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Discover specific legal roles

Discover specific legal roles

You may already know the type of lawyer or the area of practice you want to train to work in or may require some inspiration. In this section we provide information about specific legal roles and you can hear from people in the industry, including how they qualified, and what their day to day role entails.

HMCTS legal adviser

A legal adviser is a qualified lawyer, either solicitor, barrister or chartered legal executive, who provides advice about the law to magistrates and judges.  Legal advisers ensure that the law is applied in the correct way advising on the principles as they apply to each case.


What services do HMCTS legal advisers provide?

The key objectives of the role are set out in the Legal Adviser Competence Framework which includes:

  • Building and maintaining effective working relationships with magistrates: Advising magistrates on law, practice and procedure. Facilitating structured decision making and assisting drafting with reasons given by magistrates in course hearings.
  • Facilitating the business of the court: Preparing and planning the activities to progress the business of the court. Planning and conducting case management hearings effectively with a bench of magistrates and without.
  • Advising and working with staff: Working in partnership with other staff, assisting with listing and scheduling activities and providing legal advice and guidance to administrative staff.


Where does a legal adviser work?

Most of the work undertaken by a legal adviser is within the courtroom however they are also involved in preparation for hearings in advance and any post court matters and so will undertake office based work too.



Legal advisers are regulated by the SRA, Bar Council or CILEX Regulation, depending on their qualification route.


Career progression

The knowledge and skills gained within the role are particularly relevant to any aspirations for judicial appointment. A number of legal advisers sit as fee paid judiciary in tribunals, county courts and magistrates’ court.

As a solicitor and barrister and CLE, a legal adviser also has the opportunities otherwise available in those roles.


How to become a legal adviser

You can apply to become a trainee legal adviser with the HMCTS during designated recruitment campaigns. To be eligible to take the role you will need to have passed the academic stage of the relevant qualification. You are able to apply during the period of study however to be able to undertake the role you will need to be able to evidence successful completion.  The current approved academic routes are:

  • Solicitor:
    • LPC or
    • Both the SQE1 and SQE2 (or relevant exemptions)
  • Barrister:
    • Bar Training Course
  • Chartered legal executive:
    • CILEX Level 3 Diploma in Law and Practice and Level 6 Diploma in Law and Practice or
    • CILEX Graduate Fast Track Diploma or equivalent for Graduate Membership of CILEX.

The training programmes provided by HMCTS takes up to two years to complete.

A qualified solicitor, barrister or chartered legal executive can apply for a role as a legal adviser with additional training for the role provided on appointment.

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