How to Become a Lawyer in UK?

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Cover_How to Become a Lawyer in UK

The United Kingdom has one of the best education systems in the world and also leads the charts for academics in law. With over 10,000 law firms employing international law students each year, the competition to get accepted in the top law universities in UK is a difficult and lengthy process. In this blog, we will help you through the details of the courses from undergraduate programs, cost of living to job opportunities and skills. Here is your complete guide on how to become a lawyer in UK. 

Why Study Law in UK?

Becoming a lawyer in the UK is one of the most prestigious and highly respected careers. More than 25,000 students chose to study law in UK. Moreover, UK is considered one of the countries with the best education system. England follows Common Law which is over 900 years old and is globally applicable. More than one-third of the countries in the world have a law system based on the English Common Law. This makes studying law in UK a convenient option for students globally. There are over 10,000 active law firms in UK, with the top 5 firms employing 1,000 lawyers each. With such a huge market for lawyers, studying law from universities in UK is the best option. 

Skills Required to Become a Lawyer in UK

We discussed how there is a great demand for lawyers in UK. But with great demand comes high competition against lawyers. The acceptance rates in the top universities are lower in UK compared to other countries. Therefore, you must consciously decide whether you have the skills required to be a lawyer before you read forward on how to become a lawyer in UK. 

  • Teamwork– If one of the biggest firms in UK, CMS, hires 1377 lawyers each year, imagine the need for all lawyers to work in teams. If you possess the quality of cordially working in teams, you can become a lawyer. 
  • Problem-solving skills– A lawyer is typically a problem solver who tries to bring the best out of a circumstance. You should be able to come to a consensus with your client and your colleagues in cases. 
  • Writing strength– As a lawyer, you have to draft agreements, letters to clients, contracts and such written documents. With a huge responsibility on your head, little grammatical errors can make or break your case. 
  • Refutal skills– If you’ve heard your parents complain about how you argue till you are proven right, the law is the profession for you. Your verbal communication skills have to be up to the mark always. 
  • Work under pressure– There is a lot of pressure a lawyer has to go through. Especially in UK, where the inflow of international students is much more than the ones who get placed. 

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Types of Lawyers in UK- Solicitor or Barrister 

If you want to know how to become a lawyer in UK, you have to first know the types of lawyers you can become.

Solicitor 

A solicitor is a lawyer that handles the case from the very start. The first reading, writing letters on the client’s behalf and everything. A solicitor is either working in a private firm owned by him or in a partnership or generally employed by a private firm. The job role of a solicitor is as follows:

  • Advising clients and even in writing
  • Communicating the case details at every point
  • Writing to you regularly
  • Writing to the other party or their solicitor
  • Draft court papers, statements and applications for court proceedings

Although the barrister has the right to represent you, in most cases a solicitor can exercise his right of audience and represent you in court. The average salary of a solicitor in UK is £60,142 or ₹61.6 lakh per year.

Barrister

If a solicitor does all your paperwork and works behind the scenes, a barrister represents you in court. A barrister defends people in court and wears a wig and gown. The key responsibilities of a barrister are as follows:

  • Represent clients in court
  • Advise at strategic points in a case

A solicitor drafts a brief (summary of the case) for the barrister to make correct arguments to defend the client. While solicitors work in private offices, barristers work in chambers which mean shared offices with other barristers. The average salary of a barrister in UK is £89,400 or ₹91.6 lakhs per year. 

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Top Universities

In the journey of knowing how to become a lawyer, let’s first look at the top universities in UK for law and their ranking worldwide. Along with having the best law schools and colleges, these universities also rank amongst the top universities in the world.

Name of University  Qs World University Ranking (2021)
University of Oxford 2
University of Cambridge  3
London School of Economics and Political Science 6
University College London 15
King’s College London  16
University of Edinburgh 23
Queen Mary University of London 29
Durham University  50
University of Glasgow 65
University of Bristol 76

Planning to pursue Law in any of the above-mentioned universities? Register for the Mega UniConnect, World’s First & Largest Online University Fair. Interact directly with admission teams and explore the right-fit programs at the University of your choice!

How to Become a Lawyer in UK: Undergraduate 

Here’s the step by step guide on how to become a lawyer in UK at an undergraduate level. 

