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29. Exploring Career Opportunities Post SQE: Where Can Your Qualification Take You?

29. Exploring Career Opportunities Post SQE: Where Can Your Qualification Take You?

Completing the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is an important milestone in your legal career. It opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities for you to pursue. As a qualified solicitor, you can explore a range of career paths in different sectors and specializations.

In this article, we will discuss some of the career opportunities that await you after successfully completing the SQE. Whether you have just started your journey or are nearing the end of your studies, it is essential to have an idea of where your qualification can take you. Let’s explore!

Career in Private Practice

Many SQE graduates choose to work in private practice, joining law firms of various sizes. Private practice offers a diverse range of legal work, including corporate law, commercial law, family law, personal injury, and more. The size of the firm often determines the scale and complexity of the cases you will handle.

Working in private practice gives you exposure to a wide client base and the opportunity to work on high-profile and complex cases. It allows you to develop specialized skills in your chosen area of law and build a successful career as a solicitor. With experience, you can progress through the ranks, from associate to partner, and potentially run your own practice.

If you are considering a career in private practice, it is crucial to choose a firm that aligns with your interests and values. Research various firms, their practice areas, and the type of work they undertake to find the best fit for your career goals.

Career in In-house Legal Departments

Another avenue for SQE graduates is pursuing a career in in-house legal departments. Many large corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations have their own legal teams to handle their legal matters internally. Joining an in-house legal department allows you to work closely with the business, provide legal advice, and contribute to the organization’s strategic decision-making.

In-house roles offer the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of law relevant to the organization’s activities. For example, if you have a keen interest in intellectual property, you could work in the legal department of a tech company, protecting their patents and trademarks. Alternatively, you might explore opportunities in sectors such as finance, healthcare, or media.

Working in-house offers a different perspective on legal practice and provides a deeper understanding of the business world. It can be a rewarding career choice for those who enjoy working closely with clients and being an integral part of a company.

Public Sector Opportunities

The SQE qualification also opens up doors to a range of career opportunities in the public sector. You could work as a solicitor in local government, representing the interests of the community and advising on legal matters such as planning, housing, and social services. Alternatively, you might consider joining the Crown Prosecution Service or working as a legal advisor in government departments.

Public sector roles often focus on areas such as criminal law, regulatory compliance, and administrative law. They offer the chance to make a positive impact on society and work on cases that have broader societal implications. Public sector positions can provide a sense of fulfillment and contribute to the betterment of your community.

Specialist Practice Areas

As an SQE-qualified solicitor, you have the option to specialize in a specific area of law. This could involve practicing niche areas such as immigration law, intellectual property law, employment law, or environmental law. Specialization allows you to become an expert in your chosen field and provide specialized legal advice to clients.

Specialist practice areas often require additional training and experience beyond the SQE qualification. You may need to undertake specialized courses or gain practical experience in your chosen area of specialization. However, the effort is worthwhile as it can lead to rewarding and intellectually stimulating work in a niche area.


With the SQE qualification, the legal world becomes your oyster. Whether you choose to work in private practice, in-house legal departments, the public sector, or specialize in a specific area of law, there are abundant career opportunities available to you. It is essential to explore your options, consider your interests and strengths, and make a career choice that aligns with your long-term goals.

Remember, the SQE is the beginning of your legal journey, and there are countless paths you can take. Embrace the opportunities that come your way, continue to learn and develop your skills, and carve out a successful and fulfilling career as a solicitor.

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