What does a solicitor do?

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So you’re interested in becoming a solicitor! Here we explain what a solicitor does, and the typical jobs you’ll do from day to day. 

A solicitor is a legal professional, qualified to practise law in England and Wales. It’s a special career – one in which you can directly have a positive impact on someone’s life and ensure they receive the fairness and justice they deserve. You’ll provide expert legal advice and assistance on a range of legal matters to your clients, helping them navigate the complexities of the legal system and achieve their desired outcomes.   

All solicitors must be registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which regulates the work that solicitors do and enforces a code of conduct they must follow. This body can step in if there is a breach of conduct and consequent action needs to be taken. 

Generally, you get two types of cases: contentious and non-contentious. 

Non-contentious work involves a client’s personal or business matters. This could cover cases such as company mergers or creating wills. 

Contentious legal cases tend to involve disputes between two or more parties, such as criminal, family and employment matters, which usually ends up going to court. It is also called litigation and you will need special training in this skill.

Read: What skills does a solicitor need?

What do solicitors do day to day? 

Your tasks can vary widely depending on the area of specialisation – from housing and divorce to commercial transactions and criminal cases – and the type of law firm or organisation you end up working for. The daily activities may involve attending meetings with clients, researching cases, compiling information, looking over the legal attributes of a case and drafting information in legal documents and contracts.

Here is a breakdown of the more common tasks you may do: 

Providing legal advice to clients on various matters such as property transactions, family law issues, commercial contracts and more. 

Drafting and reviewing legal documents including contracts, wills, tenancy leases and agreements. 


Representing clients in court proceedings, whether it’s in civil matters like personal injury claims or family law cases such as divorce proceedings. 


Negotiating on behalf of clients to reach settlements or agreements in legal disputes or transactions. 

Conducting legal research to stay updated on changes in laws and regulations relevant to your practice area or particular cases. 

Client meetings:  

Meeting with clients to discuss their legal needs, provide updates on their cases, and answer any questions they may have. 

Case management:  

Managing cases from start to finish, including gathering evidence, preparing documents, and liaising with other parties involved. 

Administrative tasks:  

Handling administrative tasks such as billing, maintaining client files, and managing deadlines. These tasks are increasingly moving to online platforms and legal technology, and some of the more mundane tasks are being automated.

Networking and business development:

Engaging in networking activities to attract new clients and build relationships with other professionals in the legal field. 

Also read: A week in the life of Aurelia: juggling SQE studies, a full-time job at a law firm, tutoring and blogging.

Give your legal career a head start with BARBRI’s dedicated free Careers & Employability hub, designed to help you polish your CV, practise your interview skills and gain legal industry insight.

Learn more about the SQE with BARBRI.

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