Step 1: Choose your university and course

The first step towards becoming a lawyer in UK is to choose a university. You can either pursue an LLB or BA Law for 3 years at the undergraduate level. 

Step 2: Check whether you are eligible or not

Law universities in the UK require you to have a minimum of 65% in your 12th for you to be eligible. This minimum cutoff can also be as high as 85% for the University of Oxford. In case of a lower score, you can apply for the LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test) as an added academic qualification. You will also be required to submit your IELTS/TOEFL score to be eligible to study in UK. 

Step 3: Apply to universities

After appearing for the aptitude test and English test, attach your important documents along with your CV, Letters Of Recommendations and Statement of Purpose. You will have to wait for 2 to 3 weeks to hear of acceptance from universities 

Step 4: Apply for Student Visa for UK

After you have completed all the above steps in how to become a lawyer in UK, you have to now apply for a UK student visa. The visa application process should start 6 months before your course starts and will take 3 to 4 weeks to process.

How to Become a Lawyer in UK: Graduate

If you want to pursue a master’s in law in UK, the minimum requirement is to hold a bachelor’s degree in law (LLB or BA Law). If you hold this degree, you should follow the given step by step guide on how to become a lawyer in UK: graduate. 

Step 1: Check out the universities with the best LLM courses in UK 

LLM can be a 1 to 2-year long course in universities in UK. University of Cambridge and Oxford are the top universities for LLM in UK. 

Step 2: Eligibility requirements 

To do post-graduation in law in UK, you have to give GMAT or GRE as an aptitude test along with your IELTS/TOEFL as proof of English proficiency. 

Step 3: University Applications

Send out your applications along with the aptitude and English proficiency test mark sheet, CV, LORs and SOP. You will have to wait for 4 to 5 weeks to hear from the applied universities. 

Step 4: Apply for the UK Student visa 

After being accepted by either one of the universities, you can apply for a UK student visa. Make sure you read the UK Visa questions before you go for your interview to avoid rejection. 

Can you Practice Law in India after Studying in UK?

As we discussed, the Indian Law System is inspired by the English Common Law. Therefore, if you want to work in India after studying law in UK, the Bar Council of India recognises degrees from the following UK Universities. Indian law firms are keener on employing lawyers who become lawyers in UK. 

Check out the High paying jobs in UK

Cost of Studying Law in UK 

This table will help you understand the cost of becoming a lawyer in UK. 

Type of Expense Average Cost
Tuition fee Undergraduate- ₹12.31-₹23.5 lakhs per year
Postgraduate- ₹14.37-₹30.79 lakhs per year
Visa application ₹35,723
Accommodation ₹61,590-₹90,330 per month
Food and travel  ₹20,530-₹25,633 per month
Utilities  ₹10,265 per month
GMAT/GRE Exam fee ₹18,850/₹16,065
LNAT Exam fee ₹5,280 
IELTS/TOEFL Exam fee ₹14,700/₹13,780

Job Opportunities as a Lawyer in UK

We’ve seen how to become a lawyer in UK, now let’s look at the jobs you can apply for as a law graduate. 

Job Profile  Average starting salary per year
Arbitrator  28.68 lakhs 
Barrister  51.22 lakhs 
Barrister’s clerk 18.44 lakhs 
Chartered legal executive 15.36 lakhs
Company secretary  59.44 lakhs
Costs lawyer  20.45 lakhs
Detective  25.38 lakhs
Licensed conveyancer  40.98 lakhs 
Paralegal  28.30 lakhs 
Solicitor  35.85 lakhs 

FAQs

Can I work in India after studying law in UK?

Yes, you can if you graduate from the UK universities approved by the Bar Council of India. 

How to study PG in Law in UK?

You can apply for the LLM courses in UK universities for post-graduation.

Is it cheaper to study law in UK outside of London?

While the cost of living might be lower outside of London, the tuition fee depends upon the course rankings. 

Can I apply to law universities in UK without LNAT?

Yes, you can apply but if you aren’t qualified enough, LNAT adds weightage. 

What is the difference between BA LLB and LLB?

BA LLB is a 5-year program and LLB is a 3-year program. 

Hope this blog on how to become a lawyer in UK helped you with the various details about the course. Planning to kickstart your career in Law? Choose the best-suited course for you via our AI-powered Course Finder. You can also approach our experts at Leverage Edu who will help you with your applications process and other details. 

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