Becoming a solicitor

In order to qualify as a solicitor in the future an individual will need to pass the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The SQE is a centralised assessment.
There are two parts to the SQE. The first part consists of show competency in six areas of law, commonly known as the Functioning of Legal Knowledge Subjects. They are:

  • Principles of Professional Conduct, Public and Administrative law, and the Legal Systems of England and Wales
  • Dispute Resolution in Contract or Tort
  • Property Law and Practice
  • Commercial and Corporate Law and Practice
  • Wills and the Administration of Estates and Trusts
  • Criminal Law and Practice.

The second stage of the SQE involves five practical legal skills assessments, which all must be completed across two different practice contexts. The practice contexts build on the Stage 1, however, test practice based competencies in the following areas:

  • Criminal Practice
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Property
  • Wills and Administration of Estates and Trusts
  • Commercial and Corporate Practice.

A number of employers, especially larger law firms, start interviewing students as early as the second year of their undergraduate degree so that they can begin training contracts immediately upon completion of the Legal Practice Course.  It is therefore important to be thinking about your future career during your degree and making yourself an appealing candidate to prospective employers.  The Careers and Employment team can help you address this.

You can find more about how to become a solicitor at

There is a different route to becoming a solicitor in Scotland.  For more information about this please contact the Careers and Employment team.