As a Solicitor, you will act on behalf of and provide legal advice to both commercial and private clients. Solicitors typically specialise in one area of legal expertise, such as family law, litigation, property law or tax.
Solicitors working in commercial law firms advise large corporate clients on transactions or cases, while a high street Solicitor will typically advise smaller companies and individuals on a range of legal matters which include, but are not limited to writing wills, property conveyancing, and custody cases.
Solicitor jobs involve an array of responsibilities including giving legal advice, researching cases and legislation, drafting legal documents, liaising with clients and other professionals, and representing clients in court.
Solicitor Jobs – skills and experience you need
As a newly qualified Solicitor, you may start out as an assistant working on a fixed salary under the supervision of a Partner of Senior Assistant Solicitor. A Solicitor moves through the ranks, they take on increasing levels of responsibility and continue to develop their technical legal skills as a result.
As a Solicitor, you will need to possess client-handling and business development skills. As you gain seniority, your Solicitor job may also require you to supervise junior colleagues. A Solicitor must also have a significant level of patience, sensitivity, and tact to handle confidential and sensitive information, fostering trust from clients and witnesses based upon integrity.
A career as a Solicitor
Solicitor jobs are offered by a diverse range of employers, the most common of these being private practice law firms, in-house legal departments within large organisations, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Government Legal Service.
As a newly qualified solicitor, you may continue with the firm you have trained with, (known as being retained), or move to another firm. Promotion in private practice depends on your continuing strong performance, especially meeting targets for the amounts of work that can be charged to clients. Solicitors may choose to progress from Assistant Solicitor to Senior Solicitor and then Associate.
Career development in your Solicitor job may involve becoming the head of a department within the firm, with responsibility for its profit levels and staff. A Solicitor may also progress to become a salaried partner and finally an equity partner.