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.
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