We welcome applications from qualified lawyers from all over the world who are interested in requalifying into Scotland. All solicitors requalifying from another jurisdiction can apply to undertake the Qualified Lawyers Assessment. This is a universal set of exams, which will attract various exemptions for solicitors already qualified in certain countries.

We are here to guide you through the qualification process from beginning to end. We can also give advice and information about working in the Scottish jurisdiction, to help you identify what career options might be available to you. If you would like some assistance in relation to career options, please contact careers@lawscot.org.uk. Otherwise, if you are looking to begin the requalification process, please read the information below and follow the steps provided.

Covid-19 update

We are closely monitoring official advice and updates from the Scottish Government and NHS to ensure that we are acting in accordance with the latest guidance to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, members and stakeholders.

All exam diets are currently being held remotely. Further information about the arrangements of a remote exam diet can be found in the drop-down list below. Any updates will be added to this page.

The Application Process (obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility)

Solicitors qualified outwith Scotland must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility before requalifying as a Scottish solicitor. This certifies that you are a fit and proper person to enter the profession. You can find out what it means to be a fit and proper person here.

It is recommended you apply for a Certificate of Eligibility four months before the date of the first examination of the Qualified Lawyers Assessment you intend to sit.

Step one

Everyone applying for a Certificate of Eligibility must undertake a Disclosure Scotland check. To do this, you need to download the Word version of the Disclosure Scotland application form from its website here or via the link at bottom of this page.

You should complete this form as outlined below in the 'How to complete the forms correctly' section, and must pay the £25 fee directly to Disclosure Scotland, using the payment portal within the application form. Once you have paid Disclosure Scotland, keep a note of the payment reference number as you will need to enter this on the application form that you submit to us.

When you apply for your Certificate of Eligibility, you must submit the completed Disclosure Scotland form (in Word format), including payment reference number, as part of the application.

Step two

Complete the Certificate of Eligibility application form, which can be downloaded here or via the link at the bottom of this page.

Step three

Complete the Learning Portfolio application form, where candidates are required to outline their academic and professional qualifications and experience and also apply for any exemptions which have not been automatically granted (see exemption information below). The application form can be downloaded here or via the link at the bottom of this page.

  • Certificate of Good Standing from Home Bar Association (for details of what this must show, see Schedule 5 of the Admission as Solicitor (Scotland) Regulations 2019)
  • Recent photograph
  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae
  • Completed Learning Portfolio
  • Completed Disclosure Scotland form with payment reference number
  • Copy birth certificate or abbreviated birth certificate
  • One form of photographic ID
  • One item showing your current home address
  • Name declaration if applicable (see explanatory note 1 in application form)
  • Details if you have answered “yes” to any questions of sections 2 - 5in the application form

Disclosure Scotland Form

  1. You can only submit a Word document. We cannot accept PDF.
  2. If you have middle names, please include all of them on the form.
  3. Ensure your address history covers a full five years, up until the month when applying. For example: if you apply in October 2021, make sure your address history goes back as far as October 2016. Addresses should be listed in reverse order starting with your current address. If your current address is your family home and you have recently moved back there, please put the date that you returned to that address, in the 'resident from' box. Do not put the date that you originally moved into that property, unless you have lived there on a continuous, uninterrupted basis. This may mean that you have to list some addresses, such as family homes, twice, if you have lived there on separate occasions.
  4. If you don’t have enough space on the application form for all the addresses, you can send an email with extra addresses to martynrobinson@lawscot.org.uk.
  5. Make sure your address ID matches your current address.
  6. When given the option to select application type, please select ‘standard’.
  7. Fill in the form up to and including section 6. The Society will complete the remaining sections.
  8. Pay Disclosure Scotland directly, using the payment portal within the application form.
  9. Remember to include your payment reference on the form.

Certificate of Eligibility Form

  1. Review the explanatory notes found within the application form before completing.
  2. All sections (1 - 8) should be completed.
  3. If you answer "yes" to any of the questions under sections 3 - 5, please provide full details on a separate page.
  4. Include details of two referees who will be asked to provide character references. Please make sure their email addresses are clearly stated.
  5. Sign the declaration and have this witnessed. Electronic signatures can be accepted.
  6. Include all of the supporting evidence stated in the list above.

Learning Portfolio Form

  1. You must complete sections 1 and 2.
  2. Section 3 must be completed for each exemption application made. Please note that exemptions as of right will automatically be granted and do not require a separate application (information on exemptions can be found further down the page).
  • The fee for obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility is £500. You will receive an invoice from the Society once your application has been processed. Payment method is by bank transfer or over the phone.
  • The Disclosure Scotland fee is £25. Pay Disclosure Scotland directly, using the payment portal within the application form.

The Certificate of Eligibility form, Learning Portfolio form and supporting documentation should be emailed, preferably in PDF format, to martynrobinson@lawscot.org.uk.

A completed Disclosure Scotland form, including your payment reference, should also be sent to the same email address, along with the above documents. However, the format of the application must be in Word as the Society is required to countersign the application before sending on to Disclosure Scotland.

We aim to issue certificates within six weeks from the date the application was received.

The Exam Process (Qualified Lawyers Assessment)
  1. Legal system and legal method
  2. Public Law
  3. Obligations
  4. Criminal Law
  5. Evidence
  6. Procedure
  7. Conveyancing
  8. Trusts and Succession
  9. European Law and Institutions
  10. Professional Conduct
  11. The Accounts Rules

There are 11 subjects that you may be required to pass. However, solicitors from some jurisdictions have been granted exemptions by right. It would also be open to you to apply for exemptions from any of these exams on the basis of past study and qualifications.

