What Qualifications Do I Need To Become A Lawyer In England?
Becoming a lawyer isn’t quite as simple as landing a typical career.
Depending on the field of law you want to go into, you’ll have to be appropriately qualified and accredited to even be considered for a role.
There are several different entry routes into the legal industry, which we’ll cover in more detail in this article.
1. Becoming a lawyer – the traditional route
The most traditional and simplest way to become a lawyer is through going to university. You’ll be required to study a relevant course at undergraduate level, which is usually labelled as a Qualifying Law Degree.
If you happen to take another undergraduate degree before deciding you want to become a lawyer, you can take a one-year graduate diploma in law, which is a conversion course that will equip you with all the necessary legal knowledge.
Note that you’ll usually be required to have passed your undergraduate course with at least a 2:2 to be accepted onto this course.
2. Becoming a solicitor – the traditional route
If you want to be a solicitor, the traditional path to get there is slightly different. You’ll have to complete a legal practice course, following which you’ll undertake specific training from a law firm that chooses to take you on.
During training, you’ll need to pass something called a Professional Skills Course, as a final, compulsory part of the qualification process.
3. Becoming a solicitor – the apprentice route
If you don’t think university is for you, you can still become a solicitor by completing an apprenticeship after college.
This programme usually spans six years, and covers the same content as a law degree, while avoiding expensive university loans. You’ll qualify as a solicitor as soon as you’ve completed your apprenticeship.
4. Becoming a barrister – the traditional route
People wanting to become a barrister will normally have to take a Bar Professional Training Course. You’ll only be accepted onto this course if you’ve achieved a 2:2 or higher in a relevant undergraduate degree, or you’ve passed the Graduate Diploma in Law course.
This course provides you with the skills you need to become first a pupil and then a barrister. It’s a year long when completed full time, and will teach you the ropes through classroom and practical work.
5. Additional support – online and in-person tutoring
Law degrees and legal training are some of the most challenging forms of education available, so it’s advised that you seek extra support on your path towards a professional qualification.
If you need a tutor to help with law degree, there are plenty of highly competent, experienced professionals who can help you achieve your full potential.
Tutoring is available online and in-person, and can match your schedule and your preferred learning style.
The process of becoming a lawyer usually takes a minimum of six years in the UK, and normally comes at a cost to you.
If you want to make your investment worthwhile, make sure to get the most out of your course and gain a full understanding of all aspects of your training as you progress.