How to become a lawyer (solicitor or barrister)

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As a qualifying law degree, the LLB Law is the first step on your journey to becoming a fully qualified solicitor or barrister in England and Wales.

Once you graduate from the LLB (Hons) Law, you can go on to complete your lawyer training in whichever route you choose.

Becoming a solicitor

If you start your law degree before 2020, you can follow the current qualification route to becoming a solicitor. You’ll need to:

  • Hold a qualifying law degree or equivalent
  • Complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC)
  • Undertake two years of recognised training

The Solicitors Regulatory Authority is currently reviewing the qualifying process for aspiring solicitors from 2020, which we anticipate will involve:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • Pass both stages of the SQE (SQE 1 and SQE 2)
  • Complete 24 months of legal work experience
  • Meet the character and suitability requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority

SQE 1 focuses on legal knowledge, while SQE 2 focuses on the practical legal skills you’ll need as a practising solicitor. The LLB Law at Goldsmiths has been specifically developed in anticipation of these new professional exams, with an optional module entirely dedicated to SQE 2 (Practical Legal Skills in Practice). So you’ll know you’re off to the best start to your future career.

Becoming a barrister

Once you've completed your Law LLB, there are three stages to becoming a practising barrister in England and Wales. You’ll need to:

  • Become a member of one of the four Inns of Court (the professional associations for barristers, who have the sole right to call qualified students to the bar)
  • Complete the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)
  • Undertake a years’ vocational training (often called a pupillage)

If you’re aiming for a career at the bar, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to hone the essential skills you’ll need to represent your clients during your studies at Goldsmiths. Option modules such as Criminal Evidence (with Advanced Mooting and Advocacy) will complement the insights from legal professionals, and visits to courts to see advocacy in practice, that are built into your degree from the beginning.

More about Law at Goldsmiths

Other career paths

As well as preparing you for a career as a lawyer, the LLB Law will also provide you with a wide range of transferable skills so you can pursue opportunities in other areas such as human rights and the third sector, the civil service, journalism, media and creative industries, art and cultural heritage litigation or government positions.

More about the skills and experience you'll gain with the LLB (Hons) Law.