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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental ScienceUndergraduate study

Qualifying as a lawyer

Qualifying as a lawyer can be a long and expensive process, so it is worth doing a lot of research about your route into law, particularly in terms of deciding between becoming a solicitor or barrister.


  1. You will need to achieve a 2:2 or above in your undergraduate degree.
    Remember that first and second year results may be important when applying for law positions. Employers will want to see a steady stream of high grades.
  2. Many employers, especially in large well known firms, may ask for at least a 2:1.
  3. Complete a Law Conversion course. This Graduate Diploma in Law is offered by over 30 UK institutions. Applications for these courses tend to open in November and close in February and do not usually involve an interview. These courses bring you to the same level as those with an undergraduate degree in law.
  4. After successfully completing law training, candidates proceed to either the Legal Practice Course for solicitors or the Bar Professional Training Course for barrister.
  5. Barristers need to complete a year of pupilage under supervision before they can apply for permanent positions.

Work experience

Any experience you can get is likely to be helpful in this extremely competitive field. It will also help you confirm your interest in the profession.

Shadowing a barrister in chambers will allow you to attend court and conferences and is an excellent way to get experience. You may have to start your conversion course before barristers will take you on.

Vacation schemes and open days run by law firms are excellent ways to get experience, and firms also use them to test your suitability for a job so be prepared to impress.

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