Our Careers and Outreach Coordinator, Lyndsey Thomson, shares the Education, Training and Qualifications team's top tips for getting your entrance certificate application right first time.

For many students, the summer months signify the end of the DPLP or, at the very least, a welcome break until the next term starts. At the Law Society, however, summer months mean the start of an extremely busy period for us, where we deal with a large number of applications for entrance certificates.

We know that it’s sometimes difficult to get things right first time, so we’ve put together these handy hints and tips to try and make it as clear and simple as possible, so that your application is submitted correctly and processed as quickly as possible – a win for everyone!

Applications for an entrance certificate can now only be submitted online and you must either create an account or log in to your Student Associate account to apply. 

Application forms must be submitted to the Society at least four weeks prior to your traineeship start date, but we strongly advise that you submit your application eight weeks before this date to reduce the possibility of delays.

To make sure your application is submitted correctly, please ensure the following:

  • If you have a traineeship, but cannot find the name of your firm in the drop-down menu, please include the firm’s name in the address box underneath
  • In the Qualifications section, please include the name of the university along with your years of study (eg 2017 – 2021 or 2019 - 2020), even if you are still to be awarded the DPLP
  • Upload a copy of your LLB Certificate (not a letter of award)
  • Submit your full transcript showing all the modules for your LLB
  • Check that any documents you submit are clear and easy to read 
Standard Disclosure Scotland check

A Standard Disclosure Scotland check must also be carried out by the Law Society for all entrance certificate applications. This form should be submitted directly to the Law Society online, along with your entrance certificate application form, so that we can countersign it.

Covid restrictions mean that you must download your application form from Disclosure Scotland’s website and there is a £25 fee for this check. Payment should be made directly to Disclosure Scotland before submitting your application to the Law Society. Your payment reference number should be included in your application. Adhering to the following steps will help to ensure your form is completed correctly:

  • Submit a Word document, not a PDF
  • If you have middle names, please include all of them on the form
  • Ensure your address history covers a full five years, including the month. For example, if you apply in 06/2021, make sure your address history goes back as far as 06/2016.  Addresses should be listed in reverse order, starting with your current address. If your current address is your family home address, please put the month and year in which you moved back there most recently.
  • If you don’t have enough space on the application form, you can send an email with extra addresses to legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk.
  • Make sure the address on your ID matches your current address.
Remember the following points and it will make your life that bit simpler!
  • Fill in the form up to and including section 6
  • Pay Disclosure Scotland directly using the payment portal
  • Remember to include your payment reference on the form

The traineeship

Finish your legal education by learning 'on the job' working as a trainee under the supervision of a Scots-qualified solicitor. Traineeships last for a period of two years and, after its successful completion, you are ready to apply to take out a solicitor's practising certificate.