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How do I become a barrister or solicitor?

Find out the differences in qualifying to be a barrister or solicitor
Image of a solicitor on a laptop

How do I become a barrister?

After completing an undergraduate law degree, or a law conversion course, you will need to complete the Bar Practice Course (BPC). This is often referred to as the vocational stage of your training. Once you have completed the BPC you will need to undertake work-based training known as a pupillage. A pupillage is split into two six-month periods, often known as ‘sixes’. For the first six months you will shadow a barrister, and in the second six you may begin to take on your own work. Once completed you can qualify for the Bar.

How do I become a solicitor?

You will need complete your LLB or if you do not have a qualifying law degree, go on to study and complete a conversion course before your professional study begins.

For your professional study, you can take one of two routes. The first route is to study for the Solicitors Qualifying Examinations (SQE), which consists of two centralised exams, known as SQE1 and SQE2. Along with the SQE you will also need a minimum of two years work experience. Once you have completed both the SQE and work experience you can apply to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for admission as a solicitor.

Or, if you meet certain eligibility requirements, you could study the tried and tested Legal Practice Course (LPC), which is a prescribed and regulated programme of training with assessments in core practice areas, legal skills and elective subjects. Either during or after the LPC, you’ll need to complete a training contract before applying to the SRA.

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