Solicitors are the legal practitioners who deal with a variety of responsibilities. Some of the most common are providing legal advice, acting as representatives in commercial dealing, managing ongoing cases and handling legal communications. On occasion, a solicitor may represent you in court, but this responsibility is generally taken on by a barrister.
There are two main categories of solicitors, based on where they work, either in private practice or in-house. Solicitors in private practice work for members of the public with legal issues, charging fees for their services. If you work as an in-house solicitor you work for a specific organisation, for whom you are an employee. This body could be a bank, the state or a technology company.
In either type of practice, solicitors may act as a generalist, or may specialise in specific areas. Examples of specialities you could peruse are intellectual property, taxation, planning law, EU law, commercial law or financial services.
The path to becoming a solicitor is a highly structured process. It takes around three years to qualify as a Solicitor. If you wish to become a solicitor you must first pass the Law Society entrance examinations, followed by a period of study and in-office training. After this period of instruction, which takes 32 months to complete, you will be qualified to be admitted to the roll and practice as a solicitor, so long as you possess a practicing certificate and maintain your membership of the Law Society.