There are lots of different types of memberships, accreditations and qualifications you can get at the Law Society. Find out more below.

Please note - this page should be read in conjunction with EU Services Directive and Applications pages.

Categories and fees for individuals
Scottish solicitors and practising certificate holders

It is only by holding a Practising Certificate that you can hold yourself out as a Practising Solicitor.

Solicitor entitled to practice - £650 annually 1 November

  • Roll Retention Fee £100 + Annual subscription £550 (pro rata) = £650.00.

Concessionary rate: (during first two years following admission)

  • Roll Retention Fee £100 + £275 = £375

Full information about Practising Certificate renewal can be found here.

You can also contact our Registrar's department for assistance

Non-practising members

This membership will automatically maintain your name on the Roll of Solicitors in Scotland without holding a practising certificate.

Non-practising member -- £300 annually 1 November

Non practising membership (NPM): Roll Retention Fee £100 + full rate £200 = £300 Concessionary rate: (solicitors not in employment in the capacity of a solicitor)

Roll Retention Fee £100 + concessionary rate £100 = £200

Please note this membership entitles you to apply for a practising certificate at any time throughout the practice year.

Retained on the Roll of solicitors

This membership will automatically maintain your name on the Roll of Solicitors in Scotland without holding a practising certificate.

This entitles you to remain on the Roll of Solicitors in Scotland and have access to a number of Society services such as newsletters and access to an online versions of the Journal.

The cost of retaining your name on the Roll of Solicitors in Scotland is £100.00.

Please note this membership entitles you to apply for a practising certificate at any time throughout the practice year.

Registered Foreign Lawyers

Every multinational practice must have at least one lawyer from an alternative jurisdiction approved by the Society. These individuals are known as Registered Foreign Lawyers (RFLs).

RFLs are invited by email to renew their registration with us once a year online by 31 October.

In the past, RFLs have been required to provide us with a certificate of good standing from the SRA when they renew their registration. However, this is no longer a requirement. (New RFLs and those who have been without RFL status for more than 12 months will still need to provide a certificate of good standing).

There's more information on RFLs in our Rules and Guidance section.

Registered European Lawyer

A Registered European Lawyer is a lawyer belonging to one of the Member States legal professions listed in the European Establishment Directive who may practice under their home jurisdiction in Scotland.

The Directive sets out various conditions which have to be met for such registration including three years practice under a lawyer’s home title in Scotland.

 

Membership cost of £550 annually 1 November.

 

European lawyer who wishes to pursue professional activities under his home professional title on a permanent basis in Scotland and who wishes to apply pursuant to regulation 16 of the European Lawyer Regulations to be entered on the register established and maintained by the Society pursuant to regulation 15 of the European Lawyer Regulations and section 12A of the 1980 Act. See Rule D6.

Student associates

All Scots Law LLB and Diploma in Professional Legal Practice students are eligible to apply to join as a student associate

 

It's free to join - find out more and sign up on our website.

Accredited Paralegals

The Accredited Paralegal status provides a defined professional status and a career path for paralegals.

 Accreditation is achieved by demonstrating an ability to work to a specified set of standards. The annual membership fee for Accredited Paralegal status is £110. Find out more.

Rights of audience

Solicitors can apply to become Solicitor Advocates and gain extended rights of audience.

The whole process to get extended rights of audience can take up to 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. Find out more.

Accredited specialisms

Our specialist accreditation scheme offers recognition for solicitors who develop specialist knowledge during their careers, and also helps the public choose a solicitor with the necessary expertise, particularly in more complex cases

There are currently 28 specialisms, which can be searched using our Find a solicitor search facility.

Find out about assessing your fitness to become an accredited specialist and read our guidance on the procedure on our website.

The fee to apply to be accredited as a specialist is £300 plus vat (£360)

The fee to be accredited as a family or commercial mediator is £200 plus vat (£240)

Notary publics

Information on the admission and registration of notaries.

