FAQ

Application deadlines

How soon can I apply for a GDL/law conversion course?

Applications for the 2022 GDL/law conversion courses opened 4 October 2021. You can apply if you are in your final year of your degree or if you already have your degree.

How soon can I apply for the LPC and is there a deadline?

GDL/QLD/LLB students can apply for their LPC anytime during their final academic year.

Applications for the 2022 LPC opened 4 October 2021. You can apply if you are in your final year of your QLD/GDL.

LPC applicants should note that from 1 September 2021, LPC providers will need to check that applicants fall within the transitional arrangements in relation to the new SQE route to qualification. This is likely to involve checking the detail of the dates on which offers were accepted and courses started. Applicants will therefore be asked to upload to their forms evidence (which should be provided by the universities) that you either:

  • completed, started, accepted an offer of a place or paid a non-refundable deposit on a QLD by 21 September 2021 (inclusive) or

  • accepted an offer by 31 August 2021 for a place on a GDL/CPE course that started before 31 December 2021.

  • started or accepted a place on a period of recognised training (Training Contract) by 31 August 2021.

The application closing dates vary among the different course providers and so you will need to check with those you are interested in applying to what their deadlines are.  For more general guidance on when you should complete your application, however, please refer to our Application deadlines page.

What time limit is there on my law degree, Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or Legal Practice Course (LPC)?

For those considering their next steps to becoming a solicitor or barrister, the article from LawCareers.net provides clear guidance on time limits for courses.

In summary:

Solicitors

If you are doing a GDL and you want to become a solicitor - there is no expiration date, but if you wish to use it to gain entry to the LPC you must have accepted an offer of a place on a GDL by 31/8/21 and started it by 31/12/21 - see our law conversion/GDL section for further guidance. The LPC route will only be available up until 2032 and many course providers may stop running the LPC beyond a certain point, possibly as early as 2022/23, due to the implementation of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam. There is no time limit for the SQE route.

A LPC must be completed within five years of beginning the LPC. After completion, there is no expiry date on it. However, it is not recommended to leave a big gap between completing the LPC and applying for a training contract.

Barristers

If you are doing a law degree/GDL and you want to become a barrister - these courses must normally be completed within six years of starting them and you must then start a Bar training course within five years of graduating from a law degree or GDL.

A Bar training course must be started within five years of completing a law degree or GDL. You must complete the Bar course within two years (if studying it full time) or three years (if studying it part time) of graduating from your law degree/GDL.

Once you complete the Bar course, you have five years to secure pupillage before the qualification expires.

When are course application deadlines?

The application closing dates vary among the course providers and so we recommend that you check with the individual course providers what their closing dates are.  A full list of course providers can be found at Where can I study?  Please bear in mind that a course may close early for applications if places fill up quickly.

We would encourage you to complete your application as soon as possible. If you are applying from outside of the UK and need a visa, you should aim to complete your application by end May/early June. If you don’t need a visa, we recommend that you complete your application by e.g. the end of June for September courses and by end of October for January courses.

For further information about course application deadlines, please click here

Application process

Can I accept more than one offer?

You can only accept one offer. You can accept an offer from whichever institution you choose, regardless of the order in which they were placed on your form.

If you change your mind after accepting an offer, please ensure you cancel any places previously accepted prior to accepting any new offers received.

Please do check the terms and conditions of any offer you receive as there may be fee implications if you accept and then decline.

The institutions will set their own acceptance deadline dates, however, these can often be extended if you are not in a position to accept a place on their original time scale. Please liaise directly with the institutions if you have queries about an offer you have received from them.

Can I apply for a part-time courses on LawCAB?

LawCAB mainly processes applications for the full-time courses, although a few institutions are now offering part-time course applications through LawCAB.  Please use our course finder to identify which courses are offered part-time. 

Part-time courses usually take 2 years to complete. 

Can I apply if I have a criminal conviction?

Having a criminal conviction could affect your eligibility to qualify as a solicitor or a barrister. If you have a criminal conviction we would advise you to contact the SRA (for solicitors) or BSB (for barristers) before embarking on your route to qualification.

 

Can I apply to more than one institution, or make more than one application?

You can only make one GDL/law conversion, LPC or SQE application per academic year, but you can apply to up to three institutions at a time on your application form. If you want to change the institution choices on your form after you have submitted it, or after it has been released, please email applications@lawcabs.ac.uk including your full name and applicant ID (AXXXXXX), providing the full details of the institutions and/or courses you would like to add or remove.

Your form is released at the same time to all of those you select to apply to.  Each institution will be able to see who else you have applied to and the order of preference in which you placed them. You should hear back from each of the institutions you apply to and can choose which offer you want to accept, regardless of where the institution was placed on your form.  You may only accept one offer though!

If you wish to apply to new institutions after your form has been released, please be aware that we will need to withdraw your application from one or more of the institutions you originally applied to on the basis that your application cannot be with more than three course providers at any one time.  If you email us with the changes you wish to make, we will notify any new institution(s) added and also notify those removed from your form that your application has been withdrawn.

Please note: Your application may only be with a maximum of three institutions at any one time. Do not attempt to create a duplicate account with the intention of creating a new application as the system will prevent you from submitting a new one if you already have a live application on the system.

Can I do individual modules instead of a whole course?

For enquiries about taking individual modules rather than a whole course, please contact the relevant institution directly.  A list of the course providers, including contact details, can be found in Where can I study?

How do I apply for a course on LawCAB?

Read about our application process for full details on how to make your application.

How do I track my application status?

Please refer to our tracking your form section for guidance on how to track your application and understand which point in the process you have reached.

How long will it take for me to receive a response to my application?

Although we would usually advise applicants to allow 5-10 working days, we are aware that this can sometimes take longer during busy periods.

As LawCAB has no role in the application process after your form has been released to the institutions, you are advised to contact your chosen institutions directly for an update on the status of your application.

A full list of the course providers and their contact details, can be found at Where can I study?

What does ‘aggregate marks’ mean?

The form asks those who have not yet completed their degree to enter their overall/average mark for years 1 and 2 (or final two years if your degree is a 4 year course).

You are then also asked to enter in your expected final result.

It is important that you upload a copy of your transcript (or a screenshot from your student portal if you do not have a transcript) showing your marks to date as those you apply to will need this when they consider your application.

What is a personal statement and what should I include in it?

Your personal statement is your opportunity to tell the universities about yourself and why they should offer you a place on their courses. It should be written as generically as possible because your completed application will be released to all of the institutions that you have selected on your form.

Your personal statement is important as it forms part of the criteria the universities will take into account when considering your application. They will be using it to assess your written English as well as your motivation for studying the course for you which you are applying.

The following are suggestions for what you might want to include in your personal statement:

  • Why you are applying for the course
  • What interests you about the course
  • What motivates you
  • Your future career
  • Your skills and achievements
  • Your hobbies
  • Your work experience

Although you are allowed up to 10,000 characters (including all punctuation, paragraph breaks etc), you are not expected to write an essay. Most applicants submit a personal statement that is approximately 500-1000 words (3-4000 characters).

You can either write the statement in a word processing package and then copy and paste the information into the box provided, or if you prefer, upload your personal statement as a document to the Reason & Personal Statement section of the form. Please ensure you save the page after adding narrative into the box.

What is a reference?

Most course providers require a recommendation or statement of support from someone who knows you (not a family member) and can confirm your suitability for the course for which you are applying.

For the purposes of your LawCAB application, this person would ideally comment on your academic abilities and suitability for post-graduate study and a career in law.

Your reference forms part of the criteria that the institutions will take into account when considering your application and so it’s really important that you check with the person you nominate that they are able and willing to provide you with a reference in support of your application. 

Do not nominate someone as a referee without checking with them first!

What is a transcript?

This is a document from your university which lists the courses you have studied as part of your degree (or GDL/law conversion) and the marks you have been awarded. An unofficial transcript showing the marks you have received to date is fine for those who have not yet completed their studies.

If you do not yet have a copy of your transcript and cannot obtain one from your university, please use a screenshot from your student portal showing your marks. The institutions you apply to may then ask you for an official version further on in the application process.

When will my application be released to my institution choices?

Once your application is complete (paid for, submitted by you, and a reference provided by your referee (if required)), it will automatically be released to your chosen institutions.

Will the institutions I apply to see my other institution choices?

Yes - your form is released at the same time to all of those you selected to apply to.  Each institution will be able to see who else you have applied to and the order of preference in which you placed them. 

You should hear back from each of the institutions you apply to and can choose which offer you want to accept, regardless of where the institution was placed on your form.  You may only accept one offer though!

Application references

Can I nominate a new referee?

If you need to nominate a new referee, please email the LawCAB team at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk including your full name and applicant ID together with the details of the referee would you like to nominate in place of your original referee.

Please include title, first name, last name and email address of your new referee.

If you are changing your referee, please also be sure to notify your original referee that a reference is no longer needed.

What is a reference?

Most course providers require a recommendation or statement of support from someone who knows you (not a family member) and can confirm your suitability for the course for which you are applying.

For the purposes of your LawCAB application, this person would ideally comment on your academic abilities and suitability for post-graduate study and a career in law.

Your reference forms part of the criteria that the institutions will take into account when considering your application and so it’s really important that you check with the person you nominate that they are able and willing to provide you with a reference in support of your application. 

Do not nominate someone as a referee without checking with them first!

What should I do if my referee hasn't received the reference request?

When you submit your form, an automated reference request is sent to your referee at the email address you have provided. If your referee has not received our email please check that you have provided the correct email address in your form.

Occasionally emails generated by the system can get caught up in spam/junk/promotions folders so do ask your referee to check there if our email has not reached the inbox.

If no email has been received please ask your referee to email the reference directly to us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk and we will upload it to complete the process for you.

Who should I ask to provide a reference?

If you are a current undergraduate or a recent graduate, you are encouraged to nominate a current academic tutor who can comment on your academic abilities and suitability for post-graduate study for a career in law, and also provide an expected final grade if possible.

It is really important that you check with your referee before you nominate them, as some referees will not be able to provide you with a reference and some may no longer be working at the academic institution if you are not a current student. It is also worth bearing mind holiday periods when referees may be away and unable to pick up emails.  

If you cannot nominate an academic tutor, you should nominate a current or recent employer to provide a reference in support of your application. Please do check with your employer before you nominate them as some employers will only provide a basic employment reference.

If you do not have a current or recent employer that you can nominate, and are not able to nominate a tutor from your university, please could we suggest that you nominate a regulated professional (for example, a teacher, doctor, lawyer, accountant) who knows you well enough to provide a reference in support of your application.

Please note that references from family members are not permissible.

Important: Delays in receiving references from referees will cause delays in your application being released to your chosen institutions. Please ensure you follow up with your referee once you submit your application, to ensure that they have received a reference request (spam filters may block requests) and are able to submit your reference in good time, before courses close to new applications. Please pay particular attention to reference requests submitted during periods of academic shutdown when referees may be on annual leave for several weeks.

Why can't I add my referee details into my form?

If you have indicated in the course fee payer section of your form that you have a Training Contract, the system will over-ride the reference section as in these circumstances the institutions would not ask for a reference.

If you are already studying/or have studied at the same institution that you are applying to, and it is the only institution on your form, a reference is not required.

There are some course providers who do not ask for a reference generally or for a particular course.

Where a reference is needed, you will be able to enter the necessary details into the referee details section of your form. If the referee details section tells you that a reference is not necessary, it means the form has picked up one or more 'rules' which will over-ride the reference function and so if your form does not ask you to provide reference details, please don't worry! 

Why hasn't my application been released to my chosen institution(s)?

Your application will only be released to your chosen institutions after you have submitted your form and your referee has provided a reference for you - unless your application does not require a reference, in which case it will be released as soon as you submit it.

Once you have you have submitted your form and your referee has successfully uploaded your reference, your form is automatically released to your chosen institutions.  At this point, you will receive an automatic notification letting you know that your form has been completed and that the institution(s) you have applied to will follow up with you directly when they have considered your application.

Please note: It is your responsibility to ensure that your referee has received the reference request and submits your reference in good time. 

You can track the progress of your form by logging into your account.  Refer to our guidance on tracking your form if you are not sure what the status of your application is.

Why hasn't my referee received an automated reference request from LawCAB?

When you submit your form, an automated reference request is sent to your referee at the email address you provided in the referee details section of your form.

If your referee has not received our email, please check that you have provided the correct email address in your form.

Emails generated by the system can sometimes get caught up in spam/junk folders or blocked by antispam filters, so always ask your referee to check spam/junk folders, in case the email has not reached the inbox.

If no email has been received please ask your referee to email the reference directly to us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk, quoting your name, applicant ID (AXXXXXX) and application ID number (FXXXXXX). We will then upload the reference to your form to complete the process for you.

