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This article is written by Susanna Sharma. In this article, the author discusses all about how Indian lawyers can qualify to practise law in the UK. The author also discusses the relevant practice areas, the attractive benefits and some frequently asked questions by Indian lawyers willing to practise in the United Kingdom.  

Table of Contents

Pathway to being a multi-jurisdictional lawyer : an introduction

Practising law is not restricted to only one jurisdiction anymore; law graduates and lawyers from one jurisdiction can practise law in various other jurisdictions around the world. There are numerous opportunities for Indian lawyers, subject to the conditions and minimum requirements set by different countries and their bar regulations. 

For example- In order to practise law in the United States of America, Indian lawyers have to sit for the United States bar test. Each of the states in the US has its own bar rules and regulations, and most of them only accept lawyers who have studied at a law school recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA). Additionally, Indian lawyers can complete their LL.M. from any ABA-accredited university in the USA and sit for the Bar exam.

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Similarly, Indian lawyers who want to practise law in the UAE must hold a valid law degree and have at least 3 years of experience in India before being eligible to practise law in the UAE. In order to specifically practise in Dubai, Indian lawyers have to procure permission from the Dubai Legal Affairs Department.

In this article, we specifically discuss the opportunities for Indian lawyers in the United Kingdom. Indian lawyers who wish to move abroad and practise law in the UK can do so, provided they fulfil certain essential requirements. These requirements have been set forth to ensure that the minimum qualifications required to efficiently practise law in the UK are met. As you read through this article, you will get an idea of how to navigate your journey to practising law in the United Kingdom. 

Criteria to practise in the United Kingdom

Finishing a law degree and acquiring a licence from India is not enough to practise in the UK. Candidates have to meet certain important criteria in order to be eligible. The main criteria for practising law in the UK as a solicitor is qualifying for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam, or SQE. Only after qualifying for this exam can Indian lawyers or lawyers from any other jurisdiction around the world, including the UK, practise law in the United Kingdom. 

The recent Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Bar Council of India and the Bar Council of England and Wales has further helped widen the legal markets in the UK for Indian lawyers. Indian lawyers are free to practise any type of law including the English and Welsh law in the UK. Lawyers can either work as barristers or solicitors in the UK. One of the ways of practising law in the UK is by qualifying the SQE and working as a solicitor. 

Qualifying the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)

As stated above, the Solicitors Qualifying Exam is the main examination that needs to be cleared by all those who want to practise in the UK. The SQE route was introduced in 2021; prior to this, lawyers who were willing to practise in the UK had to take the Legal Practice Course (LPC).

Now, lawyers from all around the world, including those from the UK, must clear the SQE before being eligible to practise as solicitors. The SQE is uniform for all aspirants, as a result of which it provides a level playing field. 

This examination is divided into two different assessments:

  1. Solicitors Qualifying Examination 1 / SQE 1
  2. Solicitors Qualifying Examination 2 / SQE 2

The examination is conducted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and is held periodically, giving the candidates ample time to plan their SQE route and begin their career as a solicitor in the UK. 


The first step is to clear the SQE 1. The SQE 1 is generally conducted twice a year, in the months of January and July, and the dates of the examination are revealed to the candidates well in advance. It is a computer based test that consists of multiple choice questions, and each question is followed by five possible answers. The candidates must choose the suitable answer to each question. 

Syllabus for SQE 1

The SQE 1 is conducted to test the theoretical and practical knowledge of the candidates. It is divided into two assessments- 

Functioning Legal Knowledge 1

The FLK 1 assessment covers the following areas of law-

  • Business Law and Practice
  • Law of Contract
  • Law of Tort
  • Dispute Resolution
  • The legal system of England and Wales
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law and the European Union Law and legal services.

Functioning Legal Knowledge 2

The FLK 2 assessment covers the following areas of law-

  • Property Practice
  • Trusts
  • Land laws 
  • Criminal law and Practice
  • Wills and the administration of estates
  • Solicitors accounts.

