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Alternative careers in and around the law

Licensed conveyancers

Licensed conveyancers are qualified, professional property lawyers who specialise in the legal and financial aspects surrounding buying and selling property in England and Wales.

What do they do?

A licensed conveyancer will ensure that all documentation, contracts and financial arrangements associated with buying or selling a residential or commercial property or piece of land are in order. They can do everything that a solicitor can do in a conveyancing transaction – they have the same legal authority to act, plus, they’re experts because they’re specialists. Such tasks could include advising clients on the process of buying/selling a property; drafting a sale contract; and deal with the exchange of contracts required to complete a sale.

Where do they work?

Licensed conveyancers can work anywhere that deals with the transfer of a title to property or land in a legal department headed by a qualified person. The scope of employment isn’t limited to a law firm; it ranges from housing associations and local authorities, across banks and building societies to property development companies and even railways and airports.

Council for Licensed Conveyancers

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) is the regulatory body for licensed conveyancers and probate practitioners. The CLC’s regulatory activities include setting educational and training standards, maintaining a register for all licensed conveyancers and regulated bodies, and monitoring the work and conduct of regulated bodies. The Scottish Qualifications Authority is the official awarding body.

Becoming a licensed conveyancer

There are various routes you can take to become a licensed conveyancer, such as an apprenticeship or working in a conveyancing office before completing the Level 6 Diploma in Conveyancing Law and Practice. The CLC states that “no previous knowledge or experience is required”, with the Level 4 Diploma in Conveyancing Law and Practice being a great place to start.

You can also complete the Level 4 Diploma in Conveyancing Law and Practice and Level 6 Diploma in Conveyancing Law and Practice, which both take around 18 months to two years to complete, including practical experience.

Many trainee conveyancers value the fact that they can study for their qualification while earning a living and taking advantage of the flexible study methods that are available. It is possible to choose a distance learning programme or classroom-based programme where offered by an approved provider.

Entry requirements

Level 4 Diploma Conveyancing Law and Practice

Entry is at the discretion of the centre. Candidates don’t need to have formal relevant qualifications to enter this regulated qualification. Good communication skills, both oral and written, are required. Current experience of working within a legal practice setting would be advantageous but isn’t mandatory.

Level 6 Diploma Conveyancing Law and Practice

Entry is at the discretion of the training centre. However, it’s a prerequisite that candidates hold one of the following:

  • the Level 4 Diploma in Conveyancing Law and Practice;
  • a law degree;
  • a postgraduate qualification (eg, Graduate Diploma in Law);
  • CILEX qualification level 6; or
  • relevant legal practice course (at diploma level).

To find out more, you can contact an approved training provider or the CLC’s trainee lawyer team.