When your reference has been successfully submitted, you will receive an automated notification letting you know that your form is complete and that those you have applied to will follow up with you directly when they have considered your application.

Please note: your application will not be released to your chosen institution(s) until your referee has submitted your reference (if a reference is required). You will receive notification that your form has been released when your reference has been uploaded to your application. It is your responsibility to ensure that your referee has received the request and submits your reference in good time.

Why hasn't the institution I have applied to received my application?

Your form is automatically released to all the institutions you have selected to apply to as soon as your reference is successfully submitted. An institution will not be able to view your application unless your form has been released to them. Forms can only be released when they have been submitted and the reference has been received (unless a reference request was not required in which case your form would be released automatically on submission).

You can check the status of your application by logging into the LawCAB system and viewing your account.  For guidance on how to track the status of your form, please click here.

If you are contacting an institution directly about the status of your application, we recommend that you provide them with your applicant ID and form release date to help them identify your application on LawCAB. 

If your form has been released and the institution concerned has told that you that they have not received it, please get in touch with us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk

Application troubleshooting

What should I do if I cannot see my school/college/course of study/results type in the drop down menus in the academic history section?

Please select ‘Other’ and then type the required information into the free text box that will appear.

What should I do if my referee hasn't received the reference request?

When you submit your form, an automated reference request is sent to your referee at the email address you have provided. If your referee has not received our email please check that you have provided the correct email address in your form.

Occasionally emails generated by the system can get caught up in spam/junk/promotions folders so do ask your referee to check there if our email has not reached the inbox.

If no email has been received please ask your referee to email the reference directly to us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk and we will upload it to complete the process for you.

Why are my residence details not saving?

If you are having problems saving information in the residence details section of the form, this can usually be resolved by accessing the site with a different, up to date, web browser. If the problem persists, however, please contact us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk.

Why can't I add my referee details into my form?

If you have indicated in the course fee payer section of your form that you have a Training Contract, the system will over-ride the reference section as in these circumstances the institutions would not ask for a reference.

If you are already studying/or have studied at the same institution that you are applying to, and it is the only institution on your form, a reference is not required.

There are some course providers who do not ask for a reference generally or for a particular course.

Where a reference is needed, you will be able to enter the necessary details into the referee details section of your form. If the referee details section tells you that a reference is not necessary, it means the form has picked up one or more 'rules' which will over-ride the reference function and so if your form does not ask you to provide reference details, please don't worry! 

Why can't I amend my form after I have submitted it?

After you have submitted your form, you can no longer amend it yourself.

If you you need to make changes, such as your institution choices, please email applications@lawcabs.ac.uk, giving your full name and applicant ID and we will either return your application to you so that you can edit your form yourself, or we can make any requested changes for you.

Please note: once your form has been released, we cannot return the form to you and only we can make any changes to it.

If you are not sure of the status of your form, please use our guidance on tracking your form.

Why can't I amend my previous form to apply for a new academic year?

You cannot edit or re-use an application made for a previous academic year if it has been released to institutions in the previous academic year; each academic year is considered separately and a new application will be required in these cases.

If you made an application for September 2021 and wish to apply again for September 2022, you will need to begin a new application form on the system.  If your previous application is not yet closed, please email us so that we can close it for you to enable you to create a new form.

(We are also unable to transfer e.g. LPC applications to the other application types or vice versa.) If your form was not released in the previous academic year, it can be edited for the current academic year, so please contact us on applications@lawcabs.ac.uk in these cases.

Why can't I create a new application form?

You will not be able to create a new application form on the system if you already have an application for the same form type (e.g GDL/Law conversion, SQE, LPC) in a previous year which has not been closed, or if you have a live application for the current academic year.

If you have a form from a previous academic year which has not been closed, please email us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk including your full name and applicant ID.

If you have already made an application for the same form type for the current academic year and want to apply to new universities, please email us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk including your full name and applicant ID with your new course choices. NB. As your application cannot include more than three institutions at any one time, you will need to let us know which of your current choices you want to withdraw from if you have already selected three institutions, as well as which new universities you want to apply to.

Do not attempt to create a duplicate application form by creating a duplicate account in the system, as it will not be possible to complete it due to system duplicate account rules. Please contact us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk in these cases.

Why can't I enter my personal details into an application?

You will not be able to create a new account on the system if you already have an account from a previous application.  You will be blocked from entering your personal details if you try to create a duplicate account with a new email address.

Do not attempt to create a duplicate account. Instead, please contact us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk in these cases, so that we can advise you how to access your original account, or update your account with a new email address. We will ask you for specific information to confirm your ID before making any changes to your original account.

Why can't I make changes to my form?

After you submit your form, you cannot make further amendments to it yourself. For guidance on your form status, please refer to Tracking your form.

If you realise you have made an error in your application or want to make changes to it, such as your institution choices, please email applications@lawcabs.ac.uk, giving your name and applicant ID.  We can either make the changes for you or, if your form has not already been released, we can return it to you to enable you to make the changes yourself.   

Why can't I sign up?

If you have previously registered on the LawCAB site, you will not be able to re-register. You will need to use the email address you originally signed-up with to login, but if you can’t remember your password, please go to the login page and click on the ‘Forgotten Password’ link. You will then need to enter and submit your email address. A password recovery email will be sent to your inbox but if you don’t receive this, please check your junk/spam/promotions folders in case it has got stuck there.

If you no longer have access to the email you originally registered under, please contact us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk providing details of your original email address, date of birth and address so that we can identify your account to reset it for you.

When you are logging in/signing up to LawCAB, please also make sure that you are accessing the site using the most up to date version of your internet browser.

Why does the system say that my email address is not confirmed?

When you signed up to the site, an email verification will have been sent to your inbox, containing a link asking you to confirm your email address. Please make sure that you use the link as soon as it is received, as it is time sensitive.

If you have not received the email verification link, it’s possible it has got stuck in your junk/spam folders (or ‘promotions’ tab in gmail). 

If you cannot find the email, however, please contact us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk.

Please also make sure that you are accessing the site using the most up to date version of your internet browser.

Why hasn't my application been released to my chosen institution(s)?

Your application will only be released to your chosen institutions after you have submitted your form and your referee has provided a reference for you - unless your application does not require a reference, in which case it will be released as soon as you submit it.

Once you have you have submitted your form and your referee has successfully uploaded your reference, your form is automatically released to your chosen institutions.  At this point, you will receive an automatic notification letting you know that your form has been completed and that the institution(s) you have applied to will follow up with you directly when they have considered your application.

Please note: It is your responsibility to ensure that your referee has received the reference request and submits your reference in good time. 

You can track the progress of your form by logging into your account.  Refer to our guidance on tracking your form if you are not sure what the status of your application is.

Why hasn't my referee received an automated reference request from LawCAB?

When you submit your form, an automated reference request is sent to your referee at the email address you provided in the referee details section of your form.

If your referee has not received our email, please check that you have provided the correct email address in your form.

Emails generated by the system can sometimes get caught up in spam/junk folders or blocked by antispam filters, so always ask your referee to check spam/junk folders, in case the email has not reached the inbox.

If no email has been received please ask your referee to email the reference directly to us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk, quoting your name, applicant ID (AXXXXXX) and application ID number (FXXXXXX). We will then upload the reference to your form to complete the process for you.

When your reference has been successfully submitted, you will receive an automated notification letting you know that your form is complete and that those you have applied to will follow up with you directly when they have considered your application.

Please note: your application will not be released to your chosen institution(s) until your referee has submitted your reference (if a reference is required). You will receive notification that your form has been released when your reference has been uploaded to your application. It is your responsibility to ensure that your referee has received the request and submits your reference in good time.

Why hasn't the institution I have applied to received my application?

Your form is automatically released to all the institutions you have selected to apply to as soon as your reference is successfully submitted. An institution will not be able to view your application unless your form has been released to them. Forms can only be released when they have been submitted and the reference has been received (unless a reference request was not required in which case your form would be released automatically on submission).

You can check the status of your application by logging into the LawCAB system and viewing your account.  For guidance on how to track the status of your form, please click here.

If you are contacting an institution directly about the status of your application, we recommend that you provide them with your applicant ID and form release date to help them identify your application on LawCAB. 

If your form has been released and the institution concerned has told that you that they have not received it, please get in touch with us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk

Why haven't I received my password reset email?

If your password recovery email does not reach your inbox, please check your junk/spam/promotions folders in case it has been sent there. If nothing has come through, please contact us at applications@lawcabs.ac.uk.

Please also make sure that you are accessing the site using the most up to date version of your internet browser.

Why is my academic history section not saving or showing a green tick beside it?

The academic history section in the GDL/law conversion and SQE course form is mandatory.  You must enter the details of your academic qualifications into the form itself (by clicking on +add a record) and save this section.

Transcripts/certificates must also be uploaded in addition to the information you enter into this section.

If you are completing the LPC form, the academic history section is not mandatory on the basis that you will have entered your QLD/GDL/law conversion details into the LPC Qualification Route. You must, however, upload your transcripts/certificates to the academic history section.

Funding

Where can I find information about scholarships/student loans/sponsorship etc?

LawCAB does not hold information about funding for legal courses, however we have collated useful information in our Funding your course section.

If funding your training is a concern, you may also wish to consider a solicitor apprenticeship where your employer will cover the cost of any courses and SQE assessments whilst paying you a salary, so you can earn while you learn.

International Applicants

Do I need a certificate of academic standing if I have a non-UK degree?

If your degree was gained outside of England and Wales and you wish to apply for a law conversion/GDL with the intention of going on to qualify as a solicitor, a certificate of academic standing is not required but please ensure that you attach to your form a copy of your degree including transcript(s).

If your degree was gained outside of England and Wales and you wish to apply for a law conversion/GDL with the intention of going on to qualify as a barrister, you should apply for a Certificate of Academic Standing from the Bar Standards Board (BSB) before beginning a law conversion/GDL course.

Do I need a student visa before I apply and how do I obtain a student visa?

To apply for a student visa, you must already have an offer of a place from an institution. Please liaise directly with the institution you have applied to regarding a student visa, once your form has been released to them.

Apply as early as possible to ensure there is sufficient time to deal with your visa requirements.

If you require a visa, you will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) form/letter from your chosen institution, issued to you after you have accepted an offer of a place to study with the university, as part of your visa application. The institutions will have strict deadlines for issuing CAS letters, so you must ensure that you accept your offer and adhere to CAS deadlines within the timeframes given by the institutions.

Applicants will find further information on visas at the UK government website.  

For information about the Graduate Visa, please click here

You may also find the information on the British Council website helpful, particularly the guidance on post-study work opportunities and visas.

Do I need to get my non-UK degree verified by UK ENIC before I apply?

International applicants do not need to have their grades verified by UK ENIC for the LawCAB application, however, some institutions will ask applicants with overseas degrees to have their qualifications verified by UK ENIC as a condition of any offers made to ensure their studies are equivalent to a UK degree. If you are applying with a non-UK law degree, you should include in your application any transcripts/certificates you have. The institutions will then let you know further on in the application process if and when they require verification by UK ENIC. (Please note that LawCAB does not verify international degrees.)

For applicants with a non-UK degree wishing to follow the SQE route to qualification, regardless of whether or not you apply for a SQE course, you will need to show that your degree is equivalent to a UK degree/equivalent qualification through a UK ENIC Statement of Comparability as part of the application process to the SRA for admission as a solicitor. For further information about degree requirements for the SQE route, please refer to the SRA website which also explains how to apply for degree equivalence.

Do I need to pass an English language test if I am not from the UK?

An English language test certificate is not required by LawCAB as part of the application process. If required, the institutions themselves will make sitting the examination part of any conditional offers made. If you already have a certificate, this should be attached to the LawCAB application form.

Please contact the institutions you want to apply to for further information on their English language requirements.  A list of the course providers, with contact details can be found in Where can I study?  We also provide links to relevant web pages in our course finder section, some of which will include IELTs requirements.  

What course should I do if I am a lawyer qualified in another jurisdiction?

If you are a lawyer who is already qualified in another jurisdiction then you can seek admission as a solicitor of England and Wales via the SQE route.  Please refer to our SQE section for full information about how to qualify through the SQE.

As part of your qualification through the SQE, you need to pass two SQE assessments.  You can decide yourself how you want to prepare for the assessments - there is no prescribed route for doing this, and so you are free to choose a course that suits you.

If you have not previously studied law in the UK, you could consider a GDL/law conversion course, however, as a qualified lawyer you may feel that you have studied law sufficiently, or may even have previously studied law in the UK, in which case an SQE preparation course geared specifically to the SQE assessments may be more suitable for you.  It is worth familiarising yourself with what the two assessments will be testing you on and choose a course which best fits in with the studies you have already undertaken as well as the areas of interest you might have. 