The SQE 1 also examines the candidates on ethics and the professional conduct of a solicitor in both FLK 1 and FLK 2. The exam has been crafted in such a way that it tests the candidates on the basis of their knowledge of the law and also their competency to effectively practise law in the UK. While attempting SQE 1, each candidate is expected to possess the knowledge of a newly qualified solicitor. 

Detailed information regarding the particulars of SQE 1 and its syllabus has been written and explained by iPleaders for the convenience of the aspirants and can be found here.  


Qualifying for SQE 2 is the second step towards becoming a solicitor in the United Kingdom. From 2024 onwards,  SQE 2 will be held four times a year. Earlier, SQE 2 was held in three sittings, which were usually conducted in the months of April, July, and October. 

Syllabus for SQE 2

The SQE 2 is aimed at testing the practical skills of the candidates in the field of law because the functioning legal knowledge of the candidates is already tested in the SQE 1. The exam is divided into two assessments-

Oral Assessment

The oral assessment of the SQE 2 consists of the following:

  • Advocacy
  • Client Interviewing
  • Completion of attendance note or legal analysis

The oral assessments are designed to evaluate the candidates on the basis of their ability to understand the matter at hand, apply the relevant laws, and present articulated arguments in order to provide relief to the client. Candidates must possess the basic knowledge expected of a young solicitor to deal with clients and speak well. 

Writing Assessment

The written assessment of SQE 2 is a computer based assessment. It consists of the following:

  • Case and matter analysis
  • Legal research
  • Legal writing
  • Legal drafting

The writing assessment is conducted to evaluate the candidates on the basis of their ability to efficiently conduct legal research and their drafting prowess. The ability to conduct extensive research, draft various legal documents, and make good arguments is a very important skill set for all solicitors. The drafts and writings must be clear and concise, and candidates must clearly understand the matter at hand before beginning the assessments. 

An extensive and detailed description of SQE 2 and its syllabus is provided by iPleaders in an article here, for your easy reference. 

Additional requirements under Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)

Along with qualifying for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination, candidates willing to practise law in the UK must also fulfil the following additional essential requirements:

Have a bachelor’s degree 

The first and foremost criterion to sit for the SQE is to have a bachelor’s degree; this degree does not necessarily have to be a law degree; even candidates who have graduated with a non-law degree can sit for the SQE. However, it is a must for the candidates to have completed their bachelor’s degree. 

Have relevant work experience

It is very important for a solicitor to possess relevant work experience in the field of law. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has stated that in order to qualify as a solicitor, candidates must have at least 2 years of qualifying work experience. This work experience has to be in the legal field; this experience can be gathered before the SQE or after the SQE as well. This qualifying work experience can include working in a law firm, working as a paralegal or in a law clinic, etc. The work must be to provide legal services and not other experiences unrelated to the legal field and services. 

Fulfil the character and suitability requirements

The SRA has set out certain character and suitability requirements that are expected from a solicitor in the United Kingdom. If any candidate does not fulfil these character and suitability requirements, they cannot be enrolled and admitted as a solicitor in the UK. The SRA mostly looks into the following factors in the assessment of the candidates for their selection:

  • Any criminal history or conviction records of the candidate for any offence
  • Any offence which is related to education, such as cheating 
  • Any disciplinary action taken against the candidate
  • The financial conduct of the candidate and matters such as bankruptcy, etc. 

These matters are closely looked into by the SRA so that the solicitors are able to fulfil their duties without any burden or incapacities. 

Exemptions provided to Indian lawyers

It is essential for all candidates who are willing to practise as solicitors in the UK to qualify for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination. However, exemptions are provided to qualified lawyers from some specific jurisdictions, which also include India. 

