The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has included two major changes to the procedure for qualifying as a solicitor.
Firstly, some or all the academic stage (law degree) and vocational stage (LPC) can be met in whole or part by doing approved qualifications deemed equivalent.
All information on equivalent means route to qualify as a solicitor can be found here:
Secondly, those paralegals who have passed the LPC will be eligible to qualify as a solicitor without having to complete a training contract if they can show that they have effectively met the training contract criteria through other assessed learning, work-based learning and equivalent means of training.
You may be able to apply for exemption for a period of recognised training. Pre-requites to apply include evidencing the following:
- Two years’ experience
- How you have met the Practice Skills Standards
- Supervision of all work experience
- References from your supervisor to support your application and evidence of regular appraisal of your work
All information is available on the SRA website at https://www.sra.org.uk/students/resources/exemptions/period-recognised-training/
Working as a Paralegal is also a good way to apply for training contracts if you have the requisite qualifications. Many trainee solicitors are in fact Paralegals and have used this route to enter the legal profession. Securing a training contract is very challenging and for many a career as a Professional Paralegal Practitioner enables almost all legal activities (bar the Reserved Activities) to be undertaken.
Wherever your career takes you a period of recognised training to include professional skills will make you a valuable prospect for employers and clients.