes in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 by Inside Housing. An exciting opportunity has arisen for a solicitor to join our Property Legal Team to support Wheatley Group in meeting those objectives. In addition to supporting Group’s development activities the successful candidate will be a key point of contact for housing, investment, treasury and commercial teams across Group in relation to all matters associated with Group’s land ownership. The role is varied and challenging with the provision of client-focussed legal advice (including the negotiation and drafting of documentation) at its core. Communications skills are essential in order to establish solid client relationships quickly and provide effective and pragmatic advice to colleagues at all levels. You must also be able to demonstrate a flexible approach in meeting the changing demands and priorities of the Group and be able to effectively manage your own workload in a fast paced multiple-client environment. Required skills and experience: LLB Degree or equivalent, Diploma in Legal Practice or equivalent, Membership of the Law Society of Scotland with a current and unrestricted practising certificate, established real estate experience and transactional development experience. For an informal chat about the post, please contact Jane Valentine, Chief Counsel (Property), [phone number]6 or email Closing Date: 5pm on 24 June 2021 Interviews anticipated to be held 28 June 2021 and 29 June 2021

What does a Solicitor do?

Solicitors advise individuals and companies on a variety of legal matters that range from employment to real estate. They often focus on one area of the law, such as criminal or family law, and provide specialist advice in their field of expertise. Generally, the work of a Solicitor falls into one of two categories: litigious and non-litigious. The former involves settling disputes between parties, which can happen in a court setting or via an alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration. In contrast, non-litigious work involves providing legal services, such as assisting a client in drafting a will.


Solicitor skills and qualifications

The job of a Solicitor requires constant interaction with people, whether they’re liaising with other Lawyers or communicating with clients. Solicitors should have the ability to effectively engage with all kinds of people, as they represent clients with different backgrounds, cultures and levels of education. A successful Solicitor candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Strong active listening skills to accurately gauge the opinions and requirements of stakeholders
  • Excellent negotiation skills to secure the best possible deals for their clients
  • Excellent verbal communication skills to effectively translate complex concepts into everyday language for non-experts
  • Good writing skills to draft professional and accurate legal documents and reports
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills to arrive at the best legal solutions for cases
  • Solid researching skills to conduct in-depth studies of previous cases and gather the necessary information for a case
  • Good organisational skills to deal with a heavy workload and multiple simultaneous cases 


Solicitor experience requirements

As Newly Qualified (NQ) Solicitors have two years of on-the-job experience, they are able to apply for entry-level positions. Those who are applying for more senior positions will need a certain amount of post-qualification experience (PQE). For instance, candidates who want to occupy a position as a Senior Solicitor typically need around three to six years PQE. 


Solicitor education and training requirements

There is more than one pathway to becoming a Solicitor. One option is to obtain a law degree and then complete a postgraduate Legal Practice Course (LPC). An alternative route involves obtaining a non-law degree and then completing a Graduate Diploma in Law, or taking the Common Professional Examination followed by the LPC. After completing the LPC, candidates have to complete a training contract with a law firm and then pass the Professional Skills Course. Only then can they apply for admission to the Roll of Solicitors. After this step, they can start working as Newly Qualified (NQ) Solicitors.


Solicitor salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Solicitor in the UK is  £46,952 per year . Salaries vary, depending on factors like location and area of expertise.


Job description samples for similar positions

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Solicitor job description FAQs


What is the difference between a Barrister and a Solicitor?

Typically, Barristers practise as advocates and represent their clients in court. In contrast, Solicitors mostly perform their legal work in an office setting. Solicitors with extended rights, are able to act as advocates. However, only Barristers are able to work at higher levels of court.


What are the hours of a Solicitor?

Solicitors often have a normal Monday to Friday, 40-hour work schedule. However, the job may demand working overtime, including evenings and over weekends. Also, certain areas of specialisation have more predictable hours than others. For instance, those who do advisory legal work tend to have regular hours, whereas litigation work may involve longer hours.


Who does a Solicitor report to?

The reporting structure of Solicitor depends on the work environment. Those who work as part of an in-house legal team can report to a Head of Legal Services, a Chief Counsel or a Chief Legal Officer (CLO).

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