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Entry trends

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) maintains records at each stage of training, from the traineeship to successful admission to the roll. Details of ethnic origin, as well as other biographical data, are sought at the time of enrolment. Individuals are not obliged to complete the question on their ethnicity but historically a high proportion have been prepared to do so.

This research helps the SRA to monitor the make-up of those wanting to enter the profession.

Undergraduates and graduates in law

In 2015-16, 23,855 UK students applied to study law at undergraduate level in England and Wales, out of whom 17,335 UK students were accepted on to courses.

Of the UK students accepted onto courses:

  • 67.3 per cent are female and 32.7 per cent are male.
  • 35.7 per cent are from minority ethnic groups.
  • Of the ethnic minorities, 65.6 per cent are female and 34.4 per cent are male.
Undergraduate entry trend - Law Careers

Period of recognised training

In the year ending 31 July 2015, 5,457 new traineeships were registered with the SRA. 

  • 62.8 per cent are female and 37.2 per cent are male.

Admission to the roll

The Solicitors Regulation Authority is required to collect and maintain records of all qualified solicitors on the roll.

6,077 individuals were admitted to the roll in the year that ended 31 July 2015.

Of these qualified solicitors:

  • 61 per cent are female and 39 per cent are male.
  • (907) 14.9 per cent are from minority ethnic groups.
  • Of the ethnic minority groups, 62.8 per cent are female and 37.2 per cent are male.
  • The average age entered onto the roll in 2014-15, across both genders, is 29.5 years.
  • The average for males is 29.8 and the average age for females is 29.4.
Admissions entry trend - Law Careers

Solicitors on the roll

As of 31 July 2015, there are 168,226 solicitors on the roll. 

Of these solicitors on the roll:

  • 84,643 (50.3 per cent) are male and 83,583 (49.7 per cent) are female.
  • 23,947 (14.2 per cent) are from minority ethnic groups.
  • Of the ethnic minorities, 57 per cent are female and 43 per cent are male.
On the roll entry trend - Law Careers

Solicitors holding a practising certificate

In 2015, 133,367 solicitors held current practising certificates.

Of these solicitors holding practising certificates:

  • 65,147 (48.8 per cent) are held by women and 68,220 (51.2 per cent) are held by men.
  • 18,547 (13.9 per cent) are from minority ethnic groups.
  • Of the ethnic minorities, 56.7 per cent are female and 43.3 per cent are male.
Practising certificate entry trend - Law Careers
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