The Solicitors Regulation Authority
following information sets out the current requirements for admission as a solicitor.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the regulator of solicitors and law firms in England and Wales. It works to protect members of the public and support the rule of law and the administration of justice. It does this by overseeing all education and training requirements necessary to practise as a solicitor, licensing individuals and firms to practise, and setting and enforcing high professional standards for the profession. In order to practise, all would-be solicitors need to be admitted to the roll. To be eligible to apply for admission you must have satisfactorily completed: • the academic stage of training (ie, a qualifying law degree (QLD), the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or the Common Professional Examination (CPE)); and • the vocational stage of training which comprises: • the Legal Practice Course (LPC); • a period of recognised training (formerly referred to as ‘training contract’); and • the Professional Skills Course (PSC). Any part of the academic or vocational stages may be met by equivalent means (see http://www.sra.org.uk/students/resources/ equivalent-means-information-pack.page). This is known as the domestic route to qualification. Alternative routes may be available to those who have CILEx qualifications, or who have already qualified in another jurisdiction. You must also satisfy the SRA that you are of the right character and suitability to be a solicitor. As part of this, you must undertake screening, which includes a standard disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The SRA will be changing its qualification requirements from 1 September 2021 (see “changes ahead” later in this chapter). The
LPC To become a solicitor through the domestic route outlined above, you need to complete the LPC. Before enrolling, you need to satisfy the provider that you have met the academic requirements for admission. Period of recognised training The period of recognised training is a period of supervised training with an SRA-registered training establishment (eg, a firm of solicitors, local authority or legal department within a commercial organisation). It usually lasts for two years, but can be completed over a longer period if working or studying part time. During this time, you will be expected to develop your understanding of legal practice and of the responsibilities you will take on when you are admitted to the roll. The following criteria must be met during your training: • You will need to develop and apply the skills set out in the SRA’s Practice Skills Standards. • You will need to keep a record of your training and the skills you have gained. • You must be appropriately supervised by solicitors and other individuals with the necessary skills to provide effective supervision. • You must receive regular appraisal your performance and development areas. You may also demonstrate that you have met the requirements of the period of recognised training through equivalent means (see SRA website, as above). You need to notify the SRA when you start period of recognised training. Admission to the roll Four weeks before the end of your period of recognised training you will receive an
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