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An Alternative Route: The Steps to Becoming a CLC Lawyer

Whether sitting down with a legal and/or educational advisor or searching the web, it’s quickly realised that there are several ways to earn courtroom status. While the traditional route requires a two-stage process: academic (earning either an undergraduate qualifying law degree or the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)) and vocational (in-office, hands-on training), other methods exist for mature students and entrants who are interested in another way to access a legal career.

Most notably, the equivalent means the route to qualification assesses an individual’s work-based learning and allows for the exemption of the previously listed stages. Of course, the candidate must meet high standards and detailed criteria for admission. Beyond these complementary courses of action, one can secure a position or change a career path by returning to school or participating in an apprenticeship or cross-training programme to build on-the-job experience. Those interested in offering clients more innovative services as a professional, and in possession of a practising certificate, can apply to become a CLC lawyer and gain a Conveyancing or Probate License.

Deciding on a Diploma (Conveyancing vs. Probate)

Applicants have the chance to select from the following:

  • Level 4 Diploma in Conveyancing Law & Practice
  • Level 6 Diploma in Conveyancing Law & Practice
  • Level 4 Diploma in Probate Law & Practice
  • Level 6 Diploma in Probate Law & Practice

Individuals must complete the Level 4 Diploma in order to qualify as a Conveyancing Technician or Registered Probate Technician, respectively. In order to qualify as a Licensed Conveyancer or Probate Practitioner, both levels must be completed. While there is the standard length of time to complete each step, personal factors such as prior experience, knowledge and circumstance at the time of study will impact how long it takes to learn units, prepare, and complete assignments and write exams.

 To study the Level 6 Diploma (in both fields), students must enrol with an approved training provider. To apply for a qualifying license with the CLC, applicants must also complete 1200 hours of practical experience in a conveyancing or probate role. The diplomas can be studied through in-class learning or by distance learning. The final goal: to either specialize in all aspects of buying and selling property in England and Wales, or become responsible for the legalities regarding a deceased person’s estate.

 Applying for a Licence

Under a handful of circumstances, solicitors and FCILEx are open to an exemption when applying for a license. It’s important to read carefully to determine the best fit. As a reminder, all solicitors must complete a verified Statement of Practical Experience and all FCILEx must complete Unit 3: Managing Client and Office Accounts (Conveyancing or Probate) as a minimum.

The following is a short breakdown of other knowledge needed:

  • Solicitors and FCILEx with a current practising certificate will be exempted from the Level 4 stage of the educational requirements
  • Applicants who meet the criteria (via previous educational or work-based learning) may be entitled to exemption from one or more units in the Level 6 stage of the educational requirements
  • Applicants with previous experience in conveyancing and/or probate (relevant to their intended license) will be exempted from any further educational requirements
  • It’s asked that before contacting an approved training provider to start the process, applicants have a copy of their current practising certificate and all their academic transcripts on hand. Based on these forms, applicants will be advised of which units are necessary for completion before applying to become a CLC lawyer.

Making an Informed Decision

As an alternative route to becoming a lawyer, it’s important to seek guidance and gain a solid understanding of the process. Rely on the team at Symphony Legal to learn more about applying for a license and making an informed decision. Our professionals have the knowledge, training and experience to help achieve a lasting and rewarding career in the legal field.