Use our course finder to explore the courses on offer and what stage in your qualification journey they will take you to. 

When you are choosing a course, keep a close eye on the course outcome as it is really important to understand what the course will provide you with, taking into account your educational background and what your next steps will need to be once you have completed the course. Some will be SQE assessment ready, some might offer the option of SQE modules while others will not include specific SQE assessment preparation and you will need to undertake some form of additional top-up course before you sit the assessments.

When it comes to course fees, refer to the relevant course pages of the university websites to help you identify the best option for you based on your needs and the kind of training, opportunities and academic qualification you are looking to gain.  

It’s important to remember also that the SQE assessments are separate from the courses and are managed centrally by Kaplan. Unless your course specifically indicates that the cost of the assessments is included in your course fees, you should factor in the cost of the assessments on top of your course fees.

If you hold a non-UK degree, you will need to provide a UK ENIC Statement of Comparability when you apply to the SRA for admission as a solicitor. The SRA would not require this, however, from a candidate who has a UK LLM at the point at which they apply for admission as a solicitor. 

Alternatively, as a qualified lawyer you may already have much of the knowledge and experience that the Solicitors Regulation Authority is aiming to test through the SQE.  If you can demonstrate that you have the legal knowledge, skills and competences equivalent to those required of a newly admitted English solicitor, you may be able to apply for an exemption from one, or even both, of the SQE assessments. Further guidance for qualified lawyers is available from the SRA.

In addition, as a qualified lawyer from another jurisdiction, you are not required to do Qualifying Work Experience (QWE), as the SRA will recognise your existing qualification and experience.

If, however, you seek exemptions from SQE1 and/or SQE2, you would need a minimum of 2 years work experience which the SRA would want to consider before admitting you as a solicitor in England and Wales. This could entail the SRA seeking confirmation of your work experience and/or a certificate of good standing from a referee - for example, if your work experience is not a standard part of a qualification that the SRA has already recognised and is being relied on for equivalence.

If, as a qualified lawyer, you are granted an exemption from SQE2, the SRA may require you to demonstrate your English or Welsh language competence.

A lawyer who is qualified outside of the UK and has been practising for three years or more and wishes to qualify as a barrister in the UK should contact the Bar Standards Board.

What course should I do if I have a non-qualifying UK law degree, or a law degree obtained from outside the UK?

From 1 September 2021, if you want to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales, you will need to do so through the SQE.  Please refer to our SQE section for full information about how to qualify through the SQE.

As part of your qualification through the SQE, you need to pass two SQE assessments: SQE 1 and SQE 2. You can decide yourself how you want to prepare for the assessments - there is no prescribed route for doing this, and so you are free to choose a course that suits you, taking into account the studies you have already undertaken as well as the areas of interest you might have. 

If you are looking for a solid academic background in law to add to your CV and have not previously studied law in the UK, you could consider a GDL/law conversion course.  These courses are suitable for both aspiring solicitors and barristers and so also work really well if you are not yet sure which qualification route you want to take. A GDL/law conversion will provide you with a thorough grounding in law from which you can go on to undertake additional SQE preparation if you want to be a solicitor or a Bar Training Course if you want to be a barrister.  

There are also SQE courses on offer for aspiring solicitors which are tailored to non-law graduates and will enable you to sit SQE 1 and/or SQE 2 without the need for further preparation.

When you are choosing a course, keep a close eye on the course outcome as it is really important to understand what the course will provide you with, taking into account your educational background, aspirations for your career in law and what your next steps will need to be once you have completed the course. Some will be SQE assessment ready, some might offer the option of SQE modules while others will not include specific SQE assessment preparation and you will need to undertake some form of additional top-up course before you sit the assessments.

When it comes to course fees, refer to the relevant course pages of the university websites to help you identify the best option for you based on your needs and the kind of training, opportunities and academic qualification you are looking to gain.  Some courses may offer you the chance to work in a law-clinic and others may offer qualifying work experience placements.  These are all factors to consider when you are comparing course fees and making your choices.

It’s important to remember also that the SQE assessments are separate from the courses and are managed centrally by Kaplan. Unless your course specifically indicates that the cost of the assessments is included in your course fees, you should factor in the cost of the assessments on top of your course fees.

If you hold a non-UK degree, you will need to provide a UK ENIC Statement of Comparability when you apply to the SRA for admission as a solicitor. The SRA would not require this, however, from a candidate who has a UK LLM at the point at which they apply for admission as a solicitor.

Use our course finder to explore the courses on offer and what stage in your qualification journey they will take you to.  

Law conversion/GDL

Can I apply for a GDL/ law conversion course if I don't have a degree?

Most of the course providers will require a degree (or equivalent qualification) as part of their eligibility criteria.  Please check with the institution you are interested in applying to in the first instance.

For applicants without a degree who wish to qualify as a solicitor, please refer to the SRA website for further information.

Please refer to the Bar Standards Boards website for their entry requirements.

Can I apply for a GDL/law conversion course if I don't have a 2:2 degree?

Although most of the institutions ask for a minimum 2:2 in order to study for a GDL/law conversion, they will consider each application individually.

Applicants should complete the application in full, providing as much detail as possible in the personal statement, including any mitigating factors or problems they have experienced during their studies which may have affected their end results. They should also contact one of their academic tutors to ask them to provide a full supporting reference. The institutions will then be able to take everything into consideration when reviewing the application.

Please note that CAB does not hold a list of providers who will accept applicants who do not meet the usual requirement in obtaining at least a lower second (2:2) in their degree studies.

Further information about the degree (or equivalent) requirements for qualifying as a solicitor can be found on the SRA website.

For those wishing to qualify as a barrister, please refer to the Bar Standards Board website for their entry requirements, which state that  a degree with a minimum 2:2 award is an essential requirement.

Can I apply for GDL course exemptions?

For applicants who are eligible to qualify as a solicitor through the LPC route, enquiries about eligibility for partial exemptions should be made through the relevant course provider in the first instance. If you wish to apply for a full exemption from the GDL, please contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for further information about applying for Equivalent Means (Exemptions)

For applicants wishing to pursue a career as a barrister, please contact the Bar Standards Board (BSB) for further information about applying for waivers and exemptions.

Can I still apply for a GDL/law conversion course after 31 August 2021?

Yes, absolutely! GDL/law conversion courses are a great option for non-law graduates (or those with law degrees obtained outside of the UK) wishing to become barristers or solicitors and for those who are not yet sure.

Please note: the 31 August 2021 was the deadline for those wanting to start a GDL with a view to qualifying as a solicitor through the LPC route.  The SRA website contains further details on the transition arrangements if you are unsure which qualification route you are eligible for.

Visit our GDL/law conversion page for further information about law conversion courses.  

For more information about qualifying as a solicitor, click here.

Find out more here about qualifying as a barrister.

How do I apply for a GDL, PGDL or LLM?

If you have not yet decided whether you want to qualify as a solicitor or a barrister, you can apply for a GDL/PgDL law conversion course through the GDL/law conversion form.

To apply for an LLM, please select the form appropriate to the route you are seeking to qualify through.

  • If you wish to qualify as a barrister or are unsure of your final career route and wish to do a law conversion LLM, please select the GDL/law conversion form.
  • For LLMs tailored to applicants looking qualify through the SQE route, please select the SQE form.
  • If you are looking for a LPC LLM, you will find these in the LPC application form.

You will be able to select the relevant course from the dropdown list of courses under each institution when you reach the course choice section of the application form.

    Information about the courses offered by each institution can be found in Where can I study?. You can also search for courses using our course finder.

    As with all courses, do make sure that you check the eligibility criteria for the course you want to apply for before you submit your application. If in doubt, please contact the admissions teams at your chosen institutions for clarification.

    How do I apply for the MA Law (conversion) or MA Law (SQE1)?

    If you wish to do an MA Law (conversion) or MA Law (SQE 1) with a view to qualifying as either a solicitor or a barrister, please select the GDL/law conversion form on LawCAB.  You will be able to select the course(s) you want to apply for from the dropdown list of options when you reach the course choice section of your form.  

    As with all courses, do make sure that you check the eligibility criteria before you submit your application. Use our course finder to check the eligibility requirements for the courses you are interested in. 

    If in doubt, please contact your chosen institution(s) for clarification. A list of course providers with contact details is available in Where can I Study?

    How is the SQE route different from the LPC route to qualification?

    Up until 1 September 2021, anyone wanting to qualify as a solicitor had to do either a UK qualifying law degree (QLD) or, if they did not have a QLD, a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) (also known as the Common Professional Examination).  On completion of a QLD or GDL, you would go on to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and undertake a two year period of recognised training - commonly referred to as a Training Contract. 

    The QLD, GDL and LPC are courses which cover prescribed subjects and were validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). 

    From 1 September 2021, anyone wishing to qualify as a solicitor who has not already embarked on the LPC route, will need to qualify under the new SQE route. 

    The SQE offers a flexible route to qualification, part of which entails passing two assessments. It is completely up to you how you prepare for the assessments; you could decide that you don’t need to do any preparation at all (although we would encourage you to do your research before reaching that decision), or that you prefer to prepare through self-study and the use of online learning tools. For those looking for more structured support, however, universities and other course providers offer a variety of courses to help you prepare for the SQE assessments, either through online, part-time or full-time teaching. Some courses might be at post-graduate diploma or masters level and others could be shorter, SQE preparation/top-up courses or modules. One of the differences between the SQE route and the LPC route is that under the SQE, courses can be determined by the universities/course providers themselves and do not need to be validated by the SRA. 

    Unlike the LPC, there is no prescribed route for completing your qualification as a solicitor, however, in order to qualify, you must have:

    Although aspiring solicitors will still need to complete two years of work experience before qualifying, this no longer needs to take the form of a Training Contract.  Rather, you have the option of completing your qualifying work experience (QWE) in up to four placements, which offers greater flexibility to both aspiring solicitors and prospective employers who may not previously have been able to commit to offering two year Training Contracts.

    For further information about qualifying through the SQE, including QWE, please refer to our SQE section.

    How soon can I apply for a GDL/law conversion course?

    Applications for the 2022 GDL/law conversion courses opened 4 October 2021. You can apply if you are in your final year of your degree or if you already have your degree.

    Should I choose to qualify through the QLD/GDL+LPC or the SQE?

    If you know that you are eligible to qualify either through the QLD/GDL+LPC or the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), you will need to determine which route will best serve you, taking into account your current education, employment status, the financial implications and your future employment aspirations. 

    First, make sure you fully understand the steps you would need to complete for each route in order to achieve qualification. Visit our LPC and SQE sections for a full outline of the qualification requirements for each.

    Outlined below are a few of the factors you might want to consider when deciding which route to take.

    GDL/LPC with Training Contract versus SQE with QWE route
    If you choose the GDL/LPC route, you will need to complete a 2-year training contract before you can qualify as a solicitor. This is often the biggest stumbling block for aspiring solicitors because there are far fewer training contracts available than the numbers applying for them; many pass the LPC to find they are unable to complete their qualification because they cannot secure a Training Contract. Some applicants secure Training Contracts early on to cover the cost of their GDL and/or LPC. In the short-term, firms may be slow to take up the SQE and so you may find that if you do secure a Training contract this year, you are asked to undertake the GDL/LPC qualification route.

    Flexibility
    The GDL/LPC route is ‘tried and tested’ and familiar to employers across the legal market in the UK, and in other jurisdictions, however, the flexibility of the SQE means that not only are you able to choose how you prepare for the SQE assessments, but also how you achieve your qualifying work experience (QWE); under the SQE you are not restricted to needing to complete a fixed two year Training Contract.  Rather, you could gain your 2 years of QWE in up to four different work placements, which could include for example time spent working at a law clinic and/or working in law firms. You could do this before, during or after your assessments and so you might find that any experience you already have could count towards your qualifying working experience.

    Further information about the SQE can be found on the SRA's dedicated SQE website.

    I have a qualifying law degree
    If you have a QLD you can still apply for the LPC which is a year-long course (if taken full-time) and would then need to be followed by a period of recognised training (Training Contract) (2 years) before you qualify as a solicitor. The cost of the LPC varies depending on where you do it. If you secure a Training Contract the firm may cover or contribute towards this cost.

    Time: 1 year LPC + 2 years Training Contract = 3 years (4 years if studying part-time)
    Cost: up to £16,750 (depending on course provider and location)

    Alternatively, you can continue your journey through the SQE route instead. It is likely you will still need to undertake additional preparation to pass the SQE 1 assessment but you might find that a short SQE course, independent study or even relevant work experience is sufficient. Or you can choose a fuller, post-graduate course such as an MA or LLM which incorporates SQE preparation. Bear in mind that any courses you do may not include the cost of the assessments themselves and so you will need to factor this in to any budgeting.