The SRA has stated that qualified lawyers from certain jurisdictions are exempt from sitting the SQE 2 as a requirement to qualify as a solicitor and practise. This exemption is provided to lawyers from some jurisdictions because it is expected that the qualified lawyers from these jurisdictions already possess the skills and knowledge that are tested by SQE 2 and are expected from a solicitor practising in the United Kingdom. 

Please note: The exemption for Indian lawyers is only with respect to SQE 2 and not SQE 1. The candidates will have to qualify SQE 1 first in order to be eligible to be exempted from sitting in SQE 2.  

Types of exemptions

The SRA has stated that there are two kinds of exemptions from SQE 2. They are:

Agreed Exemption

Under agreed exemption, qualified lawyers from 25 jurisdictions around the world are provided full exemptions from sitting in SQE 2. They do not have to sit in SQE 2. Some of the jurisdictions that are provided with agreed exemptions are Austria, Finland, Germany, Scotland, etc.  Indian lawyers do not have an agreed exemption

Individual Exemptions

The SRA also provides for individual exemptions in certain jurisdictions around the world. Qualified lawyers from a total of 60 jurisdictions have the choice to apply for this individual exemption from SQE 2. The SRA will decide each individual exemption application on a case by case basis. Examples of some jurisdictions that are provided with individual exemptions are Australia, Bangladesh, France, Hong Kong, India, etc. 

Indian lawyers are eligible to apply for individual exemption from SQE 2. 

Eligibility to apply for Individual Exemption for Indian lawyers

Advocates from India are eligible to apply for exemption from SQE 2 if they fulfil the following essential requirements:

  • The advocate is enrolled with the Bar Council of India by qualifying the All India Bar Examination
  • The advocate has 2 years or more of legal work experience. It must be noted that the work experience must be full time only
  • The candidate must possess a reference letter from the senior or any institution stating the work experience, the kind of work done, time period of work and the remuneration received 
  • The candidates must possess a certificate of good standing from the Bar Council of the State. 

The SRA, on its official page, has listed the jurisdictions eligible to apply for individual exemptions. It includes advocates from the following states in India:

  • Assam
  • Delhi
  • Goa
  • West Bengal.   

However, if you are an Indian lawyer and are not enrolled in any of the above-mentioned four states in India, which are Assam, Delhi, Goa or West Bengal, do not be disheartened. Indian lawyers from other states can also apply for exemption through fresh exemption

To apply for a fresh exemption, Indian lawyers from states other than those mentioned in the official list of the Solicitors Regulation Authority have to make an application with the SRA for an exemption. They must fulfil the following essential requirements: 

  • The candidate must be enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of India,
  • The candidate must have 2 years or more of legal work experience, 
  • Have a certificate of good standing from the Bar Council of the State where they are enrolled, 
  • A letter of reference stating the work experience, type of work, the period of work and the remuneration received from the senior,
  • The candidate must provide evidence of experience in any of the following legal areas:
  1. Criminal litigation practice, including representing the clients at the police stations
  2. Dispute resolution
  3. Practice in property matters
  4. Will and probate
  5. Business laws. 

So, Indian lawyers from any jurisdiction possessing these minimum qualifications and requirements can apply for an exemption from SQE 2, and the SRA will decide each application on a case by case basis. 

Fees for exemptions

All Indian candidates applying for individual exemptions from the states of Assam, Delhi, Goa and West Bengal or advocates from other states applying for fresh exemption have to pay a certain amount of money as a fee for exemption. The SRA has stated that the application fee for exemption is £265 only

Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) for non-lawyers

If you have completed your studies and graduated in a subject other than law and are now interested in shifting your career to law and practising as a solicitor in the United Kingdom, it is never too late. The SRA has stated that candidates from non-law backgrounds can also sit for the SQE and become solicitors. Non-law graduates also have to take the same route as law graduates to practise as solicitors in the UK.

