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Solicitors provide support and advice to clients on legal matters by providing an interpretation and explanation of the law. They may represent or act for clients by appearing in court, or instructing a barrister to act for them.
There are a number of specialist area of law solicitors may choose to practice including company and business law, family law, and other specialist areas, including criminal law, personal injury/accident claims and human rights. Solicitors work in a range of sectors, including, commercial practice, central and local government and private practice.
To become a solicitor you must achieve either of the following an approved law degree Ã» this will cover the seven Foundations of Legal Knowledge; a non-law degree, followed by either a Common Professional Examination (CPE); or a Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PgDL); or a Senior Status Law degree (a fast-track LLB law degree).
The vocational stage of training is undertaken after the above. This includes completing the Legal Practice Course (LPC), which takes one year full-time or two years part-time and securing a two-year training contract with a firm of solicitors; legal executives are exempt from this, however, they must complete the Professional Skills Course (PSC) which is part of the training contract. Progression for solicitors is to become barristers after some training. Many solicitors become heads of legal departments in companies, chief executives or company secretaries, or local government chief officers.
Trainee solicitors can earn around £10,000 to £18,000. A qualified solicitor working in a small practice may earn between £24,000 and £45,000. A partner in a large firm, or head of an in-house legal department, can earn upwards of £100,000.
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