Community College Transfer To University To Become A Lawyer

by A Guest Author

While examining the routes to qualification, prospective lawyers should understand what it means to be a lawyer. In the US, the term is often used to describe an attorney but in the UK there many different types of lawyer. Most people who study law at university with the aim of entering the legal profession intend to become solicitors, but a lawyer could just as easily describe a barrister, judge, prosecutor, lecturer or professor. Knowing which path to follow en route to becoming a lawyer is obviously very important.


Qualifying as a solicitor requires the completion of several steps. First, the candidate should aim to study at degree level. This is not necessarily a prerequisite, as mature students or those with relevant vocational or academic skills can still qualify as solicitors without a degree of any kind provided that they sit and pass the Common Professional Examination (CPE).

Studying for a degree is, however, the preferred route to becoming a solicitor. The prospective lawyer need not enrol on a full-time law degree (LL.B., Bachelor of Laws), as any qualifying degree will suffice. A qualifying degree contains the academic stage of training, which includes modules such as contract and tort, so a number of combined honours degrees will be accepted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

After completing the academic stage of training, budding solicitors are required to pass the Legal Practice Course (LPC). This phase of learning typically lasts one year (longer if part time) and combines academic and vocational training elements. Essentially, the LPC aims to test students' ability to perform in a legal environment (though the course is usually based at a university).

Studying for a qualifying degree and then completing the LPC can be expensive and challenging. Before the LPC is even considered, candidates should seek work experience in a busy law firm. They should also aim to secure the next and final stage of qualification: the training contract.

Usually lasting two years, the training contract requires prospective solicitors to work as trainee solicitors in a law firm (or SRA-authorised organisation). Trainee solicitors, who are monitored throughout this period and are expected to work relatively long hours, will often spend six months at a time in four different areas or 'seats' of the practice. Upon successful completion of the training contract, the trainee can qualify as a solicitor.


The route to becoming a barrister follows a similar format. Students must complete an academic stage before progressing to the vocational stage, after which they must receive practical training for a year while supervised by an experienced barrister. This final stage of qualification is known as pupillage.

About The Author:

Vicky works alongside who are a law firm in Leicester, UK. She enjoys writing about both law and careers and has a passion to see more young people choose the profession!

This post was written by A Guest Author

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