The Council of the Law Society of Scotland is responsible for the admission and registration of notaries under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990. A petition to the Court of Session for admission as a solicitor can include an application for admission as a notary public and, in practice, usually does.

Since November 2007, only solicitors/notaries in possession of a practising certificate can act as notaries in Scotland: Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 Section 62.

Guidance for intrant notaries

Download the notary application form

IMPORTANT: Before filling in the Notary Public Application form, please contact David Macdougall on 0131 476 8173 to check your status.

The Society is a member of the United Kingdom and Ireland Notarial Forum, along with:

The forum was set up to help develop the recognition of work of notaries in the United Kingdom, and meets quarterly.

Looking for a notary who speaks your language?

Visit the European e-Justice Portal to search for one!

Any queries regarding notarial matters should be addressed to Michael Clancy via email through David Macdougall or on 0131 476 8173.

Society of Law Accountants in Scotland (SOLAS)

Enrolment is now open for the Autumn 2017 evening classes. More detail, and the enrolment form is available here.

The evening training classes are provided through the Society of Law Accountants in Scotland (SOLAS) and are examined by a joint board of examiners set up by the Law Society of Scotland and SOLAS.

The course takes account of changing requirements within the profession and  focuses initially on the three key areas of cash room accounting, executries and feeing. An executive summary of each course is available.

The course is now for a period of one year and one term is dedicated to each module. Modules will be provided on one evening per week in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness (numbers permitting) and also now via video link (Webinar). It is intended that modules will be provided on a more advanced basis for second year but that will depend on the popularity of the first year classes.

In order to provide as much flexibility as possible, staff can either undertake all three modules in the one year or only one or two of the modules. The costs are:

Module Duration Cost

Cashroom Accounting

10 weeks

£350

Executries

12 weeks

£350

Feeing

5 weeks

£150

All three modules

1 academic year

£675

 
Those students who successfully complete all three modules will then be able to apply to SOLAS for associate membership. Visit www.solas.co.uk for more information about SOLAS.

It is recommended that only staff with a minimum of 12 months' relevant work experience should undertake the modules. It is expected that your cash room staff, paralegals, trainee solicitors or qualified solicitors will find one or more of the modules useful, either as a refresher or as a tool to familiarise themselves with cash room duties.

The Society administers the registration for the course while area organisers in each of the centres manage the day-to-day running of the modules and examinations. A joint board comprising SOLAS members and Law Society members oversees the course.

Enrolments will be on a first come, first served basis and the form should be accompanied by your cheque for the relevant amount made payable to The Law Society of Scotland.

For current details of other SOLAS events being held across the country please visit the SOLAS webpage.

If you or a member of your staff is interested in becoming a qualified law accountant, please contact the Secretary to the Joint Board, Deb Barber, at the Law Society of Scotland.

Categories and fees for businesses
Traditional practice

This information is intended to assist those starting a new practice unit.

Rule D4 is useful to identify the requirements and fees associated with starting a new practice. The Guarantee fund fee contribution is not apportioned and requires to be paid each practice year.  The Guarantee fund fee is currently £580.00, however best to check with the Registrar’s Department to confirm the fee required before establishing.

Multinational practice

(a) a partnership whose members are regulated persons and include registered foreign lawyers; or

(b) a body corporate whose members include registered foreign lawyers, and membership of which is restricted to regulated persons

 

£400 application fee for recognition

Incorporated Practice

A body corporate recognised by the Council in terms of section 34(1A) of the 1980 Act and rule 5 in Section D of the foregoing rules as being suitable to undertake the provision of professional services such as may be provided by solicitors.

An application for recognition for Incorporated Practice costs £400.

Please contact James Ness, Deputy Registrar for further information.

Qualifying as a Scottish solicitor

Find out the routes to qualify as a Scottish solicitor; including studying the LLB and Diploma in Professional Legal Practice, alternatives to university and how to requalify from other jurisdictions.