STEP Qualification – Another Level of Study Complete

It is well known that solicitors have a long path to qualification. Perhaps the straightforward route is a law degree, followed by a legal practice course and then, of course, a training contract (historically know as articles). But even when qualified, the training does not stop.


A route into law

I myself followed a rather unconventional route, re-training in my 30s by way of a post graduate diploma in law after having sampled other, non-law, careers. There are many ways of getting ‘on the roll’ nowadays, where practical experience in legal roles can provide different ways of qualification from the more historical academic pathways. However, whichever way you do it, you have to keep studying.

For one thing, solicitors are required to do a minimum level of professional development every year (both to stay ahead in changes in the law but also to develop other skills important for the job). In addition, many specialist areas of practice tend to have specialist qualifications to help raise your skills to a higher level.


As a private client solicitor dealing with wills, estate administration and trusts, the professional body to be part of is STEP – the Society for Trusts and Estate Practitioners. Whilst in the not too distant past, experience could gain you membership, the only way to get the sought after letters T.E.P. is to complete a diploma as set by STEP.

So I was delighted to receive my exam results earlier this week, and a distinction in my paper for Trust and Estate Accounting. Together with the previous three modules over the past few years (including the dreaded Taxation of Trusts and Estates), I have now completed all aspects and await my reward.

Unfortunately, such reward is that members of STEP have a defined increase to the norm on the hours they must spend on professional development to remain a practitioner. Oh no, what have I done…..