Any graduate who is not a law student can appear for the SQE and start practising in the UK if they fulfil the following requirements:

  • The candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree in any of the subjects
  • They must exhaustively prepare for the SQE 
  • Give the SQE 1
  • Give the SQE 2
  • Gain the mandatory two years qualifying work experience 
  • Satisfy the requirements of the SRA for character and suitability to practise in the UK

Then, you are qualified to become a solicitor in the UK. 

Timeline of SQE for the year 2024

Here is a quick timeline of dates of the examination in 2024 for candidates aspiring to sit for the SQE

Solicitors Qualifying Examination 1 (SQE1) dates

CycleBooking DatesDate of Examination for FLK 1Date of Examination for FLK 2Examinable law and practice cut-off dateDate of Result
January 20244th October 2023  to 15th November 202315th January 2024 to 19th January 202422nd January 2024 to 26th January 202415th September 202314th March 2024
July 202410th April 2024 (10:00 AM) to 22nd May 2024(05:00 PM)15th July 2024 to 16th July 2024 22nd July 2024 to 23rd July 202415th March 202410th September 2024

Solicitors Qualifying Examination 2 (SQE 2) dates

CycleBooking DatesDate of Oral AssessmentDate of Written Assessment Examinable law and practice cut-off dateDate of Result
January 202418th October of 2023 to 7th December 2023 1st sitting-6th February 2024 to 7th February 2024 30th January 2024 to 1st February 202430th September 202329th of May 2024
2nd sitting- 8th February 2024 to 9th February 2024
April 202410th January 2024 (10:00 AM) to 20th March 2024 (05:00 PM)1st sitting-7th May 2024 to 8th May 202430th April 2024 to 2nd May 202430th December 202328th August 2024 
2nd sitting-9th May 2024 to 10th May 2024
3rd sitting-14th May 2024 to 15th May 2024
4th sitting-16th May 2024 to 17th May 2024
July 202424th April 2024 (10:00 AM) to19th June 2024 (05:00 PM)
1st sitting-31st July 2024 to 1st August 202413th August 2024 to 15th August 202431st March 202426th November 2024
2nd sitting- 6th August 2024 to 7th August 2024
3rd sitting- 8th August 2024 to 9th August 2024
October 202410th July 2024 (10:00 AM) to18th September 2024 (05:00 PM)1st sitting- 23rd October 2024 to 24th October 20245th November 2024 to 7th November 202423rd June 2024Will be notified
2nd sitting-29th October 2024 to 30th October 2024
3rd sitting-31st October 2024 to 1st November 2024

Preparation for Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination is a tough nut to crack, especially since it has a vast syllabus and Indian lawyers would have to read and accompany themselves with the laws in the United Kingdom. This is a time-consuming process. Thus, preparation has to be thorough and exhaustive. Even though Indian lawyers can apply for exemption for the SQE 2, they must clear the SQE 1. Here are some tips and tricks to help Indian lawyers and aspirants prepare for the SQE:

Tips and tricks to prepare for both SQE 1 and SQE 2

Here are a few tips and tricks which will help Indian lawyers prepare for the SQE and successfully start their career as a solicitor in the UK. Following these important pointers will help in the overall preparation strategy, such as becoming familiar with the syllabus, taking regular mock tests, etc. 

Understanding the syllabus

The first step to preparing for the SQE is to familiarize oneself with the examination, its syllabus and the question pattern. If candidates are familiar with the syllabus, it will give them a brief idea of how to navigate their journey of preparation and plan their time accordingly. The SRA has exhaustively explained the particular portions from each of the chapters included in the syllabus; hence, it is important to read the syllabus carefully. 

Refer to the past year questions and sample papers

After a thorough understanding of the syllabus, it is essential for the candidates to familiarize themselves with the questions that are likely to be asked in the exam. The SRA has provided sample papers for both SQE 1 and SQE 2 on their official website. Candidates can also go through the past year papers to see the pattern and the types of questions that may be asked. These questions will also give the aspirants a fair idea of the difficulty level.  

