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admission to the roll of solicitors

Admission to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales

The last stage in the process of becoming an English solicitor

The application on the MySRA website

Once you have passed the SQE1 and SQE2 assessments with Kaplan and fulfilled any other outstanding requirements set by the SRA, such as QWE, you may apply for admission to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales.

The application for admission as a solicitor is made at the mySRA website, and involves two steps:

  • Pre-admission screening – this must be taken before the character and suitability assessment
  • Admission application – this includes the character and suitability rules assessment

You may also apply for an early character suitability assessment prior to admission if you believe that you have issues related to your background which may affect your admission as a solicitor.

Pre-admission screening check

If you are applying for admission and have lived in the UK for 12 months or more during the last five years, you will need to complete pre-admission screening check with Atlantic Data Ltd.

The screening process includes a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and looks at:

  • Spent and current convictions
  • Police cautions
  • Reprimands or final warnings recorded on the police national computer
  • Financial history

If you have not lived in the UK for 12 months or more during the last five years, you still need to complete pre-admission screening but instead the SRA will check your name and current address and you will be required to upload to the SRA website ID documents instead of DBS screening.

You will also need to upload an original criminal record check from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the last five years. The check must be no more than three months old and include an official translation, if not in English.

The screening check may take up to four weeks to be processed by the SRA.

Admission application and character and suitability assessment

Every person who applies for admission to the Roll of Solicitors must be of satisfactory character and suitability.

When considering your character and suitability, the SRA will take into account the overriding need to:

  • protect the public and the public interest; and
  • maintain public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons.

In doing so, the SRA will consider the nature of your role, and your individual circumstances, on a case by case basis.

admission to be a solicitor in england and wales

The SRA will consider any information available to it, taking into account all relevant matters. These will include (but are not limited to) any criminal record and other relevant conduct or behaviour, for example:

  • If you have behaved in a way:
    • which is dishonest
    • which is violent
    • which is threatening or harassing
    • where there is evidence of discrimination towards others
  • You have misused your position to obtain pecuniary advantage
  • You have misused your position of trust in relation to vulnerable people
  • You have committed an SQE assessment offence

The SRA have also confirmed that unauthorised use of course materials of an SQE training provider, infringement of intellectual property rights, and reselling course materials which contravenes the terms and conditions of an SQE training provider, may raise a potential character and suitability issue which could lead to a candidate being refused admission as a solicitor of England and Wales.

Once the SRA has received satisfactory results from the pre-admission screening checks and the character and suitability assessment, it will process your application for admission to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales.

If you are a foreign qualified lawyer, you will also need to provide to the SRA a certificate or letter of good standing from your home professional body or regulator which must have been issued no more than three months before the SRA receives your application for admission.

Admission dates

You will be asked for your preferred admission date when you submit your application for admission. The SRA will confirm your admission when it is satisfied that:

  • you have successfully and satisfactorily passed the SQE assessments;
  • you hold a degree or qualifications or experience which the SRA is satisfied are equivalent to a degree;
  • you have completed two years of qualifying work experience (QWE) (foreign qualified lawyers in an SRA recognised jurisdiction are exempt); and
  • you have met the character and suitability standards to be a solicitor.

The SRA usually assess admission applications within 30 days, although this may take longer if you disclose any character and suitability issues, need your qualifying work experience to be assessed, or require an overseas criminal record check.

Admission day

On the day you are admitted as a solicitor, the SRA will issue your Admission Certificate in the mySRA website. You will then be included on the Solicitors Register within 24 hours.

The SRA will send you an email confirming your date of admission once your application has been processed.

Once you are admitted, you may need a practising certificate if you want to carry out reserved legal activities.

If you do not intend to practise as a solicitor after the successful completion of the SQE assessments, you can still maintain your name on the Roll of Solicitors.

You do not need a practising certificate for this purpose but you cannot hold yourself out as a practising solicitor.

The Law Society (not the SRA) will invite you to book a place at an admission ceremony, which will take place after your admission date as a solicitor at the Law Society Hall in Chancery Lane, London. Attendance in the ceremony is optional.

The admissions ceremony is a unique opportunity to celebrate your success on qualifying to enter the solicitors’ profession

Continuing competence

Solicitors in England and Wales are not required to count Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours.

Instead, you must reflect on the quality of your practice and identify any learning and development needs.

You can then address these needs to make sure your knowledge and skills are up-to-date and that you are competent to practice.

Getting started with the SQE exams

Preparing for the SQE exams with QLTS School will give you the edge in confidence and materials. Look no further. We will help you pass the SQE on your first attempt and qualify as a solicitor of England and Wales.

 
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