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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 and 33,010 overseas students applied to study law at undergraduate level in England and Wales, out of whom 17,335 UK students and 22,320 overseas students were accepted on to courses.
  • Women made up 67 per cent of students accepted on to university law degree courses.
  • Overseas students made up 21 per cent of those accepted.
  • Students from minority ethnic groups accounted for 35.7 per cent of UK students starting a first degree law course in 2015.

Period of recognised training

  • In the year ending 31 July 2015, 5,457 new traineeships were registered with the SRA.
  • 62.8 per cent of these trainees were female.

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.
  • 61 per cent of these were women. 907 solicitors admitted were from minority ethnic groups. 62.8 per cent of those admitted from minority ethnic groups were female.
  • The average age of those entered onto the roll in 2014-15 was 29.5 years. The average age of males was slightly higher than that of females.

Solicitors on the roll

  • As at 31 July 2015, there were 168,226 solicitors on the roll. Of these 84,643 (50.3 per cent) were men and 83,583 (49.7 per cent) were women.
  • There were 23,947 solicitors from minority ethnic groups on the roll.
  • In 2015, 133,367 solicitors held current practising certificates.
  • 18,547 of those holding current practising certificates came from minority ethnic groups, 65,147 (48.8 per cent) were held by women and 68,220 (51.2 per cent) were held by men.
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