    Time: 6-24 months depending on the type of course and mode of study you choose + 2 years QWE which can be done before, during or after your assessments.
    Cost: £3,980 for the two SQE assessments + course costs.

    I have a non-qualifying law degree
    Under the old route, you have to do the GDL prior to taking the LPC. Please bear in mind that if you do wish to qualify through the LPC, you must have accepted an offer by 31 August 2021 for a place on a GDL course that starts by 31 December 2021 and retain evidence of this for your future LPC application.

    Time: 2 years plus 2 year Training Contract = 4 years (6 years if studying part-time)
    Cost: up to £30,000 (depending on course providers and location)

    When you consider the SQE route, it is worth looking at whether your law degree has covered some of the subjects that come up in the SQE 1 assessment, particularly those traditionally known as the seven foundations of legal knowledge. If so, you might feel that a short SQE preparation course, independent study and/or relevant work experience is sufficient to get you through the assessments and could potentially save you the cost of a full law conversion course and LPC. Alternatively, a longer post-graduate course incorporating SQE preparation could also be an attractive option, still potentially saving you time and money, and giving you that additional academic qualification of an MA or LLM, for example.

    Time: 6-24 months depending on the type of course and mode of study you choose + 2 years QWE which can be done before, during or after your assessments.
    Cost: £3,980 for the two SQE assessments + course costs.

    I have a non-law degree
    If you have never studied law previously, or you have gained your law degree outside of the UK, a GDL/law conversion course offers a comprehensive foundation in law, with the option of adding a Masters qualification on top, enabling those that pass to go on to complete the LPC. Please bear in mind that if you do wish to qualify through the LPC, you must have accepted an offer by 31 August 2021 for a place on a GDL course that starts by 31 December 2021 and retain evidence of this for your future LPC application.

    Time: 2 years plus 2 year Training Contract = 4 years (6 years if studying part-time)
    Cost: up to £30,000 (depending on course providers and location)

    If you opt for the SQE route, you could consider a postgraduate course, such as an PgDL, MA or LLM incorporating SQE preparation, which would fulfil the same ‘law conversion’ role as the GDL. You could also choose a shorter SQE preparation course, but if you have no previous experience in the law either through your studies or through work, you might feel you want a longer course with a post-graduate law qualification to add to your CV.

    Time: 6-24 months depending on the type of course you choose + 2 years QWE which can be done before, during or after your assessments.
    Cost: £3,980 for the two SQE assessments + course costs

    How long are the courses?
    While the GDL and LPC are year-long courses (or 2 years if taken on a part-time basis), the length of the SQE courses depends on the type of course you choose to do. So, if you have already completed a law degree and/or have experience working in a legal environment, a short SQE preparation course may be all you want to do.

    Alternatively, regardless of whether you have previously studied law, a longer course which enables you to study at postgraduate level, for example incorporating an MA or LLM with preparation for the two SQE assessments included, could provide you with a stronger and more confident footing in the law.

    Applying for courses via LawCAB
    Find out which providers offer which types of courses in our Where can I study section and see suitable courses using our course finder.

    Funding your studies
    If funding your training is a concern, you may also wish to consider a solicitor apprenticeship where your employer will cover the cost of any courses and assessments whilst paying you a salary, so you can earn while you learn. There are graduate apprenticeships available, as well as ones open to non-graduates.

    What course should I do if I have a non-qualifying UK law degree, or a law degree obtained from outside the UK?

    From 1 September 2021, if you want to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales, you will need to do so through the SQE.  Please refer to our SQE section for full information about how to qualify through the SQE.

    As part of your qualification through the SQE, you need to pass two SQE assessments: SQE 1 and SQE 2. You can decide yourself how you want to prepare for the assessments - there is no prescribed route for doing this, and so you are free to choose a course that suits you, taking into account the studies you have already undertaken as well as the areas of interest you might have. 

    If you are looking for a solid academic background in law to add to your CV and have not previously studied law in the UK, you could consider a GDL/law conversion course.  These courses are suitable for both aspiring solicitors and barristers and so also work really well if you are not yet sure which qualification route you want to take. A GDL/law conversion will provide you with a thorough grounding in law from which you can go on to undertake additional SQE preparation if you want to be a solicitor or a Bar Training Course if you want to be a barrister.  

    There are also SQE courses on offer for aspiring solicitors which are tailored to non-law graduates and will enable you to sit SQE 1 and/or SQE 2 without the need for further preparation.

    When you are choosing a course, keep a close eye on the course outcome as it is really important to understand what the course will provide you with, taking into account your educational background, aspirations for your career in law and what your next steps will need to be once you have completed the course. Some will be SQE assessment ready, some might offer the option of SQE modules while others will not include specific SQE assessment preparation and you will need to undertake some form of additional top-up course before you sit the assessments.

    When it comes to course fees, refer to the relevant course pages of the university websites to help you identify the best option for you based on your needs and the kind of training, opportunities and academic qualification you are looking to gain.  Some courses may offer you the chance to work in a law-clinic and others may offer qualifying work experience placements.  These are all factors to consider when you are comparing course fees and making your choices.

    It’s important to remember also that the SQE assessments are separate from the courses and are managed centrally by Kaplan. Unless your course specifically indicates that the cost of the assessments is included in your course fees, you should factor in the cost of the assessments on top of your course fees.

    If you hold a non-UK degree, you will need to provide a UK ENIC Statement of Comparability when you apply to the SRA for admission as a solicitor. The SRA would not require this, however, from a candidate who has a UK LLM at the point at which they apply for admission as a solicitor.

    Use our course finder to explore the courses on offer and what stage in your qualification journey they will take you to.  

    What do I need for my GDL/law conversion application?

    Academic documentation

    If you are a current undergraduate in your final year, you must attach a transcript to your form showing the courses you have studied in your first two years and the marks awarded so far.

    If you are a graduate, you must attach a copy of your final transcript and/or degree certificate to your form to your form.

    For further information on transcripts, please refer to our FAQ 'What is a transcript?'. 

    Personal statement

    Most course providers require a personal statement. You can either type this into the form or upload as an attachment to the reason and personal statement section of the form. Please see our FAQ on What is a personal statement and what should I include in it? for further information on what to include in your personal statement.

    Reference

    Most course providers require a reference.

    If you are a current undergraduate or recent graduate, you are encouraged to nominate a current academic tutor who can comment on your suitability for post-graduate study and a career in law, and also provide an expected final grade for your current studies if possible.

    If you cannot nominate an academic tutor, you should nominate a current or recent employer to provide a reference in support of your application. Please see our reference FAQs for further detail.

    Passport details

    If you are applying from outside of the UK and need a visa, you will need to provide your current passport number and expiry date.

    Where can I study a GDL/law conversion course?

    Please use our course finder to identify the institutions currently offering GDL and/or law conversion courses.

    LPC

    Can I apply for GDL course exemptions?

    For applicants who are eligible to qualify as a solicitor through the LPC route, enquiries about eligibility for partial exemptions should be made through the relevant course provider in the first instance. If you wish to apply for a full exemption from the GDL, please contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for further information about applying for Equivalent Means (Exemptions)

    For applicants wishing to pursue a career as a barrister, please contact the Bar Standards Board (BSB) for further information about applying for waivers and exemptions.

    Can I qualify through the SQE if I have done the LPC?

    If you completed your LPC before 1 September 2021 and have not been able to secure a period of recognised training (PRT), but believe you have acquired the equivalent experience and skills stipulated by the SRA, you have the option of going through the SRA's Equivalent Means route by applying for a Period of Recognised Training exemption. The SRA’s fee for completing an assessment of the evidence you submit is £600.

    It is worth referring to the SRA for further information about applying for an exemption from the period of recognised training if you are interested in qualifying through this route.

    If you do not think you are in a position to apply for a PRT exemption, you could instead ask the SRA to recognise a combination of qualifying work experience and passing the SQE2 assessment as equivalent to the period of recognised training. If you decide that you would like to qualify through this route, you would need to inform the SRA after 1 September 2021.

    Once you have successfully passed SQE 2 and have your QWE approved, you will be able to apply for admission as a solicitor. Please note you will still need to meet the SRA’s character and suitability requirements.

    If you have completed an LPC but don't fall into the categories outlined above, you could still choose to qualify through the SQE by completing both SQE 1 and SQE 2 assessments and two years of qualifying work experience.

    Do I need to register with the SRA before I apply for the LPC?

    Although applicants are not required to register with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) before commencing the LPC, if a potential applicant thinks they might have a character and suitability issue or are unsure as to whether they might have an issue, they can choose to submit an early disclosure. The fee for an early assessment is £100.

    Please note that it is very important that potential applicants contact the SRA at least 6 months in advance of their anticipated LPC start date if they have character and suitability issues.

    Further information about the SRA's Assessment of Character Suitability Rules can be found here.

    How do I access a Training Contract/Period of Recognised Training (PRT) for the LPC route?

    The two year period of recognised training which must be completed post-LPC is commonly referred to as the 'training contract'. Individuals are given supervised experience in legal practice in order to refine professional skills essential to practicing as a solicitor, including: advocacy, client care, drafting, commercial and financial awareness, and experience in specific areas of practice.

    There are two sets of regulations related to periods of recognised training, depending on when trainees started their training, which are covered on the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) website.

    Find out where to apply for a Period of Recognised Training (Training Contract)

    A range of websites and resources are available to help you to find firms offering training contracts.

    LawCareers.net handbook contains information about firms that take trainees, organised by geographical region, in addition to summary guides on those firms.

    To apply for positions with certain legal firms, you may find the following links useful:

    Some firms will have summer deadlines, whereas others will recruit throughout the year. Use firms' specific recruitment webpages to check specific deadlines and requirements.

    Many firms currently recruit applicants to training contract roles up to two years in advance of joining a firm.

    If you find that it is not possible to obtain a training contract after completing your LPC, the SRA has confirmed you may still qualify as a solicitor by obtaining 2 years' full time or equivalent Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) and passing the SQE 2 assessment.

    Please also refer to our question on What is Qualifying Work Experience and how do I get it for the SQE route? FAQ for additional routes to consider if a traditional training contract is not viable or obtainable after completing the GDL/LPC courses.

    How do I apply for a Fast-Track February/August intake for my LPC?

    Applicants with Training Contracts who are told to apply for a February Fast-Track LPC should apply via LawCAB for the January Full Time or August Fast Track programme at the relevant institution, which will then enrol the applicant in the correct cohort once they have their application.

    How do I apply for a GDL, PGDL or LLM?

    If you have not yet decided whether you want to qualify as a solicitor or a barrister, you can apply for a GDL/PgDL law conversion course through the GDL/law conversion form.

    To apply for an LLM, please select the form appropriate to the route you are seeking to qualify through.

    • If you wish to qualify as a barrister or are unsure of your final career route and wish to do a law conversion LLM, please select the GDL/law conversion form.
    • For LLMs tailored to applicants looking qualify through the SQE route, please select the SQE form.
    • If you are looking for a LPC LLM, you will find these in the LPC application form.

    You will be able to select the relevant course from the dropdown list of courses under each institution when you reach the course choice section of the application form.

      Information about the courses offered by each institution can be found in Where can I study?. You can also search for courses using our course finder.

      As with all courses, do make sure that you check the eligibility criteria for the course you want to apply for before you submit your application. If in doubt, please contact the admissions teams at your chosen institutions for clarification.

      How is the SQE route different from the LPC route to qualification?

      Up until 1 September 2021, anyone wanting to qualify as a solicitor had to do either a UK qualifying law degree (QLD) or, if they did not have a QLD, a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) (also known as the Common Professional Examination).  On completion of a QLD or GDL, you would go on to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and undertake a two year period of recognised training - commonly referred to as a Training Contract. 

      The QLD, GDL and LPC are courses which cover prescribed subjects and were validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). 

      From 1 September 2021, anyone wishing to qualify as a solicitor who has not already embarked on the LPC route, will need to qualify under the new SQE route. 

      The SQE offers a flexible route to qualification, part of which entails passing two assessments. It is completely up to you how you prepare for the assessments; you could decide that you don’t need to do any preparation at all (although we would encourage you to do your research before reaching that decision), or that you prefer to prepare through self-study and the use of online learning tools. For those looking for more structured support, however, universities and other course providers offer a variety of courses to help you prepare for the SQE assessments, either through online, part-time or full-time teaching. Some courses might be at post-graduate diploma or masters level and others could be shorter, SQE preparation/top-up courses or modules. One of the differences between the SQE route and the LPC route is that under the SQE, courses can be determined by the universities/course providers themselves and do not need to be validated by the SRA. 

