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Advocates in Scotland give legal advice to solicitors and other professionals, and specialise in the expert presentation of cases either in court or at other decision making bodies. They also provide opinions on a wide range of legal matters which do not involve going to court.

They are sometimes called counsel, and are similar to barrister in the rest of the UK.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

Self-employed Advocates depend for their income on solicitors and other professionals deciding to instruct them. Earnings vary widely, depending on success and workload.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Most Advocates are self-employed, including working as Crown Counsel - Advocate Depute for the Procurator Fiscal Service. Some Advocates also work for the Scottish Government through the GLSS. The traineeship adverts get posted on the Work for Scotland website at the start of the year, for posts starting in September of the following year.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland


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Job Outlook Scotland

7.3 %

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What Does it Take?

You need to be able to:

You need to have:


Once you have qualified as an Advocate, you will be expected to keep your skills and knowledge up to date through continuing professional development (CPD).

Getting On

More Information

The Faculty of Advocates holds an annual open day for those interested in a career as an Advocate. See the website for more details.

Other members of the Faculty of Advocates include judges, sheriffs and a small number working in industry, commerce or central or local government. Some Advocates specialise in a particular field, but in Scotland most of them do a broad range of work.


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Faculty of Advocates
Tel: 0131 226 5071
Twitter: @FacultyScot

Government Legal Service for Scotland (GLSS)
Tel: 0131 244 0815

The GLSS recruits around five to six trainees each year. For more information see the Traineeships section of their website. Traineeships are usually advertised on the Scottish Government Work for Scotland website at the end of September each year.

Law Society of Scotland
Tel: 0131 226 7411
Website (2):
Twitter: @lawscotjobs

Lawscot Jobs is the recruitment website from the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.

Skills for Justice
Tel: 0117 922 1155
Twitter: @Skills_Justice

Skills for Justice is the Sector Skills Council for the Justice, Community Safety and Legal Services Sectors. The careers section of their website holds information on the careers within these sectors.

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