We welcome applications from solicitors who wish to become Solicitor Advocates and gain extended rights of audience.

Please direct any queries around applications for extended rights of audience to David Macdougall in our Education, Training & Qualifications team.

The process of obtaining extended rights of audience

All applicants should be aware that the whole process to obtain extended rights of audience can take around six months. There are various processes of application, assessment and acceptance that prospective candidates must undergo before they are permitted to exercise their rights of audience. Please note that much more detailed guidance is available in the rules and guidance sections and the dedicated pages for civil and criminal rights of audience at the bottom of this page.

 

The Statement of Standards for Solicitor Advocates - performance indicators

The Statement of Standards for Solicitor Advocates – Performance Indicators form the basis for assessment under the Law Society of Scotland Rights of Audience Requirements and Rules.  A solicitor advocate must be competent in each of these at the level required to practice effectively in the Courts to which rights of audience are sought.  Candidates are required to be able to demonstrate and evidence competence of these over the course of the assessment process.


Application form

All applicants must submit an application form and the appropriate application fee to us. All applicants must then undergo a reference check and will be granted a Sitting-In card subject to a successful application. Applicants will thereafter be sent details of exams and training.


Exams

There is usually one exam diet per year that candidates are able to undertake. There are two exams for all candidates, one of which will usually take place in the morning and the other on the same afternoon. There is no requirement to take the exams or the training course in any particular order.


Training course

The structure of the courses differ for criminal and civil rights of audience training. Candidates must have recorded six days experience of Sitting-In to become familiar with court procedure before completion of the course, although Sitting-In prior to commencing the course would be beneficial.

The courses take place over several weeks (usually at weekends) which all candidates must make themselves available for as all elements of the training must be completed. The courses comprise different assessments for the civil and criminal courses, some of which are oral and some written. There is no requirement to take the exams or the training course in any particular order.


Recommendation to the Rights of Audience Sub-Committee

Following a candidate's successful completion of the course including obtaining passes in the oral and written assessments and the exams and completion of the required Sitting-In, a decision will be made by the Rights of Audience Sub-Committee whether the candidate is granted extended rights of audience under S25A Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980.


Introduction to Court

This is the final stage of the process. It is not possible to exercise your rights of audience before being introduced to court.

Advice and information

Rules and guidance around acquiring rights of audience in Scotland, including the Queen's Counsel in Scotland.

Rule C4 for Solicitor Advocates

Rights of audience in the civil and criminal courts; order of precedence, instructions and representation; conduct of Solicitor Advocates.

Forms and fees

How to apply for extended rights of audience in civil and criminal courts.