      Unlike the LPC, there is no prescribed route for completing your qualification as a solicitor, however, in order to qualify, you must have:

      Although aspiring solicitors will still need to complete two years of work experience before qualifying, this no longer needs to take the form of a Training Contract.  Rather, you have the option of completing your qualifying work experience (QWE) in up to four placements, which offers greater flexibility to both aspiring solicitors and prospective employers who may not previously have been able to commit to offering two year Training Contracts.

      For further information about qualifying through the SQE, including QWE, please refer to our SQE section.

      How soon can I apply for the LPC and is there a deadline?

      GDL/QLD/LLB students can apply for their LPC anytime during their final academic year.

      Applications for the 2022 LPC opened 4 October 2021. You can apply if you are in your final year of your QLD/GDL.

      LPC applicants should note that from 1 September 2021, LPC providers will need to check that applicants fall within the transitional arrangements in relation to the new SQE route to qualification. This is likely to involve checking the detail of the dates on which offers were accepted and courses started. Applicants will therefore be asked to upload to their forms evidence (which should be provided by the universities) that you either:

      • completed, started, accepted an offer of a place or paid a non-refundable deposit on a QLD by 21 September 2021 (inclusive) or

      • accepted an offer by 31 August 2021 for a place on a GDL/CPE course that started before 31 December 2021.

      • started or accepted a place on a period of recognised training (Training Contract) by 31 August 2021.

      The application closing dates vary among the different course providers and so you will need to check with those you are interested in applying to what their deadlines are.  For more general guidance on when you should complete your application, however, please refer to our Application deadlines page.

      Should I choose to qualify through the QLD/GDL+LPC or the SQE?

      If you know that you are eligible to qualify either through the QLD/GDL+LPC or the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), you will need to determine which route will best serve you, taking into account your current education, employment status, the financial implications and your future employment aspirations. 

      First, make sure you fully understand the steps you would need to complete for each route in order to achieve qualification. Visit our LPC and SQE sections for a full outline of the qualification requirements for each.

      Outlined below are a few of the factors you might want to consider when deciding which route to take.

      GDL/LPC with Training Contract versus SQE with QWE route
      If you choose the GDL/LPC route, you will need to complete a 2-year training contract before you can qualify as a solicitor. This is often the biggest stumbling block for aspiring solicitors because there are far fewer training contracts available than the numbers applying for them; many pass the LPC to find they are unable to complete their qualification because they cannot secure a Training Contract. Some applicants secure Training Contracts early on to cover the cost of their GDL and/or LPC. In the short-term, firms may be slow to take up the SQE and so you may find that if you do secure a Training contract this year, you are asked to undertake the GDL/LPC qualification route.

      Flexibility
      The GDL/LPC route is ‘tried and tested’ and familiar to employers across the legal market in the UK, and in other jurisdictions, however, the flexibility of the SQE means that not only are you able to choose how you prepare for the SQE assessments, but also how you achieve your qualifying work experience (QWE); under the SQE you are not restricted to needing to complete a fixed two year Training Contract.  Rather, you could gain your 2 years of QWE in up to four different work placements, which could include for example time spent working at a law clinic and/or working in law firms. You could do this before, during or after your assessments and so you might find that any experience you already have could count towards your qualifying working experience.

      Further information about the SQE can be found on the SRA's dedicated SQE website.

      I have a qualifying law degree
      If you have a QLD you can still apply for the LPC which is a year-long course (if taken full-time) and would then need to be followed by a period of recognised training (Training Contract) (2 years) before you qualify as a solicitor. The cost of the LPC varies depending on where you do it. If you secure a Training Contract the firm may cover or contribute towards this cost.

      Time: 1 year LPC + 2 years Training Contract = 3 years (4 years if studying part-time)
      Cost: up to £16,750 (depending on course provider and location)

      Alternatively, you can continue your journey through the SQE route instead. It is likely you will still need to undertake additional preparation to pass the SQE 1 assessment but you might find that a short SQE course, independent study or even relevant work experience is sufficient. Or you can choose a fuller, post-graduate course such as an MA or LLM which incorporates SQE preparation. Bear in mind that any courses you do may not include the cost of the assessments themselves and so you will need to factor this in to any budgeting.

      Time: 6-24 months depending on the type of course and mode of study you choose + 2 years QWE which can be done before, during or after your assessments.
      Cost: £3,980 for the two SQE assessments + course costs.

      I have a non-qualifying law degree
      Under the old route, you have to do the GDL prior to taking the LPC. Please bear in mind that if you do wish to qualify through the LPC, you must have accepted an offer by 31 August 2021 for a place on a GDL course that starts by 31 December 2021 and retain evidence of this for your future LPC application.

      Time: 2 years plus 2 year Training Contract = 4 years (6 years if studying part-time)
      Cost: up to £30,000 (depending on course providers and location)

      When you consider the SQE route, it is worth looking at whether your law degree has covered some of the subjects that come up in the SQE 1 assessment, particularly those traditionally known as the seven foundations of legal knowledge. If so, you might feel that a short SQE preparation course, independent study and/or relevant work experience is sufficient to get you through the assessments and could potentially save you the cost of a full law conversion course and LPC. Alternatively, a longer post-graduate course incorporating SQE preparation could also be an attractive option, still potentially saving you time and money, and giving you that additional academic qualification of an MA or LLM, for example.

      Time: 6-24 months depending on the type of course and mode of study you choose + 2 years QWE which can be done before, during or after your assessments.
      Cost: £3,980 for the two SQE assessments + course costs.

      I have a non-law degree
      If you have never studied law previously, or you have gained your law degree outside of the UK, a GDL/law conversion course offers a comprehensive foundation in law, with the option of adding a Masters qualification on top, enabling those that pass to go on to complete the LPC. Please bear in mind that if you do wish to qualify through the LPC, you must have accepted an offer by 31 August 2021 for a place on a GDL course that starts by 31 December 2021 and retain evidence of this for your future LPC application.

      Time: 2 years plus 2 year Training Contract = 4 years (6 years if studying part-time)
      Cost: up to £30,000 (depending on course providers and location)

      If you opt for the SQE route, you could consider a postgraduate course, such as an PgDL, MA or LLM incorporating SQE preparation, which would fulfil the same ‘law conversion’ role as the GDL. You could also choose a shorter SQE preparation course, but if you have no previous experience in the law either through your studies or through work, you might feel you want a longer course with a post-graduate law qualification to add to your CV.

      Time: 6-24 months depending on the type of course you choose + 2 years QWE which can be done before, during or after your assessments.
      Cost: £3,980 for the two SQE assessments + course costs

      How long are the courses?
      While the GDL and LPC are year-long courses (or 2 years if taken on a part-time basis), the length of the SQE courses depends on the type of course you choose to do. So, if you have already completed a law degree and/or have experience working in a legal environment, a short SQE preparation course may be all you want to do.

      Alternatively, regardless of whether you have previously studied law, a longer course which enables you to study at postgraduate level, for example incorporating an MA or LLM with preparation for the two SQE assessments included, could provide you with a stronger and more confident footing in the law.

      Applying for courses via LawCAB
      Find out which providers offer which types of courses in our Where can I study section and see suitable courses using our course finder.

      Funding your studies
      If funding your training is a concern, you may also wish to consider a solicitor apprenticeship where your employer will cover the cost of any courses and assessments whilst paying you a salary, so you can earn while you learn. There are graduate apprenticeships available, as well as ones open to non-graduates.

      What course should I do if I already have a GDL/QLD?

      If you already have your GDL or QLD you can continue to qualify through the LPC route, provided you meet the eligibility requirements as outlined in the SRA's transitional arrangements.  Use our course finder to identify Legal Practice Courses on offer.

      You also have the option of qualifying through the SQE - visit our SQE section for full information about how to qualify through this route.

      As part of your qualification through the SQE, you need to pass two SQE assessments.  You can decide yourself how you want to prepare for the assessments - there is no prescribed route for doing this and so you are free to choose a course that suits you, taking into account the studies you have already undertaken as well as the areas of interest you might have.  Course providers will be offering a much greater variety of subjects in their new SQE courses including areas such as project management and legal technology, gearing applicants up for the needs of 21st century law firms. Do take the time to explore the courses on offer and what they include.

      As you have already have a grounding in law, you could consider doing a short SQE preparation course or, if you want to build on your academic credentials, you could choose a masters course which includes preparation for the SQE assessments.

      When you are choosing a course, keep a close eye on the course outcome as it is really important to understand what the course will provide you with, taking into account your educational background, aspirations for your career in law and what your next steps will need to be once you have completed the course. 

      When it comes to course fees, refer to the relevant course pages of the university websites to help you identify the best option for you based on your needs and the kind of training, opportunities and academic qualification you are looking to gain.  Some courses may offer you the chance to work in a law-clinic and others may offer qualifying work experience placements.  These are all factors to consider when you are comparing course fees and making your choices.

      It’s important to remember also that the SQE assessments are separate from the courses and are managed centrally by Kaplan. Unless your course specifically indicates that the cost of the assessments is included in your course fees, you should factor in the cost of the assessments on top of your course fees.

      Use our course finder to explore the courses on offer and what stage in your qualification journey they will take you to.  

      What course should I do if I already have an LPC?

      Under SQE, course providers are free to offer SQE preparation courses as determined by them, enabling them to offer a greater variety of courses tailored to specific applicant needs. This means that there are (and will be even more so in the future) lots of different style courses out there and you will be able to choose one that suits you, taking into account the studies you have already done and how you want to study as well as the areas of interest you might have.

      As you have already completed a QLD/GDL and your LPC, you may want to look at some of the short SQE prep courses on offer by way of a top-up to help you pass the SQE assessments. Alternatively, you might prefer to build on the academic credentials you already have and opt for a masters qualification which includes SQE 1 and/or SQE 2 preparation.  

      Use our course finder to identify courses which are suitable for you based on your needs and desired outcome.

      It’s important to remember that the SQE assessments are separate from the courses and are managed centrally by Kaplan. Unless your course specifically indicates that the cost of the assessments is included in your course fees, you should factor in the cost of the assessments on top of your course fees.

      What do I need for my LPC application?

      Academic documentation

      If you are a current undergraduate in your final year, you must attach a transcript to your form showing the courses you have studied in your first two years and the marks awarded so far.  If you do not have, and cannot obtain, a copy of your current transcript, please attach a screenshot of your marks to date taken from your student portal.  The institutions you apply to will then follow up with you directly on receipt of your application.

      If you are a graduate, you must attach a copy of your final transcript and/or degree certificate to your form to your form.

      For further information on transcripts, please refer to our FAQ 'What is a transcript?'. 

      LPC applicants should note that from 1 September 2021, LPC providers will need to check that applicants fall within the transitional arrangements in relation to the new SQE route to qualification. This is likely to involve checking the detail of the dates on which offers were accepted and courses started. Applicants will therefore be asked to upload to their forms evidence (which should be provided by the universities) that you either:

      • completed, started, accepted an offer of a place or paid a non-refundable deposit on a QLD by 21 September 2021 (inclusive) or

      • accepted an offer by 31 August 2021 for a place on a GDL/CPE course that started before 31 December 2021.

      Personal statement

      Most course providers require a personal statement. You can either type this into the form or upload as an attachment to the reason and personal statement section of the form.  Please see our FAQ on What is a personal statement and what should I include in it? for further information on what to include in your personal statement.

      Reference

      Most course providers require a reference.

      If you are a current undergraduate or recent graduate, you are encouraged to nominate a current academic tutor who can comment on your suitability for post-graduate study and a career in law, and also provide an expected final grade for your current studies if possible.

      If you cannot nominate an academic tutor, you should nominate a current or recent employer to provide a reference in support of your application. Please see our reference FAQs for further detail.

      Passport details

      If you are applying from outside of the UK and need a visa, you will need to provide your current passport number and expiry date.

      What if I only received a conditional GDL offer by 31 August 2021 and want to do the LPC?

      If you received a conditional offer which you accepted by 31 August 2021, but you cannot fulfil the conditions of the offer (e.g. confirming degree or English language test results) until after 31 August, you can still go on to qualify through the LPC route.

      By accepting a conditional offer for a place on a course you will be covered by the transitional arrangements, which apply if someone has ‘entered into a contractual agreement or made a non-refundable financial commitment to start’ a course; accepting a conditional offer of a place on a course would mean that you are entering a contractual agreement.

      Which institutions offer the LPC?

      Please use our course finder for further information about the courses available.  You will also find a list of course providers, showing the courses each of them offer, in Where can I study?

       

      SQE

      Can I qualify through the SQE if I have done the LPC?

      If you completed your LPC before 1 September 2021 and have not been able to secure a period of recognised training (PRT), but believe you have acquired the equivalent experience and skills stipulated by the SRA, you have the option of going through the SRA's Equivalent Means route by applying for a Period of Recognised Training exemption. The SRA’s fee for completing an assessment of the evidence you submit is £600.

