How to Become a Lawyer in the UK: Steps and Schools Explained (2023)

How to Become a Lawyer in the UK: Steps and Schools Explained (1)

Working as a lawyer can be extremely rewarding in many ways; Perhaps you have strong feelings about social justice, or perhaps you simply want to work in an industry where you can be rewarded financially. As a profession that will likely always be needed in society, the legal profession is also one of the most future-proof.

The UK has long played a significant political role in world affairs, with English remaining one of the leading global languages ​​of communication and the main language of international law. By qualifying to practice law in the UK, you will be expertly prepared to communicate, negotiate and do business with partners and clients around the world.

British law graduates have a range of employment opportunities available to them. Many graduates practice law by pursuing a legal careerAttorneyorAttorney, and a UK law degree is recognized by the Bar in many countries around the world.

A law degree is also a highly regarded qualification by many employers.transferable skillscould it beapplied in other industries. International students studying law in the UK may be particularly interested in a career in international law, where they can work on human rights cases and advise NGOs or government agencies. There are also opportunities within large law firms that handle international legal cases.

To become a solicitor in the UK you will likely need to complete a university degree and several years of training. It is an academically demanding and highly competitive profession.

In this guide, we look at the steps to becoming a qualified solicitor in the UK and look at:

  • The Path to Law School in the UK
  • the different legal professions and how to decide which one to pursue
  • the various undergraduate degrees in law at UK universities
  • the best law schools in the uk and how to make your final choice of universities too as a postgraduate option

We have experience in setting the path to success for students seeking a career in the legal world, and our programs are specifically designed to prepare them for the challenges ahead.


The Path to a Legal Career (International and UK Students))

Step #1: Decide if you want to become a barrister or a solicitor

Step 2: Decide whether you want to study a Bachelor of Laws (BBL), Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in law

Step 3: Choose the right law school

8 of the best law schools in the UK

How to Become a Lawyer in the UK If You Already Have a Degree

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Path to a Legal Career (UK and International Students)

There are generally four steps to becoming a fully qualified solicitor in the UK.

Level 1: Obtain A-level qualifications or equivalent legal background

To study at law school, you need at leastthree high school diplomas with good grades. The top universities with the most competitive courses will likely require three A or A* grades, although admission requirements vary from university to university.

There isA specific Abitur is prepared for Lach, but your course director will advise you on the best choice of subjects, which are likely to include government and politics, geography, history and/or economics. A high school law degree is not required, but it can be helpful in giving you insight into the subject.

The Law Foundation is an alternative route to studying law. legal grounds such asKings Law Foundation, are typically one-year pre-university programs aimed primarily at international students, preparing them for the rigors of a British law degree. At Kings, it is based on A levels and is Pearson endorsed and recognized by a wide range of leading UK universities.

Level 2: Complete a bachelor's degree

To become a solicitor, you need to complete a bachelor's degree, which takes three years (or four years in Scotland). You can choose between LLB or BA/BSc (see below for more information on the differences).

Stage 3: Take a Legal Practice Course (LPC)

The LPC is the final stage of professional training to become a lawyer. It is completed upon successful completion of a qualifying law degree or other recognized qualification and is designed to bridge the gap between theory and practice and provide the practical skills necessary for a career as a lawyer. In principle, the LPC can be studied full-time or part-time.

(Video) 10 Signs You Should Become A Lawyer

It is important to note that any student starting an undergraduate degree from September 2021 will be studying for itOrder Examination (SQE), which will effectively replace the LPC (and the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)). Those who started studying law, GDL or LPC before September 2021 can qualify in the traditional way until 2032.

Level 4: Complete professional training

The final step to becoming a qualified lawyer in the UK is to gain practical experience through an apprenticeship. This means you will spend two years at a law firm before becoming a qualified attorney. During this time, you will also complete the Professional Skills Course, a series of specialized training modules paid for by your company.

Below, we look at some of the steps that are part of the decision-making process when it comes to applying to law school.

Step #1: Decide if you want to become a barrister or a solicitor

The term "attorney" is a general term that refers to any person who is an attorney licensed and qualified to provide legal advice. This includes barristers and barristers and it is important to understand that there is a specific distinction between the two in the UK.

