Solicitors Explained

solicitors explained - hammer and books on wooden table

So, you’ve decided to pursue a career in law, particularly the role of a solicitor. If you’re adamant about being in the legal sector, but you don’t know much about solicitors, here’s everything you need to know about the profession.

What is a solicitor?

Known as a qualified legal practitioner, a solicitor’s responsibilities include preparing legal documents, representing or defending a client and providing legal advice specialising on different areas of the law. A solicitor will also work closely with clients and these can be individual clients, people from small businesses and people from large national and international organisations.

What do they do?

Solicitors are busy bees whose work can fall under two categories:

  • Contentious legal work – This is also known as ‘litigious work’ and focuses on settling disputes between two or more groups of people. Disputes are usually resolved in a court of justice or through an alternative dispute resolution, which doesn’t involve going to court.
  • Non-contentious legal work – This is also known as ‘non-litigious work’ and aims to deal with the personal or business needs of a client using legal expertise.

hammer

The different types of solicitors

There are many different aspects of the law, which is why many solicitors choose to specialise in one or more law-related subjects. So, if you need to consult one, it’s best to contact an expert that specialises in your needs. The following are the most common types of solicitors in the UK.

Personal injury
As indicated by the name, these solicitors offer help to clients who have been in an accident that wasn’t their fault. They’re also known as personal injury lawyers who aim to get clients the compensation they need.

Family law
These solicitors specialise in resolving matters related to family life such as divorce, matrimonial agreements, child custody and child support. If you want to be a family law specialist, you should hone your conflict resolution and negotiating skills.

Immigration 
People dealing with immigration problems, migration laws and asylum laws will usually consult an immigration solicitor. These solicitors will also be able to help citizens in the UK who plan to emigrate to different countries.

Employment
Focusing on the employment sector, these solicitors represent both employer and employee. They are able to provide guidance to employers to make sure any action they take is within the law. Employment solicitors can also help employees who feel as if their rights have been violated.

Wills and probate 
Solicitors who specialise in wills and probate are experts in dealing with the estates and assets of a deceased person. They’ll be able to help clients create a last will and testament, as well as help clients to administer any estates.

Conveyancing
If you’re keen on being in the property market, conveyancing solicitors will be able to help you. These solicitors specialise in property transactions such as selling and buying a house or a flat, transferring deeds and mortgages.

Commercial
If you have a commercial business, these solicitors are the people to go to if you have any problems related to the law. They can settle disputes, create legal documents and negotiate any mergers.

lawyer writing on paper

How do you become one?

There are many routes to take to become a solicitor, but the list below outlines the paths you can consider.

Going to university
If you plan to go to university with the intention of being a solicitor, you should think about doing law since most firms require a law degree. To be qualified for a law degree, you’ll usually need:

  • At least five GCSEs at grade 4 (c) or above, including English and Maths.
  • Two or more A Levels at grade 8 (A) or 9 (A*) if you want a place in the most popular courses.

However, you don’t need to have a law degree to be in this profession. Other routes include taking an apprenticeship, and the government website has a section where you can browse their available apprenticeships before applying for one. Institutes such as Weightmans, BPP and Osborne Clarke offer solicitor apprenticeships you can consider, but don’t be afraid to do your own research!

 

This is everything you need to know about solicitors and the different types you can consider looking into. If you need advice, help, or for any enquiries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our solicitors from our directory here.

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