Choose a preparation strategy

After having understood the syllabus and the questions, it is important for the candidates to choose a preparation strategy. While the exam is tough and requires rigorous preparation, some may choose to prepare on their own, while others seek coaching and guidance. Every candidate should choose their strategy after carefully looking at their own strengths and weaknesses. Lawsikho has designed excellent courses for both SQE 1 and SQE 2, and the candidates can check the links to see if the course suits their requirements and preparation strategy. 

Mock tests and practice

It is important for candidates to test their knowledge as they prepare for the SQE. In both SQE 1 and SQE 2, candidates are evaluated heavily on their functioning legal knowledge and their knowledge of some important laws; hence, candidates must sit for as many mock tests as possible to solidify their preparation. Lawsikho, in its preparation course, also provides many mock tests, which will help you test yourself and your management of time, which will ultimately help in the examination. 

Strengthen your English language

If you want to practise in a particular jurisdiction, it is important that you are comfortable with the language prevalent in that area; otherwise, it will be a barrier to your day-to-day practice as a solicitor. Thus, it is important for candidates to strengthen their grasp of the English language as they prepare to sit for the SQE. Good command over the English language will help solicitors practise without any barriers, effectively building networks and practise. 

Familiarise yourself with the technology

It is important to note that the SQE is a fully computer based exam, except for the oral assessment in the SQE 2. It is important that candidates are aware of using and playing around with basic technology so that they can avoid getting flustered during the main exam.   

Continue your preparation

It is important for candidates to continue their preparation rigorously, continue to read, revise and test their knowledge and success will surely follow your hard work.  

Relevant practice areas for Indian lawyers in the UK

After qualifying for the SQE and fulfilling all the requirements, Indian lawyers can start their practice in the United Kingdom; however, many lawyers may also face uncertainty regarding which field of law to choose. Here is a list of some of the relevant practice areas that Indian lawyers may choose to establish their practice as solicitors in the UK:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: One of the most sought after areas of the law by solicitors and lawyers all over the world is dispute resolution. Candidates can establish their practice in dispute resolution, especially methods of alternative dispute resolution that have been on the rise, such as arbitration, mediation, etc. 
  • Corporate Law: Solicitors in the UK also have the choice of practising corporate law, it provides a large scope for solicitors to indulge in various laws relating to companies and their day to day functioning, and it also provides opportunities for more work and huge pay.
  • Technology Law: Technology law is growing at a very fast pace, and it has many opportunities to offer the lawyers of this generation. As a technology lawyer, one will have to ensure that the technologies and services provided are in compliance with the laws, provide legal advice and vet various agreements entered into by the clients.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: In today’s business world, the number of mergers and acquisitions has only risen, this provides an excellent opportunity for solicitors to practise M&A laws in the UK. As a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, one will have to closely monitor various deals, agreements and ensure compliance with all the regulations and requirements. 
  • Law relating to Intellectual Property Rights: Much similar to tangible properties, intellectual property is also a booming area of law. Trademarks, patents, copyrights, designs, geographical indications, etc. are some of the intellectual property rights areas that a solicitor can practise. Filing for trademarks and patents, ensuring compliance and drafting agreements are some of the major functions of an IP solicitor. 
  • Labour law: Labour law is no doubt a very flourishing area of practice in the law, companies and workplaces all around the world have to comply with the relevant labour laws to effectively carry on their business and services. 
  • Property practice: Property practice is an evergreen area of the law that solicitors can always opt for. The areas of will, probate and other property practices are always in demand and provide an enriching experience for the practitioners.
  • Real estate laws: Real estate laws are an important part of day to day lives. People enter into real estate transactions on a daily basis, and it is a very active field of law. Real estate lawyers draft various agreements, carry out registrations, ensure due diligence, and carry out multiple other works.  
  • Criminal Law: Another major area of practice in the UK is criminal law. Solicitors can advise their clients on various criminal matters ranging from petty theft to major criminal offences, prepare petitions and applications, prepare clients for examination and cross-examination, etc. 
  • Human Rights Law: The area of human rights law is very varied and vast. It encompasses broad ranges of rights around the world necessary for human beings. As a human rights lawyer, one has to advocate for the basic rights of humans and deal with various issues such as immigration, civil liberties, data privacy, etc. 
  • Environmental law: Environmental law is also a prominent area of practice in the UK. As an environmental lawyer, one has to advise companies and businesses on their responsibility towards the environment and comply with various environmental norms laid down, to avoid risks to the business. 
  • Personal injury law: Solicitors can also practise in the field of personal injury and claim for negligence. A major part of the job is to assist people in claiming compensation for any personal injury suffered by them, through various accidents such as road accidents, workplace accidents, etc. 
  • Tax Law: Another major area of practice in the UK is the taxation law. It involves dealing with various individual clients and big businesses and helping them to mitigate their tax liability. It also involves providing advice to the clients on their tax liability and its implications. 

