If you are attracted by all things legal then you might consider a career as a solicitor. This can be an incredibly rewarding career, providing a job that is both intellectually challenging and with many exciting opportunities. Solicitors are involved in almost all aspects of life, making the range of work diverse.
Solicitors offer confidential advice and have direct contact with clients, offering legal expertise and legal advice in a range of situations:
- supporting the community by providing free help for those unable to pay for legal services
- providing expert guidance on family matters like divorce and conveyancing
- helping businesses with the legal side of commercial transactions
- protecting the rights of individuals by making sure clients are treated fairly under the law and receive justice
Solicitors can represent clients in the lower courts such as the magistrate court, county court and tribunal and with experience will act as a representative of their client in higher courts such as crown court or the court of appeal.
What qualities do you need?
Academic excellence is important as you will need to obtain a law degree, but employers also look for many other personal attributes:
- Communication and interpersonal skills – the ability to communicate with people at all levels and win their confidence and respect
- Responsible, professional and having integrity and ethics
- Committed and dedicated to hard work
- Numeracy skills – able to comprehend financial statements and interpret accounts
- Good time management, problem solving, prioritising and project planning
- Flexibility, versatility and a positive approach
Different areas of law include:
- private practice – this includes services such as conveyancing and family law. For details on Conveyancing Gloucester, go to Dee & Griffin, providers of Conveyancing Gloucester services
- commercial practice – providing legal consulting for businesses in areas including contract law, tax, employment law and company sales and mergers
- providing in-house legal advice to companies or public sector organisations
- Working for the Crown Prosecution Service
Your work will include representing clients in court or instructing barristers. You’ll also need to draft confidential letters, contracts and research legal records and case law.
The working week will normally be 37 hours a week, but longer hours are common and you could be on call at any time. As a criminal solicitor, you would need to go to custody suites at any time of the day or night and you’ll spend a lot of time in court.