      It is worth referring to the SRA for further information about applying for an exemption from the period of recognised training if you are interested in qualifying through this route.

      If you do not think you are in a position to apply for a PRT exemption, you could instead ask the SRA to recognise a combination of qualifying work experience and passing the SQE2 assessment as equivalent to the period of recognised training. If you decide that you would like to qualify through this route, you would need to inform the SRA after 1 September 2021.

      Once you have successfully passed SQE 2 and have your QWE approved, you will be able to apply for admission as a solicitor. Please note you will still need to meet the SRA’s character and suitability requirements.

      If you have completed an LPC but don't fall into the categories outlined above, you could still choose to qualify through the SQE by completing both SQE 1 and SQE 2 assessments and two years of qualifying work experience.

      Can I still apply for a GDL/law conversion course after 31 August 2021?

      Yes, absolutely! GDL/law conversion courses are a great option for non-law graduates (or those with law degrees obtained outside of the UK) wishing to become barristers or solicitors and for those who are not yet sure.

      Please note: the 31 August 2021 was the deadline for those wanting to start a GDL with a view to qualifying as a solicitor through the LPC route.  The SRA website contains further details on the transition arrangements if you are unsure which qualification route you are eligible for.

      Visit our GDL/law conversion page for further information about law conversion courses.  

      For more information about qualifying as a solicitor, click here.

      Find out more here about qualifying as a barrister.

      How do I apply for a GDL, PGDL or LLM?

      If you have not yet decided whether you want to qualify as a solicitor or a barrister, you can apply for a GDL/PgDL law conversion course through the GDL/law conversion form.

      To apply for an LLM, please select the form appropriate to the route you are seeking to qualify through.

      • If you wish to qualify as a barrister or are unsure of your final career route and wish to do a law conversion LLM, please select the GDL/law conversion form.
      • For LLMs tailored to applicants looking qualify through the SQE route, please select the SQE form.
      • If you are looking for a LPC LLM, you will find these in the LPC application form.

      You will be able to select the relevant course from the dropdown list of courses under each institution when you reach the course choice section of the application form.

        Information about the courses offered by each institution can be found in Where can I study?. You can also search for courses using our course finder.

        As with all courses, do make sure that you check the eligibility criteria for the course you want to apply for before you submit your application. If in doubt, please contact the admissions teams at your chosen institutions for clarification.

        How do I apply for the MA Law (conversion) or MA Law (SQE1)?

        If you wish to do an MA Law (conversion) or MA Law (SQE 1) with a view to qualifying as either a solicitor or a barrister, please select the GDL/law conversion form on LawCAB.  You will be able to select the course(s) you want to apply for from the dropdown list of options when you reach the course choice section of your form.  

        As with all courses, do make sure that you check the eligibility criteria before you submit your application. Use our course finder to check the eligibility requirements for the courses you are interested in. 

        If in doubt, please contact your chosen institution(s) for clarification. A list of course providers with contact details is available in Where can I Study?

        How is the SQE route different from the LPC route to qualification?

        Up until 1 September 2021, anyone wanting to qualify as a solicitor had to do either a UK qualifying law degree (QLD) or, if they did not have a QLD, a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) (also known as the Common Professional Examination).  On completion of a QLD or GDL, you would go on to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and undertake a two year period of recognised training - commonly referred to as a Training Contract. 

        The QLD, GDL and LPC are courses which cover prescribed subjects and were validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). 

        From 1 September 2021, anyone wishing to qualify as a solicitor who has not already embarked on the LPC route, will need to qualify under the new SQE route. 

        The SQE offers a flexible route to qualification, part of which entails passing two assessments. It is completely up to you how you prepare for the assessments; you could decide that you don’t need to do any preparation at all (although we would encourage you to do your research before reaching that decision), or that you prefer to prepare through self-study and the use of online learning tools. For those looking for more structured support, however, universities and other course providers offer a variety of courses to help you prepare for the SQE assessments, either through online, part-time or full-time teaching. Some courses might be at post-graduate diploma or masters level and others could be shorter, SQE preparation/top-up courses or modules. One of the differences between the SQE route and the LPC route is that under the SQE, courses can be determined by the universities/course providers themselves and do not need to be validated by the SRA. 

        Unlike the LPC, there is no prescribed route for completing your qualification as a solicitor, however, in order to qualify, you must have:

        Although aspiring solicitors will still need to complete two years of work experience before qualifying, this no longer needs to take the form of a Training Contract.  Rather, you have the option of completing your qualifying work experience (QWE) in up to four placements, which offers greater flexibility to both aspiring solicitors and prospective employers who may not previously have been able to commit to offering two year Training Contracts.

        For further information about qualifying through the SQE, including QWE, please refer to our SQE section.

        How much does the SQE cost?

        The cost of the SQE assessments is as follows:

        SQE1 - £1,558 (10 hours of examinations taken over 2 full days, testing functioning legal knowledge)

        SQE2 - £2,422 (14 hours of written and oral tasks taken over 5 half-days testing both practical legal knowledge and skills)

        Total fee for taking both SQE assessments: £3,980

        The SRA publish full cost information on their SQE website

        Please keep in mind that this is the cost of the assessments only and does not include the costs of any courses taken to prepare for the assessments. Applicants will need to check with course providers what their course fees include.

        Should I choose to qualify through the QLD/GDL+LPC or the SQE?

        If you know that you are eligible to qualify either through the QLD/GDL+LPC or the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), you will need to determine which route will best serve you, taking into account your current education, employment status, the financial implications and your future employment aspirations. 

        First, make sure you fully understand the steps you would need to complete for each route in order to achieve qualification. Visit our LPC and SQE sections for a full outline of the qualification requirements for each.

        Outlined below are a few of the factors you might want to consider when deciding which route to take.

        GDL/LPC with Training Contract versus SQE with QWE route
        If you choose the GDL/LPC route, you will need to complete a 2-year training contract before you can qualify as a solicitor. This is often the biggest stumbling block for aspiring solicitors because there are far fewer training contracts available than the numbers applying for them; many pass the LPC to find they are unable to complete their qualification because they cannot secure a Training Contract. Some applicants secure Training Contracts early on to cover the cost of their GDL and/or LPC. In the short-term, firms may be slow to take up the SQE and so you may find that if you do secure a Training contract this year, you are asked to undertake the GDL/LPC qualification route.

        Flexibility
        The GDL/LPC route is ‘tried and tested’ and familiar to employers across the legal market in the UK, and in other jurisdictions, however, the flexibility of the SQE means that not only are you able to choose how you prepare for the SQE assessments, but also how you achieve your qualifying work experience (QWE); under the SQE you are not restricted to needing to complete a fixed two year Training Contract.  Rather, you could gain your 2 years of QWE in up to four different work placements, which could include for example time spent working at a law clinic and/or working in law firms. You could do this before, during or after your assessments and so you might find that any experience you already have could count towards your qualifying working experience.

        Further information about the SQE can be found on the SRA's dedicated SQE website.

        I have a qualifying law degree
        If you have a QLD you can still apply for the LPC which is a year-long course (if taken full-time) and would then need to be followed by a period of recognised training (Training Contract) (2 years) before you qualify as a solicitor. The cost of the LPC varies depending on where you do it. If you secure a Training Contract the firm may cover or contribute towards this cost.

        Time: 1 year LPC + 2 years Training Contract = 3 years (4 years if studying part-time)
        Cost: up to £16,750 (depending on course provider and location)

        Alternatively, you can continue your journey through the SQE route instead. It is likely you will still need to undertake additional preparation to pass the SQE 1 assessment but you might find that a short SQE course, independent study or even relevant work experience is sufficient. Or you can choose a fuller, post-graduate course such as an MA or LLM which incorporates SQE preparation. Bear in mind that any courses you do may not include the cost of the assessments themselves and so you will need to factor this in to any budgeting.

        Time: 6-24 months depending on the type of course and mode of study you choose + 2 years QWE which can be done before, during or after your assessments.
        Cost: £3,980 for the two SQE assessments + course costs.

        I have a non-qualifying law degree
        Under the old route, you have to do the GDL prior to taking the LPC. Please bear in mind that if you do wish to qualify through the LPC, you must have accepted an offer by 31 August 2021 for a place on a GDL course that starts by 31 December 2021 and retain evidence of this for your future LPC application.

        Time: 2 years plus 2 year Training Contract = 4 years (6 years if studying part-time)
        Cost: up to £30,000 (depending on course providers and location)

        When you consider the SQE route, it is worth looking at whether your law degree has covered some of the subjects that come up in the SQE 1 assessment, particularly those traditionally known as the seven foundations of legal knowledge. If so, you might feel that a short SQE preparation course, independent study and/or relevant work experience is sufficient to get you through the assessments and could potentially save you the cost of a full law conversion course and LPC. Alternatively, a longer post-graduate course incorporating SQE preparation could also be an attractive option, still potentially saving you time and money, and giving you that additional academic qualification of an MA or LLM, for example.

        Time: 6-24 months depending on the type of course and mode of study you choose + 2 years QWE which can be done before, during or after your assessments.
        Cost: £3,980 for the two SQE assessments + course costs.

        I have a non-law degree
        If you have never studied law previously, or you have gained your law degree outside of the UK, a GDL/law conversion course offers a comprehensive foundation in law, with the option of adding a Masters qualification on top, enabling those that pass to go on to complete the LPC. Please bear in mind that if you do wish to qualify through the LPC, you must have accepted an offer by 31 August 2021 for a place on a GDL course that starts by 31 December 2021 and retain evidence of this for your future LPC application.

        Time: 2 years plus 2 year Training Contract = 4 years (6 years if studying part-time)
        Cost: up to £30,000 (depending on course providers and location)

        If you opt for the SQE route, you could consider a postgraduate course, such as an PgDL, MA or LLM incorporating SQE preparation, which would fulfil the same ‘law conversion’ role as the GDL. You could also choose a shorter SQE preparation course, but if you have no previous experience in the law either through your studies or through work, you might feel you want a longer course with a post-graduate law qualification to add to your CV.

        Time: 6-24 months depending on the type of course you choose + 2 years QWE which can be done before, during or after your assessments.
        Cost: £3,980 for the two SQE assessments + course costs

        How long are the courses?
        While the GDL and LPC are year-long courses (or 2 years if taken on a part-time basis), the length of the SQE courses depends on the type of course you choose to do. So, if you have already completed a law degree and/or have experience working in a legal environment, a short SQE preparation course may be all you want to do.

        Alternatively, regardless of whether you have previously studied law, a longer course which enables you to study at postgraduate level, for example incorporating an MA or LLM with preparation for the two SQE assessments included, could provide you with a stronger and more confident footing in the law.

        Applying for courses via LawCAB
        Find out which providers offer which types of courses in our Where can I study section and see suitable courses using our course finder.

        Funding your studies
        If funding your training is a concern, you may also wish to consider a solicitor apprenticeship where your employer will cover the cost of any courses and assessments whilst paying you a salary, so you can earn while you learn. There are graduate apprenticeships available, as well as ones open to non-graduates.

        What course should I do if I already have a GDL/QLD?

        If you already have your GDL or QLD you can continue to qualify through the LPC route, provided you meet the eligibility requirements as outlined in the SRA's transitional arrangements.  Use our course finder to identify Legal Practice Courses on offer.

        You also have the option of qualifying through the SQE - visit our SQE section for full information about how to qualify through this route.

        As part of your qualification through the SQE, you need to pass two SQE assessments.  You can decide yourself how you want to prepare for the assessments - there is no prescribed route for doing this and so you are free to choose a course that suits you, taking into account the studies you have already undertaken as well as the areas of interest you might have.  Course providers will be offering a much greater variety of subjects in their new SQE courses including areas such as project management and legal technology, gearing applicants up for the needs of 21st century law firms. Do take the time to explore the courses on offer and what they include.

        As you have already have a grounding in law, you could consider doing a short SQE preparation course or, if you want to build on your academic credentials, you could choose a masters course which includes preparation for the SQE assessments.

        When you are choosing a course, keep a close eye on the course outcome as it is really important to understand what the course will provide you with, taking into account your educational background, aspirations for your career in law and what your next steps will need to be once you have completed the course. 

        When it comes to course fees, refer to the relevant course pages of the university websites to help you identify the best option for you based on your needs and the kind of training, opportunities and academic qualification you are looking to gain.  Some courses may offer you the chance to work in a law-clinic and others may offer qualifying work experience placements.  These are all factors to consider when you are comparing course fees and making your choices.

        It’s important to remember also that the SQE assessments are separate from the courses and are managed centrally by Kaplan. Unless your course specifically indicates that the cost of the assessments is included in your course fees, you should factor in the cost of the assessments on top of your course fees.