What does a lawyer do?

A barrister is someone who defends or represents someone in court. Lawyers are hired by lawyers to represent a case in court and are only hired when a lawyer is needed for the case. Lawyers are usually experts in certain areas of law.

What does a lawyer do?

A solicitor is an attorney who works outside of court and contacts clients directly to provide legal advice. Lawyers conduct initial discussions with clients and advise on their specific situations. They also create case files when they need to go to court. Lawyers are usually employed by a law firm or organization and receive a salary, unlike lawyers who are usually self-employed.

What are the differences between a solicitor and a barrister?

Lawyers provide legal assistance, advice and services to clients, who may be individuals, private companies or public sector organisations. Often, they can specialize in certain areas of law.

In England and Wales, solicitors represent individuals or organizations in court, conduct research on legal issues and advise clients on their cases. They are usually self-employed, although some work for government departments or agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). In Scotland, lawyers play a similar role.

Step 2: Decide whether you want to study a Bachelor of Laws (BBL), Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in law

If you want to pursue a legal career in the UK, you need to complete a bachelor's degree, which takes three years (or four years in Scotland). Depending on your future plans or study preferences, you can choose between LLB or BA/BSc.

Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

The LLB originated from the Latin abbreviation forBachelor in Law(also called a Bachelor of Laws). It is a qualified law degree and the first level of education if you want to become a lawyer in the UK. It teaches the seven “Fundamentals of Legal Knowledge” and develops the knowledge, analytical and practical skills necessary for a legal career. The seven core modules include Contract Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law, EU Law, Property Law and Equity and Trusts.

The LLB can be studied in a variety of ways: on the usual three-year full-time law course; as a two-year graduate course; or as a part-time course over four to six years.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Law

In lieu of the LLB, some students opt for a Bachelor of Laws or Bachelor of Arts in another discipline. These students must complete a one-year Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) conversion course prior to enrolling in the Legal Practice Course.

While this path may take longer, it is suitable for students who are more interested in the academic side of law than the prospect of practicing or entering the legal profession, or who are considering a career in journalism, politics or business, all use it. the skills developed in a BA in Law.

What are the differences between an LLB and a BA/BSc in Law?

The difference is that the LLB is exclusively focused on law, whereas a BA in law includes modules in law and other subjects such as history or economics. BA law students usually study with honors, for example they can study law with German or law with criminology.

You can become a lawyer or solicitor with a bachelor's degree in law. In contrast to the LLB Law, however, the BA in Law is not a professional law degree. This means that you will probably still need to take theseGDL— the one-year conversion course taken by all law graduates aspiring to become lawyers (now replaced by the SQE).

Step 3: Choose the right law school

Once you have determined what type of legal career you would like to pursue and what type of law degree you would most like to pursue, the next step is to research different law schools in the UK so that you can submit your UCAS application.

Of course, general university rankings, as well as specific legal subject rankings, are important, but also important to consider are factors such as:

  • training costs
  • location and cost of living
  • Graduate career prospects

If you apply to a Kings pre-university program, our expert advisers at UCAS will help you find the best university for your law degree and put you on the best possible path to success.

8 best law schools in the UK

UK law schools have a long and rich tradition and the range of law courses on offer is huge. Once you've decided what type of law school you want to pursue, you can focus on choosing which universities to apply to.

British universities are known around the world for their academic prestige, with four of the top 10 in the world currently based in the UK.Rangliste der Times Higher Education World University(University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, UCL and LSE).

There are several different annual university rankings, most of which include rankings by subject, including the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, the Guardian Good University Guide and the Complete University Guide.


The eight universities selected below are regularly featured in major law rankings.

1. University of Oxford

How to Become a Lawyer in the UK: Steps and Schools Explained (2)

As one of the most prestigious and world-renowned universities in the world, studying law at the University of Oxford is certainly characterized by academic recognition, which, in turn, can be a huge benefit when it comes to finding a job after graduation. Here you will find some of the best academics, the widest range of resources and the best peer group anywhere in the world.

