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UK law degrees: Scotland

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  • UK law degrees: Scotland

    Scots law differs from that of England & Wales and other common law countries. When Scotland and England & Wales united to form the United Kingdom in 1707, the legal systems remained separate and this is still true today. Scots law is founded upon Roman or civil law, although today it has evolved into a hybrid or mixed system, using both civil and common law.

    Initial qualification

    Qualification to the profession is to the Law Society of Scotland for solicitors, or to the Faculty of Advocates for those wishing to practise as Advocates at the High Court of Justiciary or the Court of Session.

    List of universities offering qualifying law degrees recognised in Scotland


    Firstly, an LL.B. degree must be obtained from one of the following universities: Diploma in Legal Practice

    Following successful completion of the LL.B., graduates must undertake a one-year vocational Diploma in Legal Practice (Dip LP), taught at the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, jointly by Glasgow & Strathclyde (at the Glasgow Graduate School of Law), or The Robert Gordon University.

    Traineeships and devilling

    Those who wish to qualify as a solicitor must then undertake a two-year traineeship with a law firm. Qualification as an Advocate (the Scottish equivalent of a barrister) requires a further nine-month unpaid traineeship (known as devilling) with an experienced Advocate.

    Practising in other jurisdictions

    Once qualified, Scots solicitors and advocates can practise in Scotland. If they wish to practise in the European Union they may do so provided that they satisfy the requirements of the relevant EU Directives. However, to practise elsewhere in the United Kingdom, they will be required to sit the relevant exams or to study further courses.
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