The first stage of formal legal training is the Foundation Programme. For the vast majority of aspiring solicitors, the LLB degree will be the Foundation Programme that they undertake. There are around 3,500 LLB students in Scotland!
During the LLB, you will study all aspects of Scots Law that will allow you to practise as a Scottish solicitor once you have also completed the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice and traineeship. There are undergraduate, postgraduate (if you have done a different degree already), full-time, part-time and online options available, so you can fit studying the LLB around your own personal circumstances.
It's really important to be certain you are on the right course if you want to become a Scottish solicitor. You must undertake an LLB course run by an accredited provider. Non-LLB courses and alternative courses at other universities are not recognised by the Law Society of Scotland as part of the route to qualifying as a Scottish solicitor.
Do I need to study specific modules during my LLB to become a Scottish solicitor?
Yes. All students aiming to qualify as a solicitor must ensure that they study specific subjects that are designed to meet the Law Society's foundation programme outcomes. There isn't one 'required subject list' that applies for all courses, as it will vary dependent on where you study. Your university will be able to signpost the required set of subjects to you. Generally, you would study these subjects during the first two years of the LLB (or throughout the accelerated LLB). You must have passed these subjects to undertake the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice and then apply for an entrance certificate, before you start your traineeship.
It's important that you bear in mind your grades in these subjects at first sitting will be taken into account during your future Diploma application. Find out more about the Diploma application process.
Can I qualify in England/Wales with a Scots Law LLB?
If you are on the LLB and wish to find out about qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales, we would suggest you contact the SRA about embarking on conversion courses straight after the Scottish LLB and before any further period of training in Scotland has been undertaken. As the SRA is a separate organisation, we cannot offer advice on what a person who has a Scottish LLB must do to qualify in England and Wales.
Bear in mind that some accredited universities offer the combined English and Scots Law LLB, which allows you to study aspects of both legal systems. If you take all of the required subjects, these courses can allow you to keep your options open and choose which jurisdiction you would like to qualify in after graduating from the LLB.