Oxford University's Faculty of Law is one of the largest in the UK. It is a merger of thirty law schools into the faculties of the university

The BA in Law at the University of Oxford is a three-year Bachelor of Laws, equivalent to what is known as an LLB at other universities. The BA in Law with European Law Studies follows the same curriculum as the three-year Bachelor's degree, with the exception that the third year of study is spent at a law school in France, Germany, Italy, Spain or the Netherlands before becoming form returns to the Oxford degree in the fourth year.

Location: Oxford, central England

Internet site:law School

2. University of Cambridge

How to Become a Lawyer in the UK: Steps and Schools Explained (3)

The prestigious University of Cambridge, ranked the second best place to study law in the world in the Times Higher Education World Rankings, offers a BA (Hons) degree (known as an LLB degree at other universities) which focuses primarily on English law. . However, there are also opportunities to study other legal systems, including civil law (Roman law), EU law and international law. Optionally, legal and legal-sociological aspects can also be studied, such as jurisprudence or parts of criminology.

The David Williams Building houses classrooms, seminar rooms and a mock courtroom, as well as the Squire Law Library, which houses one of the largest academic law collections in the UK.

University faculty and the Law Society organize numerous activities, including public lectures, career events with leading law firms and law firms, social events and mooting competitions (debates on hypothetical legal cases). Cambridge graduates enjoy high employability thanks to solid confidence in the job market.

Local: Cambridge, Ostengland

Internet site:law School

3. University of London (UCL)

How to Become a Lawyer in the UK: Steps and Schools Explained (4)

Ranked among the top law schools not only in the UK but in the world (ranked by the Times Higher Education World University), UCL is a university that attracts a large number of ambitious students from all over the world.

The three-year LLB Act combines theory and research with practical application and competency-based training. Students also have the option to extend their studies by a year after their second year and spend part of their studies abroad in the USA, Australia, Hong Kong or Singapore.

The UCL Faculty of Law also offers some of the following law degrees:

  • Law with French Law LLB
  • Law with German law LB
  • Law with Spanish Law LLB
  • Law with another jurisdiction (Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • Jura MPhil/PhD

Location: Central London

Internet site:law School

4. King's College London

How to Become a Lawyer in the UK: Steps and Schools Explained (5)

Dickson Poon School of Law at King's College London is traditionally recognized as one of the best law schools in the UK. Since its founding in 1831, this school has played an important role in serving the community by providing the legal system with well-trained attorneys.

(Video) HOW I GRADUATED LAW SCHOOL AT 21 + how to qualify as a lawyer in 3 COUNTRIES!!!

Law degrees aim to identify and address common issues in today's world such as climate change, international relations, global finance, etc.

The following degrees are currently offered at King's College London:

  • lei LLB
  • LLB English Law and Spanish Law
  • LLB Politics, Philosophy and Law
  • English LLBLaw and French Law
  • English LLBGerman law and law
  • LLM-Master of Laws
  • MA Medical Law
  • Master's Degree in Medical Ethics and Medical Law

Location: London

Internet site:Die Dickson Poon School of Law

5. University of Glasgow

How to Become a Lawyer in the UK: Steps and Schools Explained (6)

Excellent law degrees, a team of top academics, a dynamic and vibrant research community and a wide range of modern facilities make the University of Glasgow one of the best law schools in the UK.

A law degree from this university will give you a basic understanding of Scottish and Common law, but will also enable you to acquire additional critical and analytical skills, which are highly sought after by potential employers.

Location: Glasgow, West Scotland

Internet site:law school

6. University of Edinburgh

How to Become a Lawyer in the UK: Steps and Schools Explained (7)

The University of Edinburgh School of Law, now known as Edinburgh Law School, was founded in 1707 and is located in the historic Old College in the heart of Edinburgh, just minutes from the Courts of Law and the Scottish Parliament. She is ranked 11th in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2022 for Law.

The university's degree programs allow students to gain a qualifying degree in Scottish law, whilst giving them the flexibility to choose from a wide range of optional courses during their studies.