The above-mentioned areas of law are some of the most prominent areas of practice for Indian lawyers in the UK. The sea is very vast and solicitors can take up numerous practice areas.  

Benefits of practising as a lawyer in the UK

Practising law in India is a very enriching experience. Indian laws and the judiciary have now seen a rise in new practice areas over the years. Intellectual property laws, technology law, cross border transactions and the related laws, and various alternative methods of dispute resolution have opened the doors for lawyers all over India. When transactions cross borders, it is only practical and beneficial for Indian lawyers to cross borders and practise laws in foreign countries too, since practising law is no longer bound to one jurisdiction only. 

Indian lawyers wishing to practise law in the UK must pursue their dreams and expand their legal reach and growth. This expansion of legal practice will add feathers to your accomplishments and make you much more knowledgeable. 

Some of the benefits of practising law in the UK can be pointed out as follows: 

  • Greater number of opportunities

Practising law in more than one jurisdiction opens up more opportunities for lawyers. Being a lawyer, it is important to build networks and a strong clientele, and practising law in the UK will be helpful in opening up more opportunities. Lawyers can delve into new areas of practice and new clients. 

  • Big law firms

The United Kingdom is home to various big and mighty law firms that provide solicitors with plethora of new and different works, which provides an enriching experience for the solicitors. The employment opportunities are numerous, and law firms are always looking for talented solicitors.  

  • High payscale

A high paying job is always a great motivator to work hard and learn more. Solicitors in the UK are paid a handsome salary for their work. The average salary of a fresher solicitor in the United Kingdom would be between £50,000 and £60,000 each year. This salary will only increase with experience and an increase in work and clientele. 

  • Career growth

A career as a solicitor in the UK also promises the opportunity for tremendous career growth. As you travel across countries, meet new people, and handle new legal cases and matters, it adds to your accomplishments and career chart. It opens you up to more opportunities in the future to establish a successful practice.

  • Increased professional value

No doubt the tag of a solicitor in the UK adds a distinct badge to your work profile and positively impacts your professional life. People recognise you for your intellectual prowess and the ability to practise laws in various jurisdictions other than India. It brings a sense of pride and joy. 

Tips and tricks to practise law in the UK

To practise law in a foreign jurisdiction is a dream that is shared by many Indian lawyers; it adds more merit to your work and achievements, as we discussed earlier. However, it also brings various challenges along with it, so here are some tips and tricks that may be useful in navigating your practice life in the UK:

Build your network

Law is one of the professions where networking is of great importance. A good lawyer is known by his or her work and networks. Indian lawyers must start building a good network with fellow Indians as well as other solicitors practising in the UK and various law firms. It gives them the required exposure to various practice areas and different kinds of clients, which will be helpful in the long run. 

