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The Innes & Mackay little guide to becoming a Solicitor




We recently wrote an article for the new ‘Your Choice’ publication, which aims to give guidance and advice on further education, apprenticeships and steps to take in your career. This was distributed around local schools in time for those receiving their exam results – and we hope our comments proved valuable!

Following on from this article, we decided to create our guide on what being a Solicitor involved, and how you can begin a career in Law as a Solicitor.

What exactly does it mean to be a Solicitor?

As a solicitor, you will be responsible for providing legal advice and be expected to explain points of law to your clients while working on legal aspects of both their personal and business affairs.

You may choose to specialise in one specific area of law - for example, Wills, Family Law or Conveyancing (dealing with property and land).

A general day in the life of a Solicitor may involve attending client meetings, drafting documentation, and researching points of law.

So, you know you want to become a Solicitor – now where to begin?

There are various paths to your career as a Solicitor, and it’s never too late to take those first steps!

The most common route would be undertaking a Law degree (referred to as an LLB). This is a four year honours degree which is undertaken at an accredited University. There are ten accredited Universities in Scotland, and the full list can be found on the link below in the ‘useful links’ section.

If you are a graduate, you can opt for the accelerated LLB, which can be completed in two years.

Most solicitors will enter the profession through University, but there are occasions where someone is unable to do this, perhaps because they may not be able to attend an accredited University. If this is the case for you – there is also an option to complete a three year training programme.  This would consist of you working within a law firm as a trainee solicitor while studying for exams set by the Law Society – similar to an apprentice.

Once you have completed your Law degree, or for those completing in-house training, your Law Society of Scotland exams, you will be required to complete a 26-week Diploma in Professional Legal Practice which is referred to as a DipLP.

Finally, all graduates, regardless of which route they have taken, must complete a two year traineeship within a law firm.

Innes Mackay and our involvement in recruitment/training

At Innes and Mackay, we currently have two employees studying to become a solicitor through the alternative route (Law Society Scotland exams). We also have a post graduate trainee, who is in her first year of the two year traineeship detailed above.

We actively encourage, support and nurture ambition in all employees who wish to attain further qualifications to enhance their career.

Further reading:

Accredited Universities in Scotland

Skills and Attributes of a Solicitor

Job Profile of a Solicitor

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