The historic home of the Faculty of Law at Old College has recently been completely renovated and students now benefit from new teaching, study and research facilities.

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Internet site:Edinburgh law school

7. University of Durham

How to Become a Lawyer in the UK: Steps and Schools Explained (8)

Ranked in the top 50 universities in the world to study law by QS Durham University, it offers excellent teaching through small group classes in seminars and its mentoring system, which is highly valued by employers.

The LLB degree is a flexible, full-time course offered over three years. In addition, students have the opportunity to specialize in a wide range of elective modules, from public law and human rights to corporate and international law and modules in other disciplines.

Location: Durham, North East England

Internet site:Durham College of Law

8. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

How to Become a Lawyer in the UK: Steps and Schools Explained (9)

(Video) Law Students Answer Questions About Law School

LSE Law School is one of the world's leading law schools, with an international reputation for the quality of its legal teaching and research.

In the 2018 QS World University Rankings, LSE was ranked 9th globally and 1st in London for law studies. With over 60% international students, the LSE law student body is one of the most cosmopolitan in the world.

According to the LSE, its law students learn "that law is not knowledge stored in libraries, but is present all around us and is constantly evident in our social, civil and commercial interactions".

LSE students benefit from being mentored by academics who are actively shaping legal developments through their world-leading research and examining how law can provide solutions to problems of contemporary interest.

Location: London

Internet site:Faculty of Law LSE

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How to Become a Lawyer in the UK If You Already Have a Degree

Although diplomas in foreign law are not recognized by the Regulatory Authority of Solicitors as qualifying law degrees, students who have earned a full-time degree (in any subject, including law) from a foreign university qualify for access to the Diploma of Graduate Degree in Law or equivalent degree Legal conversion course. After that, they can complete the LPC or the professional component of legal education.

The GDL (replaced by the SQE as of September 2021) is offered by many institutions and provides a way for non-law graduates to convert their degree into a qualified law degree.

An equivalent to the GDL is the "Qualifying LLM", which offers the opportunity to study the core GDL requirements while earning a master's degree.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about admission to the UK Bar Association.

Q1 What grades do you need to be a lawyer?

Universities generally expect very good Abitur scores as proof that you are up to the intellectual demands of a law degree. Admission requirements for a Bachelor of Laws degree at top universities generally range from A*AA to AAB, although this varies by institution. The Law Foundation is an alternative route to studying law.

Some universities require GCSE scores in English, Mathematics and possibly a foreign language.

Also, for a law degree at university, you often need theProof of Admission to National Law (LNAT)as part of your application. Your legal knowledge will not be tested, but your suitability for the required skills will be assessed.

Q2. How long does it take to become a lawyer in the UK?

With the LLB course, legal training lasts six years. It takes seven years if you decide to do the Bachelors course as you have to complete the GDL conversion course.

You must study for five years to qualify as a lawyer:

Q3 What qualifications do you need to become a lawyer?

To become a solicitor via the university route, you must complete a qualified law degree (LLB) before taking the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), which leads to the Graduate Diploma of Law (GDL) and the Course in Legal Practice (LPC) for all newcomers. will be replaced from September 2021, although transitional regulations will apply to students already taking these courses.

Those who have studied an unrelated subject at undergraduate level must take an SQE preparation course before taking the exams. The next step is to complete two years of qualified legal work experience, which may include an apprenticeship, before passing the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) character and aptitude requirements. In total:

  • Three-year undergraduate course (+ 1-year GDL conversion course if required)
  • One-year Legal Practice Course (LPC)
  • Two-year Professional Skills Course
  • Two-year legal training contract with a law firm

To become a lawyer in England and Wales, you must complete at least three levels or components of training.

  • three-year bachelor's degree
  • One year paralegal professional training course (BPTC)
  • Chambers one-year fellowship (also known as the work-based learning component)

Next steps

We hope this article has helped you to understand more about the processes involved in applying to law school and to learn about some of the best universities to study law in the UK. You can find more information about studying law and the medical profession atTopics Section/Career AdvisorKings website.

You can also find detailed profiles of thebest universities in uk.

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If you would like more information about the Kings and our programs, please contact us


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