Building a strong social media presence through apps such as LinkedIn is a very good way of networking in this age. Connect with lawyers who are in a similar field of law and practising in the UK. Highlight your skills and experiences in your profile and expand your connections, this will help you catch the eyes of various recruiters as well as possible clients. 

Sharpen your legal skills

Simply qualifying the SQE is not enough to establish a successful practice in the UK; it is important that solicitors hone and sharpen their skills gradually and regularly. Indian lawyers must practise and develop some very important skills, which can be done via remote legal work as well as studying and preparing for the SQE. These legal skills include drafting various contracts and agreements, conducting due diligence, writing content for various law firms, corporate advisory, legal research, etc. These will help the lawyers have a fair idea of the job market and requirements in the UK. 

Choose your area of law wisely

Indian lawyers planning to practise in the UK must also choose their own area of law in which they have expertise. While it is necessary for a lawyer to have knowledge of all the laws, it is also important to have your own expert field, where you master and provide excellent services. With various up and coming areas of law, lawyers can choose any area of the law, such as intellectual property, technology law, mergers and acquisitions, etc., that will turn out to be more profitable in the near future. 

Master the English language

To practise law in the UK without any language barrier, Indian lawyers must master the English language. In the UK market, Indian lawyers would be competing with others who are proficient in the language. Communication is a very important aspect of practising law. Effective communication can attract clients and their confidence; hence, one must master the English language to compete with other solicitors in the UK and establish their practice. 

Read and keep up to date

As a foreign lawyer practising in the UK, it is very important for Indian lawyers to be familiar with and understand the laws of the UK clearly. Solicitors must continue to read and refresh their understanding of the laws and keep up with any recent developments. The law is ever changing and it becomes important for Indian lawyers to work extra hard. 

Have faith and do not give up

Going to a foreign nation and practising law is a challenging endeavour. Even with the right skill sets and networks, one might face challenges and turbulence; however, it is important to continue to try and keep up the hard work. Your rigorous hard work will pay you tenfold in the future.  

Job opportunities for Indian lawyers in the UK

After qualifying the SQE exam and enrolling as a solicitor in the United Kingdom, Indian lawyers can get access to various job opportunities in the UK. Some of them are:

Associate or a Consultant in a law firm

The United Kingdom is home to various law firms, and Indian lawyers qualifying as solicitors can apply to any of the law firms for the position of legal associate or legal consultant. This mainly involves a wide range of work ranging from corporate to technology, property practice, etc., and provides a great learning opportunity. 

In-house Counsels

Solicitors can also work as in-house counsels for various business and corporate offices. Nowadays, the demand for in-house counsels has increased, and the working hours of in-house counsels are flexible compared to law firms. This has made in-house counsels a very attractive job prospect for solicitors. 

Sole Practitioners

Indian lawyers also have the option to carry out their own individual practice in the UK after successfully qualifying the SQE and enrolling themselves as solicitors. While establishing an individual practice is a very difficult process, with the right connections, networking and financial understanding, one can start their own practice. 

Partnership with other Solicitors

Solicitors also have the option to enter into a partnership with other solicitors and practise in the UK. This is a great way to start your practice in partnership and establish your roots in the legal market.  


Qualifying as a solicitor not only opens up the way for legal fieldwork but also various legal academic works in the UK. Indian lawyers who are enthusiastic about entering the academic field can also take up lectureships in the United Kingdom. This will provide a great learning and teaching experience and exposure for an individual. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on SQE

Is the SQE tough to crack?

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam is a prestigious exam that requires rigorous preparation for candidates to pass. However,  nothing is too tough if we prepare well. It is conducted in two phases to test the solicitors, and with the right strategy and mind frame, candidates can clear the exam. 

What are some good courses in India to crack SQE?

It is always helpful to seek guidance when possible. While many candidates have the ability to self-study and manage their time to study, some may require special attention and guidance to effectively manage their time and preparation strategy. Thankfully, nowadays, most of the planning and compilation of study materials are done and are offered by various organisations as courses.

