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8 July 2024

Law Graduate Guide: What is the CLC route to qualification?

As a law graduate, you might be familiar with the legal career pathways to becoming a solicitor or barrister. It’s clear that these routes are well-established by many law schools and universities as options for students upon graduation.

However, many universities fail to let their students know about the wide range of alternative options and routes available to them outside of these two narrow paths – including the very popular Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) route to qualify.

So, in today’s Law Graduate Guide, we’re breaking down the CLC path to becoming a Licensed Conveyancer or Licensed Probate Practitioner for those wondering what to do after their law degree.


What is the CLC route?

The CLC route is a specialist pathway to qualification for those wishing to specialise in conveyancing and/or probate. Awarded by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA), the qualifications are recognised internationally and will allow you to qualify as a lawyer, taking on reserved legal activities.

Those looking to qualify via the CLC route can become either Licensed Conveyancers and/or Licensed Probate Practitioners in England and Wales.  Once qualified, you will be able to deal with relevant conveyancing and/or probate matters with the same authority as a solicitor, however, you would be a true specialist in your chosen area.

As a law graduate, you would likely be exempt from the first stage of qualification: the Level 4 Diploma – getting you one step closer to qualifying. However, you will still need to satisfy the following elements:

  • Complete the Level 6 Diploma in Conveyancing or Probate
  • Obtain 1200 hours practical experience supervised by an authorised person
  • Apply for a CLC Licence

Once all elements are complete, you will be qualified as a Licensed Conveyancer or Probate Practitioner!


CLC vs other routes

If you haven’t heard of the CLC route to qualification, you might be wondering whether a more traditional, well-known pathway would be the better option. Each route to qualification has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s best to consider which is right for you and your personal circumstances rather than just sticking with the herd.

The CLC route has lots of benefits for those leaving university with a law degree, including:

  • A faster pathway to qualification: As a law graduate, you will already have an exemption from the first element of the route, the Level 4 Diploma. This means that you can go straight into the Level 6 Diploma. This pathway is also often considered a much faster option than others like the SQE or LPC, with a total qualification time (TQT) of 436 hours.
  • Flexible study options: A CLC qualification can allow you to study around your other commitments. With flexible courses like those at Law Training Centre, you will receive support that allows you to study at your own pace and in your own time, with on-demand course materials available for you to access as and when you need them. Plus, the availability of assessments throughout the year, unit by unit, means that you don’t have to follow set examination windows.
  • Gain experience and earn straight out of university: As the qualification can be so flexible, those looking to start earning and gain that valuable experience straight after graduation will have the option to do so. Plus, the practical experience requirement even encourages you to do so, ensuring that you have the real-life practical experience that is so important to the job.
  • Become a true specialist: If you know that conveyancing or probate are the right areas for you, then this is the perfect qualification to ensure you have everything you need to thrive in these areas of expertise. Rather than having to be assessed on endless areas of law that you are not interested in or will not need in your career, a CLC qualification will give you the information you need for your role.


Becoming a Licensed Conveyancer

So, what’s it like to become a Licensed Conveyancer?

As specialist property lawyers, Licensed Conveyancers can deal with all the legal, administrative and financial requirements involved in buying or selling property or re-mortgaging a property already owned.

Licensed Conveyancers can work in a range of organisations such as law firms, banks, property development companies, civil service departments, housing associations and local authorities.

This is a great career option for those interested in property law, as it allows you to undertake reserved legal activities (as provided for by the Legal Services Act 2007) that are related to this area of law. Plus, you will also be a commissioner for oaths, meaning that you have legal authority to administer and witness official documents.


Becoming a Licensed Probate Practitioner

The CLC probate qualifications tend to be less popular than those for conveyancing, but this might allow you a competitive edge in the ever-growing legal careers market…

Licensed Probate Practitioners specialise in the legal procedures and practices surrounding inheritance and the administration of wills and estates. Although probate is not often taught in law degrees at university, it’s arguably one of the most sought-after legal specialities and can be a really useful area to qualify in.

As a Licensed Probate Practitioner, you would be qualified in the law of succession, trusts, relevant aspects of property law and the law relating to inheritance and the administration of estates.


Career progression after qualifying

For those looking to undertake their CLC qualification, you might be wondering what might come after qualifying.

As a Licensed Conveyancer/Probate Practitioner, there are many routes to career progression. You will likely start out in a team at a law firm/organisation, but may one day hope to be a sole practitioner and work for yourself – this is possible with your licence. You may also want to work your way up in a law firm to become a Partner – this is also possible and something we have seen some of our learners go on to achieve!

If you hope to go down another road, you may also consider cross-qualifying. Many of our learners who complete one CLC Diploma will go on to complete the other, cross-qualifying in both conveyancing and probate.

You could also go on to study the SQE and qualify as a solicitor, using your background with a CLC qualification to support you in doing so.


So, what are you waiting for? Start your CLC journey today by enrolling on a CLC course with Law Training Centre!

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