A guide to the different types of solicitors
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Are there other types of lawyers I can use?

General Information

Relevant across multiple law types

There are solicitors, who have generally done a law degree followed by a legal practice course and two years as a trainee, so a total of about 6 years training to qualify.  Often after qualification they will concentrate on a specialist area and focus on, for example, crime or commercial work.

Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and are required to adhere to strict codes of conduct.

Legal Executives are people who have qualified as a Legal Executive via CILEx, the professional body for Chartered Legal Executives.  Often people do this “on the job” so they take courses and examinations while working in a solicitor’s office. They may well not have a law degree but the courses and examinations educate them to law degree standard so a fully qualified member of the Institute of Legal executives will be as knowledgeable as many solicitors.

It is worth being aware that some firms of solicitors refer to some of their staff as “executives” or “litigation executives” or “conveyancing executives”.  This is not the same as a fully qualified Legal Executive.  For someone to call themselves a Legal Executive they should have passed the CILEx exams.  If in doubt check with the law firm or individual as to the status of the person running your case.

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers regulate some lawyers who specialise in Conveyancing or Probate work.  To be called a Licensed Conveyancer or a Licensed Probate Practitioner means that you must have passed the CLC’s examinations and courses.  As with Legal Executives, such people will very often be as knowledgeable, if not more, than solicitors in their specialist area.