Quick and easy access to the most frequently asked questions for qualified solicitors.

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I recently qualified with a small local firm. I am aware of the Solicitors Regulation Authority requirement for continuing professional development, but my firm tells me that there is no money in the budget for training and we don’t have in-house training. What can I do about this and how much training do I need to receive?

All solicitors who are admitted to the roll are required to undertake continuing professional development (CPD). The requirement is to undertake 16 hours of CPD in the 12 months running from 1 November to 31 October. Solicitors in their first year of qualification are required to complete one hour for each complete month worked from the date of admission until 31 October.It’s your responsibility to comply with the CPD requirements. Firms are not obliged to pay for CPD courses or to allow time off to attend such courses. Contact your local Law Society to see if they hold CPD courses and, if so at what cost. Other alternatives you may wish to consider are distance learning courses and contacting special interest groups and associations which run courses – details can be found at the Law Society website.
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I work for a small regional firm and have decided to stay on. I’ll be having salary negotiations in the summer. How much can I expect to earn?

You should speak to a recruitment consultant with knowledge of the local market in your chosen field. It is their job to know the market inside out, and they are best placed to advise you on your earning potential. Most recruitment consultants also produce salary surveys on their website.
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I’ve been invited by partners of my firm to join the partnership as an equity partner. I don’t know much about partnership. What does it entail and what do I do next?

Make as many enquiries as necessary to give you an accurate picture of the firm upon which to base your decision. You should invest in the Law Society publication Becoming a PartnerThis contains practical advice which will assist you in your decision. As a partner, whether equity or salaried, you are fully liable. Check the fine details of the offer and thoroughly inspect the firm’s accounts and current financial position, especially regarding debts, work in progress and billing. You may want to seek independent legal and financial advice before making your decision. The Solicitors Assistance Scheme (tel: 020 7320 5795) can help with legal advice.Back to list of FAQs

What are the requirements to become a sole practitioner?

To set up as a sole practitioner you must:

  • hold a current practising certificate
  • have qualifying insurance with a qualifying insurer
  • be qualified to supervise.

To be qualified to supervise, a solicitor must have held a practising certificate for 36 months in the past 10 years and undertaken 12 hours of management skills training.
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