Solicitors are legal professionals helping members of the public and organisations in a range of areas from criminal to commercial to property.
Solicitors are highly trained and experienced legal professionals who tender their knowledge and expertise to the public to assist them with a range of difficult and complex legal issues. The scope of the work undertaken by Solicitors is extremely varied and many specialise in specific areas ranging from commercial law and contract law to probate and property law.
The routes to becoming a Solicitor are also extremely varied and graduates can approach the career from a variety of backgrounds, meaning that graduates do not necessarily needed to have studied law to become a Solicitor but for some legal careers they look for specialisms in areas like Science or Engineering.
As for where Solicitors are employed, this varies to include working in private local firms, to larger firms, to firms with a particular specialism. Solicitors can also find work working for the government and local councils.
For careers as a Solicitor, graduates need to be highly competent in a range of areas. The training undertaken by solicitors is extremely rigorous and graduates will have to work hard as they undertake a Conversion Course, CILEX, Legal Practice Course and Training Contract.
Graduates also need to excellent communication skills when trying to help clients or dealing with particular legal processes. Analytical skills are also very important for processing what can be complex legal information and law. Negotiation skills and a sense of commercial awareness will also be highly beneficial to those pursuing careers as a Solicitor.
The average starting salary for a graduate Solicitor is £21,825. While the research for these figures across the Job Description section was rigorous, it appears that this result should be taken lightly. For instance, many graduates will enter onto training contracts before they are fully qualified solicitors. While other entry level positions similar to this may offer salaries around this figure, graduates can expect them to grow rapidly as they continue their training towards being a Solicitor.
The daily duties of a solicitor
The daily duties of a graduate Solicitor are difficult to quantify. This is because of the variation that follows with the different areas of Law and the different roles that Solicitors have to fill. Graduates should also be aware that they will more than likely undertake some form of placement at a legal firm where they will be expected to learn different skills and undertake different duties.
Here are just a few of the tasks that graduates can expect to do as a Solicitor:
- Advising clients - The main focus of a Solicitor is to advise clients on areas of legality and what their options are. Graduate Solicitors may operate to give information on where the client sits with regards to a grievance or disagreement they have. Advising clients is one of the main focuses of a Solicitor's job and can lead on to other services they offer.
- Conducting research - While Solicitors are expected to be extremely knowledgeable about legal issues and judicial precedent, it is impossible for them to know everything. Solicitors then may spend time researching around issues and the legality around certain complications so that they might be better informed to feed back to a client.
- Corresponding with opponents - Solicitors are often the point of call for legal disputes and much of the arrangement can be done through two Solicitors representing either side of the disagreement. This involves Solicitors being responsible for communicating effectively and professionally with fellow legal eagles.
- Drafting legal documents - As experienced and knowledgeable legal professionals, Solicitors are often asked to draft, for example, professional and watertight contracts for tenancy, land ownership or wills. Solicitors will understand the legal complexity of such documents and their importance when it comes to ensuring they are valid.
- Meetings - Solicitors, as expected in advising clients, will be expected to accompany their client to meetings to discuss grievances, usually with an opposing Solicitor. This could be to agree to terms of a divorce, land grievances or to oversee some complicated business deal.
Careers as a Solicitor can be varied and exciting work. A lot of this depends on the area of law graduates pursue, but Solicitors have the opportunity to mix a highly analytical and complex job, whilst also being able to interact personally with people and help them too.