Please read the guidelines here before submitting your learning portfolio, if you intend to apply for an exemption from an exam you are not already automatically exempt from.

Exemptions for solicitors, advocates and barristers in England & Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Channel Islands

English and Welsh solicitors and barristers, Northern Irish solicitors and barristers, Irish solicitors and barristers and solicitors and advocates from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are exempt from sitting examinations in:

  • public law
  • obligations
  • European law and institutions
  • professional conduct
Exemptions for lawyers qualified in non-UK EEA jurisdictions or Switzerland

Lawyers qualified in non-UK European economic area jurisdictions or Switzerland are exempt from sitting an examination in European law and institutions.

Exemptions for lawyers qualified in common law jurisdictions

Lawyers qualified in other common law jurisdictions have the option to answer any three questions in the examination in legal system and legal method. Non-common law candidates also must answer three questions, in which one question will be compulsory.

If you believe that you are qualified in a common law jurisdiction which is not included in this list, please indicate so on your application and explain your reasons.

Further information about what questions you are required to answer can be found in the syllabus.

You can enrol in the exams once the application process is complete and you have been granted a Certificate of Eligibility from the Society.

  • Download an exam enrolment form here.
  • Enrolment forms must be completed in full and submitted to martynrobinson@lawscot.org.uk no later than six weeks prior to an exam diet.
  • Late enrolments may not be accepted.
  • The enrolment fee is £100 per exam. Once your enrolment form has been received and processed, you will receive an invoice shortly after including payment instructions. Payment must be made within seven days of receipt of the invoice.

Exam answers must be candidates’ own, individual, original work. Candidates must answer the exam on their own. Candidates must not confer with other candidates undertaking the same examination. Examiners will be looking for any indication of collusion or of assistance from others. Examiners will be checking for plagiarism. Candidates found to be deceitfully plagiarising, copying, or cheating in any other way will fail the exam. A candidate who enables another candidate to plagiarise, copy or cheat will be subject to the same penalty. Candidates are also reminded that dishonest behaviour, such as plagiarism, copying or cheating, may be later grounds for refusing a candidate's admission, as a fit and proper person, to the legal profession. In principle, your answers should be as they would be in the exam hall.
In marking, examiners will recognise
•    the novelty of these arrangements for candidates and the possible difficulties presented;
•    the fact that candidates can access other materials in preparing their answers.

There are two exam diets per year (May and November) and exams are normally held at the Society's offices in Edinburgh. However, due to the effects of Covid-19, all exams are currently being held remotely. This method will continue until further notice. Further information about the arrangements of a remote exam diet can be found in the drop-down list below. 

You can find a copy of the current exam calendar below.

Exam timetable and issue of paper

The exam timetable will be published as normal, a copy can be found above. Exam papers will be sent to candidates, by email, 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of each exam.

Format

The exam paper will be in broadly the same format as would have been supplied in the exam hall setting. It will comply with the terms of the syllabus for each subject in terms of numbers and types of question etc.

Form of submission

In principle, exam answers should be Word-processed. If you will be unable to comply with this requirement, you must arrange, in advance, to handwrite your answers and submit photos of each page within the 10-minute period allowed for this at the end of the exam.

Word count

Excessively long answers should be avoided. Quality is more important than quantity.  Remember that this is an exam. The aim is to write the best, not the longest, answers which can be given to the question asked.

Open book

Exams are now open book. In answering them, students may consult any material available to them. The questions will take some account of the fact that all materials are accessible. Essay questions might, for example, ask you to come up with particular examples of your own creation. Problem questions will concentrate on application of legal principles to fictional case studies. Do not rely on being able to find the material required during the exam. Access to materials can serve only as aide-memoire so that, for example, it may be possible to check a detail such as a case name.

Avoiding academic dishonesty

Exam answers must be students’ own, individual, original work. Students must answer the exam on their own. Markers will be looking for any indication of collusion or of assistance from others. Do not cut and paste large chunks of material from other sources.  Examiners will be checking for plagiarism.

In principle, your answers should be as they would be in the exam hall.

In marking, examiners will recognise:

  • the novelty of these arrangements for students and the possible difficulties presented
  • the fact that students can access other materials in preparing their answers.
Candidates with reasonable adjustments

In general, these can be dealt with for online submission but please discuss in advance with the Law Society.

  • You are entitled to four attempts at each exam paper.
  • You must sit your first exam or exams within 12 months of the date your Certificate of Eligibility is issued.
  • Starting with your first exam diet, you have four consecutive exam diets to sit each exam at least once.  For most candidates, this will mean that you will have to attempt each exam, at least once, within a two year period.
  • If you fail to pass all the exams within four consecutive exam diets, you must attempt all outstanding paper(s) at the next available diet.  This will be the case until you have used up all four of your attempts for any outstanding exam.

Once all required exams have been sat and passed, you are eligible to apply for admission to the Roll of Solicitors. The Society will provide you with the admission paperwork following your final exam.

Under Regulation 16(4) of the Admission as Solicitor (Scotland) Regulations 2019, applicants must apply for admission within five years after passing the Qualified Lawyers Assessment.

Once admitted to the Roll of Solicitors, you will be provided with paperwork to obtain a Practising Certificate to allow you to practice as a Scottish solicitor.

Certificate of Eligibility application form

Learning Portfolio form

Disclosure Scotland application form

 

If you have any questions relating to the requalification process, please contact martynrobinson@lawscot.org.uk.

Career support and advice

We have a dedicated careers team, who provide advice on employability skills, entry to the profession and career growth.