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City law firm ‘consortium’ appoints BPP as SQE prep-course provider

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Influential group’s future trainees will sit super-exam from autumn 2022 — a year after assessment’s proposed introduction

A “consortium” of leading City law firms has appointed BPP Law School to help prepare its future trainees to undertake the new solicitor super-exam.

The influential group — made up of Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright, Linklaters and Slaughter and May — confirmed this morning that it will be collaborating with BPP to design a suite of “bespoke programmes” which will prepare its future rookies to pass the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

The consortium said it intended, subject to any changes made by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), that its future trainees will first sit SQE1 in, or around, November 2022 — a year after the regulator’s anticipated roll-out date of Autumn 2021. The first intake of trainees that this would affect is those commencing their training contracts in spring 2023.

News of BPP’s appointment comes just weeks after Legal Cheek revealed that the group was on the hunt for a law school to provide training in preparation for the SQE, a new centralised assessment that will replace both the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). The SQE will be split into two parts: SQE1 focusing on black letter law and taking the form of a computer-based, multiple-choice assessment, while SQE2 will test prospective solicitors’ practical legal skills such as advocacy and interviewing.

The Future of Legal Education and Training Conference 2020 -- 14 May at Kings Place London

A spokesperson on behalf of the group said:

“Investing in the development of our talent is key to enable our future lawyers to meet client needs in a rapidly changing business environment. We look forward to working in partnership with BPP as we embrace the opportunities presented by the revised regulatory regime to develop innovative training programmes”.

In reaching its decision, the consortium said it undertook a wide-ranging review of the skills and knowledge required of City lawyers both now and in the future. This involved speaking to stakeholders at each firm, including trainees, associates and partners as well as graduate recruitment, knowledge, technology and innovation specialists.

The Future of Legal Education and Training Conference 2020 -- 14 May at Kings Place London

18 Comments

Anon

Not sure who else they were going to give it to, and makes me suspect that the SQE is going to turn out to be suspiciously similar to the LPC.

Anon

Could be a big blow to the University of Law to lose Linklaters as an anchor client.

Anonymous

Good.

Jane

“Paying for our future trainee solicitors to learn the law well is important. It helps ensure our future solicitors can meet our clients’ needs in a rapidly changing business environment. We look forward to working with BPP as we embrace the opportunities presented by the revised regulatory regime to develop innovative training programmes”.

The above might have been better English.

Anonymagic

Not really, it’s a business article not an Oxford Law Review.

Anonymouse

Wonder how much of a discount they getting on fees the normal person end up paying

JDP

I’ve just read another article on this site, and am pleased to soon be announcing our latest lateral hire. We feelhe really fits in with our firm’s values.

Jones Day HR

We would just like to make clear that the above is not consistent with our values of inclusivity, diversity and strong mental health.

There is an undercurrent sewer of rumours set out to disparage us; this is not the real Jones Day. We operate an open door/ open mind policy. The collegiality of the firm is second to none, and cohesion a real focus to help us achieve our values.

We will robustly deal with any person intending to act in a way inconsistent with the above.

Oh, and the strategic hire announcement will be live on Monday.

Consortium LPC-er

FYI, Linklaters is not part of the consortium. It is only Hogans, HSF, NRF, Freshfields and Slaughters.

Anon

Fyi, Links are part of the consortium. They joined it last month.

Kirkland Lad

Love how the picture in this article depicts a bunch of basically irrelevant firms.

Anonymous

All that fuss, but it can’t be that hard to pass. Especially when they are dumbing it down to help those with poor written English.

Ball so hard

NRF is increasingly becoming the black sheep of that consortium.

Anonymous

Seriously though. The firm used to have such an amazing rep and if you trained/qualified with them the Norton Rose brand meant you had great exit opportunities. Now they’re on par with the likes of Dentons or DLA Piper.

What happened?

Legal Cheek’s First CyberNat #IndyRef2020 #VoteYes2020 #SNP

The SQE is a terrible idea, and I’m not clear (apart from marginal potential cost saving for participants) what the point of it is.

Sean

Why would law firms commit to working with one provider, without being able to assess first whether their SQE courses can help their trainees pass the exams? The only thing that really matters is whether or not the trainee would pass. Other skills can be acquired in the training period. And there will be so many options for training which might be proven better. It is quite astonishing to see that decision makers in the learning development field are still captured in the old LPC format with lack of forward-thinking.

Anon

As most law firms know, whether they have been at BPP, ULaw or any other post grad provider, the real training and learning happens in the firm.

Both main providers consist in the main of people who left practice with little experience or years ago.

Anon

Consortium, as in cartel?

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