The last step to becoming a solicitor is to apply to the Roll of Solicitors through the SRA
You’re almost there. Once you’ve passed both parts of your SQE and have finished your QWE, it’s time to apply to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales. This is also the point when your character and suitability will be checked.
To apply for admission as a solicitor, you need to go to the mySRA website and start the process. There are two steps:
When you apply, the SRA will confirm the following as part of your application (subject to available exemptions):
The SRA usually takes around 30 days to assess applications, although it could take longer if you disclose any character/suitability issues, need your QWE assessed externally or need an overseas criminal record check.
The SRA carry out these checks to make sure all solicitors are able to adequately protect the public and public interest, and maintain public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons.
The main things the SRA looks at when it comes to character and suitability are:
You can read more about the SRA’s rules and assessment criteria on their website. If you’re concerned that something might come up as part of your checks, it’s always best to apply to the SRA for an early check before you spend time and money preparing for the SQE.
Once your application is approved, the SRA will ask you for our preferred admission date. They will then issue a certificate of satisfaction confirming they will admit you as a solicitor on your preferred admission date.
If you want to work as a solicitor in England and Wales, you’ll need a practising certificate. Conditions may be attached to a practising certificate under certain circumstances.
If you were exempt from SQE2, you might need to demonstrate your English or Welsh language competence to the SRA. This will happen after you’ve been admitted as a solicitor and before you apply for your first practising certificate.
Solicitors in England and Wales don’t need to count Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours.
Instead, you’re expected to keep reflecting on the quality of your work and take steps to improve your knowledge when needed.
Applying to the Roll of Solicitors is the final step in your journey to becoming a solicitor. To make sure you’re ready for your SQE assessments, check out our resources.