        Use our course finder to explore the courses on offer and what stage in your qualification journey they will take you to.  

        What course should I do if I already have an LPC?

        Under SQE, course providers are free to offer SQE preparation courses as determined by them, enabling them to offer a greater variety of courses tailored to specific applicant needs. This means that there are (and will be even more so in the future) lots of different style courses out there and you will be able to choose one that suits you, taking into account the studies you have already done and how you want to study as well as the areas of interest you might have.

        As you have already completed a QLD/GDL and your LPC, you may want to look at some of the short SQE prep courses on offer by way of a top-up to help you pass the SQE assessments. Alternatively, you might prefer to build on the academic credentials you already have and opt for a masters qualification which includes SQE 1 and/or SQE 2 preparation.  

        Use our course finder to identify courses which are suitable for you based on your needs and desired outcome.

        It’s important to remember that the SQE assessments are separate from the courses and are managed centrally by Kaplan. Unless your course specifically indicates that the cost of the assessments is included in your course fees, you should factor in the cost of the assessments on top of your course fees.

        What course should I do if I have a non-qualifying UK law degree, or a law degree obtained from outside the UK?

        From 1 September 2021, if you want to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales, you will need to do so through the SQE.  Please refer to our SQE section for full information about how to qualify through the SQE.

        As part of your qualification through the SQE, you need to pass two SQE assessments: SQE 1 and SQE 2. You can decide yourself how you want to prepare for the assessments - there is no prescribed route for doing this, and so you are free to choose a course that suits you, taking into account the studies you have already undertaken as well as the areas of interest you might have. 

        If you are looking for a solid academic background in law to add to your CV and have not previously studied law in the UK, you could consider a GDL/law conversion course.  These courses are suitable for both aspiring solicitors and barristers and so also work really well if you are not yet sure which qualification route you want to take. A GDL/law conversion will provide you with a thorough grounding in law from which you can go on to undertake additional SQE preparation if you want to be a solicitor or a Bar Training Course if you want to be a barrister.  

        There are also SQE courses on offer for aspiring solicitors which are tailored to non-law graduates and will enable you to sit SQE 1 and/or SQE 2 without the need for further preparation.

        When you are choosing a course, keep a close eye on the course outcome as it is really important to understand what the course will provide you with, taking into account your educational background, aspirations for your career in law and what your next steps will need to be once you have completed the course. Some will be SQE assessment ready, some might offer the option of SQE modules while others will not include specific SQE assessment preparation and you will need to undertake some form of additional top-up course before you sit the assessments.

        When it comes to course fees, refer to the relevant course pages of the university websites to help you identify the best option for you based on your needs and the kind of training, opportunities and academic qualification you are looking to gain.  Some courses may offer you the chance to work in a law-clinic and others may offer qualifying work experience placements.  These are all factors to consider when you are comparing course fees and making your choices.

        It’s important to remember also that the SQE assessments are separate from the courses and are managed centrally by Kaplan. Unless your course specifically indicates that the cost of the assessments is included in your course fees, you should factor in the cost of the assessments on top of your course fees.

        If you hold a non-UK degree, you will need to provide a UK ENIC Statement of Comparability when you apply to the SRA for admission as a solicitor. The SRA would not require this, however, from a candidate who has a UK LLM at the point at which they apply for admission as a solicitor.

        Use our course finder to explore the courses on offer and what stage in your qualification journey they will take you to.  

        What do I need for my SQE application?

        Academic documentation

        If you are a current undergraduate in your final year, you must attach a transcript to your form showing the courses you have studied in your first two years and the marks awarded so far.  If you do not have, and cannot obtain, a copy of your current transcript, please attach a screenshot of your marks to date taken from your student portal.  The institutions you apply to will then follow up with you directly on receipt of your application.

        If you are a graduate, you must attach a copy of your final transcript and/or degree certificate to your form to your form.

        For further information on transcripts, please refer to our FAQ 'What is a transcript?'. 

        Personal statement

        Most course providers require a personal statement. You can either type this into the form or upload as an attachment to the reason and personal statement section of the form.  Please see our FAQ on What is a personal statement and what should I include in it? for further information on what to include in your personal statement.

        Reference

        Some course providers require a reference.

        If you are a current undergraduate or recent graduate, you are encouraged to nominate a current academic tutor who can comment on your suitability for post-graduate study and a career in law, and also provide an expected final grade for your current studies if possible.

        If you cannot nominate an academic tutor, you should nominate a current or recent employer to provide a reference in support of your application. Please see our reference FAQs for further detail.

        Passport details

        If you are applying from outside of the UK and need a visa, you will need to provide your current passport number and expiry date.

        What is Qualifying Work Experience and how do I get it for the SQE route?

        Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) is the term used for the work experience component of the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) route to qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales.

        The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) which regulates solicitors in England and Wales has provided a wide range of resources to explain what QWE is, how long it should last for, where it can be undertaken, and how it should be recorded and signed off. This includes a simple QWE visual to explain the main components of QWE as well as a helpful webinar for SQE applicants.

        In summary:

        • QWE is any experience of providing legal services that offers you the opportunity to develop some or all of the competences needed to practise as a solicitor
        • QWE can be obtained in England or Wales or overseas
        • it can be completed in up to 4 different organisations
        • QWE must be 2 years' full time or equivalent
        • it can be paid or unpaid
        • it does not have to cover a range of areas of the law, or 'tick off' all the competences, but you must be aware that SQE1 and SQE2 will cover a broad range of topics and so you should be prepared for this if your QWE is focused in only one area of the law.

        Where can QWE be completed

        It can be completed, for example:

        • as part of an undergraduate degree 'sandwich year' placement
        • in a law clinic as a volunteer
        • in a Citizen's Advice Bureau or doing other charitable or pro bono legal work in law centres, NGOs or charities
        • whilst working as a paralegal in one or multiple law firms or in-house legal teams
        • whilst working as a solicitor's apprentice
        • as part of a traditional training contract ('Period of Recognised Training') in a City or large national or regional firm, or in a high-street firm or with a sole practitioner.

        Simulated legal services are not eligible as QWE.

        You must record your QWE yourself, but it must be signed off by a solicitor of England and Wales or Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP). They do not need to be working in England or Wales but must have knowledge of your work in the role.

        When looking for organisations to do your QWE at, think about a placement that:

        • offers diverse and varied, rather than limited and/or repetitive, legal tasks
        • helps you develop your professionalism and ethical behaviours
        • develops your understanding of standard procedures for e.g. conflicts of interest checks, anti-money laundering checks, information security.
        • enables you to learn from experienced role models and be supervised by appropriate individuals
        • supports your career goals.

        You may even use past roles if they helped you develop some of the competences needed to practise as a solicitor and you can get them signed off by an appropriate individual.

        Where to look for QWE opportunities

        A range of websites and resources are available to help you to find firms offering roles that can be used to gain QWE.

        LawCareers.net Beginner's guide to a career in law contains information about firms that take trainees, organised by geographical region, in addition to summary guides on those firms.

        To apply for positions with certain legal firms, you may find the following traditional Training Contract links useful:

        Some firms will have summer deadlines, whereas others will recruit throughout the year. Use firms' specific recruitment webpages to check deadlines and requirements.Many firms currently recruit applicants to traditional trainee roles up to two years in advance of joining a firm, and there is nothing to indicate QWE positions will be any different in large City or national/regional firms. Some firms will expect their trainees to have completed both SQE1 and SQE2 assessments in advance of being appointed to gain their QWE. However, as the SRA suggests it may be more helpful for QWE to be completed after SQE1 and before SQE2, this approach may not be adopted by all firms.

        For firms and other organisations that do not offer traditional training contracts, you should make use of relevant websites and contact organisations about positions available, as well using as any personal contacts you may have. Other examples of those offering or advertising QWE opportunities may include:

        If you have further questions about QWE, the SRA Q&A section on QWE may provide answers.

        Note: The UK government Home Office graduate immigration route will be of interest to international applicants as you get towards the end of your UK-based course of study, if you wish to work in the UK after you graduate.

        Aspects that must be clear between you and your QWE provider before starting

        • What kind of work is being offered?
        • Which competences from the SRA Statement of Solicitor Competence will you be able to attain?
        • How will you be supervised?
        • Will a solicitor be able to sign off your experience?
        • How will the evidence of the QWE placement be recorded by the provider and by you?
        • How long is the period of the contract or how will the hours be calculated?
        • Will there be any funding for qualification or support for study activities?

        LawQWE - coming soon!

        Video file
        What should I be looking for generally in a SQE preparation course?

        Universities and other course providers are offering a variety of courses to help you prepare for the SQE assessments, either through online, part-time or full-time face to face teaching. These may be short preparation courses, or longer postgraduate courses, including at Masters level. The following provides some points to consider in terms of the content and additional features of a SQE preparation course.

        SQE1 preparation courses
        Consider a course with content that:

        • covers the seven foundation areas of academic law (found in a qualifying law degree), if you have not done a UK law degree, or content that refreshes essential legal knowledge, if you have done a UK law degree
        • covers vocational, practical legal subject areas (similar to stage 1 of a LPC)
        • regularly and repeatedly develops and tests on Single Best Answer (SBA) questions in exam conditions, as these are a core part of the SQE1 assessment.

        SQE2 preparation courses
        Consider a course with content that develops core legal skills (oral and written), allowing you to practise those skills and receive constructive feedback to prepare for SQE2. Skills include client interview and attendance note/legal analysis, advocacy, case and matter analysis, legal research, legal writing, legal drafting, and negotiation.

        What else to look for in a SQE preparation course?
        You may also, depending on your existing legal experience, want a course that:

        • offers employability support and employability skills development
        • provides access to legal work experience opportunities that could be 'banked' as QWE
        • offers additional workshops/tutorials to develop broader career-long skills in e.g. leadership, conflict management, commerciality
        • provides coursebooks/guides to support off-course revision and self-study of SQE1 & SQE2 subject areas and related SBA questions.

        For more detailed guidance on the right course for you, see our FAQs, targeted at specific points in your academic journey e.g. which course should I do if...:

        • I have an LPC
        • I have a QLD/GDL
        • I have a non-qualifying UK law degree / a non-UK law degree
        • I have a non-law degree.
        When are the SQE assessments and how do I book my place?

        The first SQE1 assessment is in November 2021 and the first SQE2 assessment will take place in April 2022. Booking for the first SQE1 assessment opened in July 2021 and closed by 26 September 2021.

        Further timings of the assessments can be found on the SRA SQE site.

        Kaplan is managing the SQE assessments, which will take place at Pearson VUE test centres across the UK and internationally.

        The assessments are completely separate from any courses you might do to prepare for them, and need to booked independently by you (unless your course provider has specifically indicated that the assessments are included in the cost of the course fees and are being booked for you).

        All those wanting to sit the SQE assessments will need to register online with the SRA SQE site prior to booking the assessments - registration and bookings for the assessments open in July 2021.

        Once you have sat the assessments you can expect the results to be received as follows:
        SQE1 - within 6-10 weeks of sitting the assessment
        SQE2 - within 14-18 weeks of sitting the assessment

        A useful webinar for candidates about the SQE assessments is currently available.

         

        Which institutions can I apply to through LawCAB for an SQE prep course?

        Please refer to our course finder to identify the courses which will help prepare you for the SQE assessments.

        Who is eligible to apply for an SQE preparation course?

        Eligibility requirements for the SQE preparation courses will depend on the type of course you are applying for, however, most courses will require applicants to have an undergraduate degree.

        It is important to check the eligibility requirements before you make your application as these will vary depending on the type of course you are applying for.  Some require a law degree, some ask that some or all of the seven key foundations in law (usually found in a qualifying law degree or GDL) have been studied, while others will be tailored to non-law graduates.

        Please refer to our course finder to view individual course requirements.

        It is up to you to ensure that you have checked the eligibility requirements for each of the courses you are applying for and that you have uploaded to your form the necessary documentation as evidence of your eligibility.

        Undergraduate degrees

        Can I apply for an undergraduate law degree on LawCAB?

        LawCAB manages the applications for the LPC, law conversion/GDL and SQE preparation courses only. Queries regarding undergraduate degrees should be made to the relevant university or through UCAS .

        Work experience

        How do I access a Training Contract/Period of Recognised Training (PRT) for the LPC route?

        The two year period of recognised training which must be completed post-LPC is commonly referred to as the 'training contract'. Individuals are given supervised experience in legal practice in order to refine professional skills essential to practicing as a solicitor, including: advocacy, client care, drafting, commercial and financial awareness, and experience in specific areas of practice.

        There are two sets of regulations related to periods of recognised training, depending on when trainees started their training, which are covered on the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) website.

        Find out where to apply for a Period of Recognised Training (Training Contract)

        A range of websites and resources are available to help you to find firms offering training contracts.

