Legal education in England

If you want to become a practising lawyer in the UK, to represent the interests of British citizens or companies in foreign countries, you must obtain the appropriate education and prove your qualifications. What kind of qualifications are required directly depends on the specific area of future activity. That is, the workplace may be available to a university graduate, and practice can be conducted only after completing specialized training programs. Let's take a closer look at the specifics of legal education in the UK.

Main categories of legal professions in the UK


This is a category of “lower” rank lawyers who prepare materials in the conduct of court cases. Solicitors have the right to independently conduct cases in the lower courts (local), as well as hold the position of legal advisers in organizations. As a legal advisor, a solicitor can accompany corporate transactions, prepare documents for the purchase and sale of property, etc. These can be both wide-profile and highly specialized specialists.

There is no analogue of the category of a solicitor, as a lawyer of the lowest rank, in Russia. This is due to the peculiarities of the Anglo-Saxon legal system, as well as the significant conservatism of the English judicial system.


Barristers are lawyers of the highest rank who conduct court cases at any level, mainly at the highest levels. This is a rather privileged and highly paid profession: there are only about 15 thousand barristers throughout the UK, and most of them operate in London. Each barrister must be a member of one of the 4 specialized chambers: Grace Inn, Lincolns Inn, Inner Temple or Middle Temple.

Legal advisor

For the most part, these are solicitors who do not conduct court cases but are engaged in the legal support of organizations and citizens in the field of law. A specialist can start practice immediately after graduating from the university in the relevant profile.

How to get a scholarship for law education

Higher legal education in the UK or following UK curriculum

Legal education in England, as well as in other countries according to British systems (in particular, according to the CIS International School program), includes several stages: 

1. Secondary education (A Level). The duration is 2 years. Such education, as well as the next grades, can be obtained both in England and in Russia or other countries (strictly according to British programs). 

2. Bachelor degree in law (LLB). 2 years. 

3. LPC for solicitors or BPTC for barristers. A student should choose it himself. The duration of studying is 1 year. 

4. Training Contract and Pupillage. This is a legal practice at the end of the theoretical course. Duration - 2 years (for both solicitors and barristers)

Higher legal education in a Russian university or a British diploma in another field

These opportunities can be used by graduates of Russian higher educational institutions in legal specialities, or by citizens who have diplomas of higher education in the UK, but not a legal profile:

1. GDL degree (academic degree). Duration – 1 year.
2. Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course. Duration – 1 year.
3. Practical degree Training Contract or Pupillage. Duration – 2 years.

The presence of a UK law degree and practice in the profile

To start working as a solicitor one should pass the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test. Future barristers should pass Bar Transfer Test.

Masters degree

The UK is one of the few countries where international students can pursue a Master's Degree in Law. In most cases, in other countries, only residents can obtain this degree. The duration of study in the English Master's program is 1 year. To enter the master's program, a student will need a high level of English language, a bachelor's degree in jurisprudence, as well as, preferably, practical experience in the relevant profile.

Master's students from English universities have an opportunity to practice in major national and international organizations, including the UN. That is why a Master's degree is considered the most important step towards building a successful career as a lawyer.

To learn more about the possibilities of obtaining British education in Russia in English, please, contact the specialists of CIS International School by phone 8 800 775-42-70. We will be happy to answer all your questions!

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