Admission means applying to have your name put on the roll of solicitors. This process only happens once. Once you have been admitted, you must apply for a practising certificate to enable you to perform the duties of a solicitor. This practising certificate will be restricted by us until your traineeship has been formally discharged.
Find out about what you can and can't do as a trainee, both before and after you have been admitted.
The main elements that will impact trainees are:
- Trainees can apply for admission after three months of their traineeship, when previously it was one year. This involves completing mandatory sitting-in and an advocacy course.
- Training contracts must be returned within one month.
- Trainees will be able to have certain decisions authorised by an appointed training manager at their firm/organisation.
When can I apply for admission?
The earliest you can apply for admission is after you have completed three months of training. If you wish to apply for admission between three and 11 months, you must complete a mandatory advocacy course and 20 hours of sitting-in. Please find more information below about the aspects that you need to consider.
If you apply for admission after the first year of your traineeship, you do not have to complete these additional requirements.
You can also wait until the end of your traineeship and apply for admission at the same time as discharging your training contract. However, if you apply for admission at the end of your traineeship, you should be aware that there will be a period of a few weeks, while the application is being processed, where you cannot call yourself a solicitor or work as one.
We recommend that you speak with your employer about when is the best time for you to make an application.
The whole admission process (Standard Disclosure Scotland check, verification of application, petitioning the court, the petition being granted and our records being updated) can take up to 5 weeks during busy periods.
Things to think about
Disclosure Scotland check
We will carry out a Standard Disclosure Scotland check on you as part of the process. You can apply for this before making your application for admission (and it’ll speed the process up if you do!).
If you are looking to make a Disclosure Scotland application, please note that paper versions are not being accepted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please scroll down this page for more information about how you should download and submit an application.
Please note that if we have carried out a Standard Disclosure check on you in the last six months, for example when we issued your Entrance Certificate, we do not need to carry out another disclosure check at admission stage.
A nominated member of staff at the Law Society must countersign your Disclosure Scotland form, therefore please leave this section blank when you send it to us as well as the payment section (i.e. complete sections A to C only). If you hold a Disclosure Scotland form already for another reason, you will still have to apply for and submit a new form to us, we cannot accept forms obtained for other reasons. Further Disclosure Guidance notes are available at the bottom of this page.
PEAT Quarterly Performance Reviews (PQPRs) and Required Continuing Professional Development for Trainees (CPD)
When you apply for admission, we will check that your PQPRs and required CPD for trainees are up to date. Any PQPR due at the time the application is made must have been submitted and approved by your supervisor. You must have completed at least 20 hours of required CPD for trainees prior to applying for admission after one year of training.
Your supervising solicitor must confirm that you are a fit and proper person to be admitted as a solicitor, so must complete paperwork to confirm this as part of your admission process.
The admission fees are set out on the application form – they are subject to change, but are currently around £350.
If you are applying for admission between months three and 11 of your traineeship, you must complete 20 hours of sitting-in training. If you are applying for admission after one year of training, you do not have to complete any sitting-in.
Sitting-in training involves observing a colleague from your own training unit appearing in court, involving proceedings which you would be entitled to appear once admitted and holding a practising certificate. Where you intend to appear in both civil and criminal courts, you will require to complete sitting in training in both courts, with at least eight of the twenty hours relating to each court. You must complete a record of your experience through the trainee portal and this will be verified by your supervisor. With regards to confidentiality, be non-specific about the case, e.g. just the type or name of case is sufficient.
Coronavirus update: The Lord President’s office has confirmed that virtual sitting-in and sitting-in on telephone hearings is acceptable at this time.
If you are applying for admission between months three and 11 of your traineeship, you must also complete an advocacy course. The course is available online and you can register here.
The cost of the four hour course is £50 +VAT.
There are different types of admission forms. The one you will need depends on whether your traineeship has been assigned, the point in your traineeship at which you are making the application or if you are qualifying into Scotland from another jurisdiction.
If you are applying for admission during your traineeship:
- when you have completed between three and 12 months of training, use this form
- when you have completed at least one year of training, use this form
If you are applying for admission and discharge of your traineeship at the same time:
- ie. at the end of your traineeship, use this form
If you have assigned your training contract or are requalifying from another jurisdiction:
- please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the correct form.
If you are looking to make a Disclosure Scotland application, please note that paper versions are not being accepted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Download the Word document version of the disclosure application form here. You will be given the option to select 'application type'; please select 'standard'.
You should complete the form up to and including section five, then email it as a Word document to email@example.com for us to complete the Countersignature section.
We will then submit the form to Disclosure Scotland on your behalf. Please do not send it to Disclosure Scotland.
Please also scan and email with the application form, the three forms of ID required, one of which must be photographic and one of which must show your current address.
Payment of the £25 fee should be made to the Law Society by card payment or bank transfer only. Please indicate in your email which method you are using.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Standard Disclosure Scotland check is an essential part of the application for Admission as a Solicitor or Admission as a Solicitor and Notary Public.
The Disclosure check must be dated no more than six months prior to your admission date.
You must include copies of at least three forms of ID with your application - your birth certificate plus one photographic ID and one showing your address.
Include your mother’s maiden name or family name in section B13
Please include your National Insurance number, passport number (and country of issue) and driving licence number (and country of issue) in section B19 – 26
You must include five years’ address history (to the month), starting with the most recent in section B44-57. Use additional papers if necessary.
Remember to sign and date the form in section C1.
Parts D and E of the form will be completed by us. Do not complete any details in these sections.
Do not send the form to Disclosure Scotland.
The cost of this application is £25.00. Cheques or Postal Orders should be made payable to The Law Society of Scotland. If you would prefer to pay by card, please advise us of this and the best number to contact you on to collect payment. You must not put your card details in to section D.
Please send the form together with your completed Admission application to:
Education, Training and Qualifications Department
The Law Society of Scotland
144 Morrison Street
DX 1 EDINBURGH 1
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com or call 0131 226 7411 (option 3).