What is a good time to start preparing for the SQE?

There is no particular time stamp to start preparing for the SQE. Each candidate is different, with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses; thus, judge your abilities and start accordingly. However, it is always advised to give yourself 10 to 12 months to extensively prepare for the examination.  

Can a non-law graduate sit for SQE?

Yes, a non-law graduate can also sit for the SQE to qualify and practise as a solicitor in the UK. The SRA has stated that it provides equal opportunities to candidates who are from non-law backgrounds to study and take the exam. However, a candidate must have completed his or her bachelor’s degree in any of the subjects. After which, they can follow the same route as a law student, which is to prepare for the SQE and sit for both SQE 1  and SQE 2, gain the necessary work experience of 2 years, and start practising. 

How many times can I attempt the SQE? 

An Indian lawyer planning to become a solicitor in the UK has made a limited number of attempts to qualify for the SQE. The SRA has prescribed that each candidate will be provided only three attempts to qualify for both SQE 1 and SQE 2. 

It is also noteworthy that these three attempts must be taken within 6 years of the first attempt of the candidate. Thus, it is important for candidates to study and prepare well and make wise use of the attempts provided. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) by Indian lawyers about practising law in the UK

Do I need to know good English to practise law in the UK?

Yes, it is extremely important to have a good grasp of the English language in order to practise law in the UK. Practising law requires the lawyer to be able to communicate freely, draft well and argue, these can be done only if the solicitor knows the local language which is used by the people and the court. Thus, it is essential that Indian lawyers have a good understanding of English. 

Is an Indian law degree valid in the UK? 

Yes, an Indian law degree is valid in the United Kingdom. The SRA, in its evaluation of the SQE, has provided individual exemptions to Indian lawyers, i.e., Indian lawyers who have qualified and enrolled in India as advocates and have the relevant work experience are eligible to apply for exemption from sitting in the SQE 2. Thus, an Indian law degree is of great value in the UK. 

Will previous work experience be helpful to practise in the UK?

Previous legal work experience is very helpful for Indian lawyers in their journey to practise law in the UK. At least 2 years of legal work experience by an advocate in India will help the lawyer by providing him or her with an exception from sitting in the SQE 2. Not only that, it also provides a learning experience for the lawyers and prepares them for the challenges to be faced in the legal industry in the UK as well. 

What is the difference between a solicitor and a barrister in the United Kingdom?

  1. A solicitor refers to lawyers who have qualified for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination and all the essential requirements set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and they are admitted to the roll of solicitors. On the other hand, barristers are lawyers who must have completed an undergraduate degree in law, subsequently qualify for the Bar Practice Course, and complete the final practical stage of pupillage to practise as a barrister in the United Kingdom.
  2. The work of a solicitor generally revolves around providing legal advice to the clients, drafting agreements and contracts, and also sometimes representing the clients in the court. On the other hand, barristers are mostly engaged in courtroom appearances, and solicitors are engaged in law firms.

However, this difference has only blurred over time. 

Do solicitors represent the clients in court?

Earlier, solicitors were mostly only engaged in legal work in law firms and offices, such as dealing with clients, drafting, etc., and representation in court was done by barristers, but nowadays, solicitors also represent clients in court.   

How much money do solicitors make while practising in the UK?

The earning opportunities for Indian lawyers as solicitors in the United Kingdom are very promising. The starting salary can be anywhere between £50,000 and £60,000 in a year, this salary is only going to increase over time. This makes the job of a solicitor a very sought after profession. 


There are plenty of opportunities in the field of law for students and lawyers who are willing to take a chance and make a difference. The dream of crossing borders and practising law in a different jurisdiction such as the United Kingdom is huge, and with the right preparation and dedication, one can achieve it successfully.

Invest in your dreams, work hard and prepare, and the practice of law will help you cross borders and establish your legal practice all over the world.  



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