The most commonly followed route to qualifying as a Scottish solicitor is to complete an accredited Scots Law Degree (the LLB), then the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice and finally a two-year standard training contract.   There are two alternatives to the university stages of this most common route:

  1. A pre-PEAT traineeship; and
  2. A non-PEAT 1 traineeship

Further information on these routes is below and on the associate sub-pages. Once you have considered these pages, if you have any further questions, please contact regarding the pre-PEAT route and regarding the non-PEAT 1 route for more information.

This route is a replacement for the LLB stage of the route to qualification. 

Rather than studying the LLB, individuals undertake a three-year "pre-PEAT training contract", whilst studying for and passing a number of Law Society of Scotland exams, including a Work Based Learning Module. Individuals taking this route are required to balance working life and independent studying, which can be extremely challenging.

Please note that we cannot source pre-PEAT training contracts for prospective applicants.  For this reason, this alternative is typically utilised only by individuals who are already working under the supervision of a Scottish solicitor and want to begin the process of qualifying as a solicitor, supported by their employer.

The Law Society of Scotland expects all people who wish to qualify as a Scottish solicitor to have completed Professional Education and Training Stages 1 and 2 (or PEAT 1 and PEAT 2).  These are commonly referred to as the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (PEAT 1) and the traineeship (PEAT 2).

A three-year “non-PEAT 1 traineeship” is an exception to this expectation. 

The non-PEAT 1 traineeship is only available to someone who has been granted an exemption from the requirement to complete PEAT 1 (i.e. the Diploma) by the Law Society’s Admissions Sub-committee.  There is no right to undertake a non-PEAT 1 traineeship. 

Full details of how to apply for such an exemption are on the relevant sub-pages.