        LawCareers.net handbook contains information about firms that take trainees, organised by geographical region, in addition to summary guides on those firms.

        To apply for positions with certain legal firms, you may find the following links useful:

        Some firms will have summer deadlines, whereas others will recruit throughout the year. Use firms' specific recruitment webpages to check specific deadlines and requirements.

        Many firms currently recruit applicants to training contract roles up to two years in advance of joining a firm.

        If you find that it is not possible to obtain a training contract after completing your LPC, the SRA has confirmed you may still qualify as a solicitor by obtaining 2 years' full time or equivalent Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) and passing the SQE 2 assessment.

        Please also refer to our question on What is Qualifying Work Experience and how do I get it for the SQE route? FAQ for additional routes to consider if a traditional training contract is not viable or obtainable after completing the GDL/LPC courses.

        How do I gain some legal work experience?

        Gaining initial work experience before you embark on a career in the law is hugely beneficial in helping you decide if the law is for you and to assess potential future employers. It will also help to strengthen your application when you apply for law courses as well as future work opportunities.

        Image
        Work experience

         

        Formal vacation schemes provide law and non-law university students with the chance to gain work experience on a law placement. Most placements take place over 1-4 weeks in the summer but can also happen during Christmas and Easter 'holiday' periods.

        Mini-pupillages tend to last for 3-4 days but can be longer and are used by university law students, including those studying on law conversion courses, and career change graduates to gain experience of the barrister role, by shadowing a barrister.

        While most formal vacation schemes and mini-pupillages are done during law students' second and third years at university, with non-law students applying at the end of their third year, vacation schemes are becoming available to first year students. Some experiences are also available for school students - see SmartLaw below.

        Vacation schemes can be found at a range of firms including City firms, national/regional firms, local high street firms and general practice, legal aid and advice centres. It is likely that, in a larger firm, they will organise for you to rotate around different departments.

        Vacation schemes and mini-pupillages are competitive to get onto and many firms and chambers will use them as a way of identifying those suitable for future training contracts for aspiring solicitors, or future pupillages for aspiring barristers.

        If you don't have access to, or cannot get onto, a formal vacation scheme, you can still gain valuable work experience using your own initiative, whether in a legal firm, legal advice centre, an internship with an in-house legal team or through other opportunities.

        Placements can develop invaluable skills such as project work, client presentations, interviewing clients, drafting letters, legal research, as well as developing contacts with other legal professionals.

        Outside of formal vacation schemes/mini pupillages, you can:

        • Shadow a trainee or senior solicitor at a local high-street law firm;
        • Visit the courts (County, Magistrates, Crown) and sit in on court hearings to see how barristers and solicitors advocate for their clients;
        • Volunteer at a Citizens Advice Bureau - training is provided to ensure you deal appropriately with clients and give accurate advice;
        • Volunteer for the Free Representation Unit (FRU) - this charity provides free legal representation for clients at tribunals;
        • Apply for a Bar Placement Scheme place, open to state-educated sixth form and college students;
        • Join your university law society and get involved in mooting. Moot court competitions simulate a court hearing which provides you with the opportunity to practice the role of a barrister, as it requires you to analyse, research, prepare written submissions and present oral arguments. You can also try online mock trials as a student. Mock trials are also available for school pupils through Young Citizens SmartLaw;
        • Do pro bono work at universities' legal advice clinics - law students can develop their skills giving legal advice under supervision;
        • lntern with an in-house legal team. These can range from a month to a year, but are usually three-six months in duration and can give you a real insight into a firm. Internships are often advertised directly on firms' websites;
        • Volunteer on miscarriage of justice projects;
        • Get involved in legal work with Amnesty International student groups.

        Young Legal Aid Lawyers has useful suggestions for organisations that could provide volunteering opportunities in the legal aid sector.

        Non-legal work experience can also help demonstrate to future employers that you have broader, essential skills e.g. researching and presenting information, dealing with customers/clients and building professional relationships, working in a business environment, people management and demonstrating commercial awareness, teaching/presenting to large groups.

        Given the current situation, you may also want to consider firms that offer virtual work experience through internships or other online resources e.g. Forage, allowing you to find out about the work of a lawyerr without the need to be 'in the office'.

        Find out more

        A range of websites and resources are available to support you to access legal work experience.

        LawCareers.net Beginner's guide to law contains information about firms that take trainees, organised by geographical region, in addition to summary guides on those firms. The handbook also provides useful case studies giving an overview of the variety of legal practice areas. This provides a useful starter for considering which areas of practice and which types of firms you would like to approach to gain work experience.

        Useful solicitor work experience and mini pupillages guides are available on the Lawyer Portal website.

        Vacation scheme/mini pupillage opportunities and deadlines can be found on:

        I'm interested in working as a legal aid lawyer as a future career path - is this a viable path?

        Aspiring lawyers who are passionate about access to justice are needed now more than ever. With the right skills, it is still possible to make a career in this area of work.

        Image
        buoyancy aid

         

        A 2020 article on Lawcareers.net looked at the viability of a career as a legal aid lawyer. It argued that whilst the funding situation is 'extremely challenging', it is possible to make a career in this area. A further article in Chambers Student from 2017 focused on legal aid barristers. The Law Society of England and Wales also has a useful section on this topic

        Develop your experience in this area by volunteering for or working at:

        Access financial support schemes:

        Understand legal aid restrictions:

        Access vital peer support and networks:

        What is Qualifying Work Experience and how do I get it for the SQE route?

        Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) is the term used for the work experience component of the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) route to qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales.

        The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) which regulates solicitors in England and Wales has provided a wide range of resources to explain what QWE is, how long it should last for, where it can be undertaken, and how it should be recorded and signed off. This includes a simple QWE visual to explain the main components of QWE as well as a helpful webinar for SQE applicants.

        In summary:

        • QWE is any experience of providing legal services that offers you the opportunity to develop some or all of the competences needed to practise as a solicitor
        • QWE can be obtained in England or Wales or overseas
        • it can be completed in up to 4 different organisations
        • QWE must be 2 years' full time or equivalent
        • it can be paid or unpaid
        • it does not have to cover a range of areas of the law, or 'tick off' all the competences, but you must be aware that SQE1 and SQE2 will cover a broad range of topics and so you should be prepared for this if your QWE is focused in only one area of the law.

        Where can QWE be completed

        It can be completed, for example:

        • as part of an undergraduate degree 'sandwich year' placement
        • in a law clinic as a volunteer
        • in a Citizen's Advice Bureau or doing other charitable or pro bono legal work in law centres, NGOs or charities
        • whilst working as a paralegal in one or multiple law firms or in-house legal teams
        • whilst working as a solicitor's apprentice
        • as part of a traditional training contract ('Period of Recognised Training') in a City or large national or regional firm, or in a high-street firm or with a sole practitioner.

        Simulated legal services are not eligible as QWE.

        You must record your QWE yourself, but it must be signed off by a solicitor of England and Wales or Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP). They do not need to be working in England or Wales but must have knowledge of your work in the role.

        When looking for organisations to do your QWE at, think about a placement that:

        • offers diverse and varied, rather than limited and/or repetitive, legal tasks
        • helps you develop your professionalism and ethical behaviours
        • develops your understanding of standard procedures for e.g. conflicts of interest checks, anti-money laundering checks, information security.
        • enables you to learn from experienced role models and be supervised by appropriate individuals
        • supports your career goals.

        You may even use past roles if they helped you develop some of the competences needed to practise as a solicitor and you can get them signed off by an appropriate individual.

        Where to look for QWE opportunities

        A range of websites and resources are available to help you to find firms offering roles that can be used to gain QWE.

        LawCareers.net Beginner's guide to a career in law contains information about firms that take trainees, organised by geographical region, in addition to summary guides on those firms.

        To apply for positions with certain legal firms, you may find the following traditional Training Contract links useful:

        Some firms will have summer deadlines, whereas others will recruit throughout the year. Use firms' specific recruitment webpages to check deadlines and requirements.Many firms currently recruit applicants to traditional trainee roles up to two years in advance of joining a firm, and there is nothing to indicate QWE positions will be any different in large City or national/regional firms. Some firms will expect their trainees to have completed both SQE1 and SQE2 assessments in advance of being appointed to gain their QWE. However, as the SRA suggests it may be more helpful for QWE to be completed after SQE1 and before SQE2, this approach may not be adopted by all firms.

        For firms and other organisations that do not offer traditional training contracts, you should make use of relevant websites and contact organisations about positions available, as well using as any personal contacts you may have. Other examples of those offering or advertising QWE opportunities may include:

        If you have further questions about QWE, the SRA Q&A section on QWE may provide answers.

        Note: The UK government Home Office graduate immigration route will be of interest to international applicants as you get towards the end of your UK-based course of study, if you wish to work in the UK after you graduate.

        Aspects that must be clear between you and your QWE provider before starting

        • What kind of work is being offered?
        • Which competences from the SRA Statement of Solicitor Competence will you be able to attain?
        • How will you be supervised?
        • Will a solicitor be able to sign off your experience?
        • How will the evidence of the QWE placement be recorded by the provider and by you?
        • How long is the period of the contract or how will the hours be calculated?
        • Will there be any funding for qualification or support for study activities?

        LawQWE - coming soon!

        Video file

        Your ongoing career

        Ensuring your wellbeing and mental health as a future lawyer

        The following provides a range of useful resources to support your mental health and wellbeing.

        LawCare

        LawCare provides information and support to anyone in the legal community experiencing mental health and wellbeing issues. This information and support includes factsheets, toolkits, guides, and an online webchat and helpline (Helpline 0800 279 6888 Mon-Fri 9.00-5.30).

        The Law Society

        The Law Society provides additional resources to support practitioners' health and wellbeing. They offer helplines for both personal and professional issues and other support services.

        It has specific guidance and resources on mental health and wellbeing.

        The Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society has also run campaigns on mental health and wellbeing.

        The Law Society hosts a short piece on embracing change for mental health awareness week (May 2021).

        The Leeds Law Society ran a webinar, accessed via the Law Society website, on wellbeing at their September 2020 diversity and inclusion conference.

        The Solicitors' Assistance Scheme

        The SAS offers free confidential help and advice for all solicitors in England and Wales, their families and employees on any problem troubling them, whether personal or professional.

        Claiming Space: evening sessions

        For junior lawyers (10 years PQE or less) working in legal aid and social justice law, Claiming Space: evening sessions provides a non-judgmental monthly space to learn, share and reflect on legal practice. First Monday of the month, every month (other than bank holidays when it will be moved to the next Monday) 17.30 - 18.30 on Zoom.

        National resources

        Mind is a national charity offering guidance and support with mental health issues.

        Student Minds is the UK's student mental health charity, empowering students and members of the university community to look after their own mental health, support others and create change.

        The Samaritans offer emotional support and guidance on mental health and other issues.

        The NHS website provides a portal for mental health concerns.

        Once I have qualified, how can I keep up to date and progress my career?

        Keeping up to date

        All qualified solicitors must adopt the Solicitors Regulation Authority's (SRA) approach to continuing competence which requires reflection on your practice and keeping your skills and knowledge up to date through appropriate and regular learning and development. Any activity that helps you meet your learning needs counts towards continuing competence, and there is no target for the number of hours you have to spend learning. You will be expected to make an annual declaration to the SRA to confirm you have done this, when you renew your practising certificate, even if you do not identify any learning needs.. The SRA provides a toolkit to support qualified solicitors with this.

        The Law Society runs a range of continuing professional development (CPD) events to support qualified solicitors stay up to date with their formal and informal learning and development.

        The Law Society provides support for networking and hosts various networking groups which offer support based on your demographic or practice type. Solicitor apprentices, trainee solicitors, LPC students and graduates and newly qualified solicitors (up to 5 years qualified) will find registering with the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society a helpful support network during their early career.

        In addition, you will find other networks outside of the Law Society, including local law societies and junior lawyers divisions as well as international groups. Other networks which can provide you with professional support, learning, mentoring and networking opportunities include, among many others:


        The Law Society Gazette can provide informal learning opportunities and links to the latest news, updates and events.

        Progressing your career

        The Law Society provides useful information to help guide your career once qualified, whether that be broadening your expertise or changing career direction. Guidance includes:

        You may also wish to inform developments in the law. As a member of the Law Society, qualified solicitors can provide input into campaigns, influence the Law Society's work via involvement in the Council and contribute your views on issues affecting the profession.

        The Law Society also provides careers clinics throughout the year to qualified solicitors, as well as to Legal Practice Course (LPC) paralegals and final seat trainees.

        If you want to consider developing a portfolio career (time permitting!) or consider roles other than a solicitor as your career progresses, you may find alternative jobs in law of interest, as well as roles outside the legal sector.