BARBRI to offer £6k SQE prep course

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Total cost with exam fees is under £10,000

BARBRI has become the first legal education provider to go public with its Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) fees.

The provider is to offer a £6,000 SQE preparation course, with SQE1 and SQE2 each costing £2,999.

When added to the cost to sit both exams, which will be £3,980, as announced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in July, the total SQE cost will be just under £10,000. This sum is 42% less than the most expensive LPC on the market, which is currently priced at £17,300.

BARBRI’s SQE1 prep course launches on 18 January 2021 to prepare law and non-law grads for the first SQE1 sit scheduled in November 2021. The £2,999 fee can be split into eight instalments of £350 a month, with an initial deposit of £199.

The highly anticipated SQE, a two-part national assessment to be set and examined centrally, is due to come into effect from autumn 2021 — subject to approval from the Legal Services Board. It will phase out the current system under the LPC and GDL, and years of exams being set and marked by more than 100 different training providers.

In addition to the 40-week programme starting in January, BARBRI will offer two further programmes at the same cost but with varying start dates: an accelerated 20-week programme beginning in June, and a 10-week programme in August. These are designed to ensure “maximum flexibility”, BARBRI says, and will suit would-be solicitors at different stages of their career.

BARBRI anticipates around 500 students joining its 40-week programme in January for which applications open tomorrow. They will be required to put in up to 12 hours of study a week which may suit students that want to “earn whilst they learn”.

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BARBRI, which is best known for providing US bar exam prep courses which mirror the proposed multiple-choice-question format of SQE1, has long held plans to move into the SQE market, recently acquiring Kaplan Altior, a UK-based training and assessment provider, to offer training for the Professional Skills Course (PSC), much of which is being integrated into the SQE. It has also joined forces with King’s College London’s Dickson Poon School of Law to offer its “blended” SQE prep course.

For SQE2, BARBRI is partnering with F-LEX, a flexible paralegal resourcing company, to offer students qualifying work experience (QWE) and a path to qualification that fits around paralegal work.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Sarah Hutchinson, UK managing director of BARBRI, said:

“The launch of the BARBRI SQE prep course has been a long time in the making; we’ve secured only the best partners and faculty to help us deliver this moving forward. We are certain that we can help aspiring lawyers prepare with confidence and equip them with the best chance of success in their exams. We look forward to witnessing the full impact of the SQE’s introduction and being a part of the process.”

The University of Law revealed the first details of its SQE courses, which includes a masters option, earlier this year but have not yet announced fees. Meanwhile, BPP has begun a new law conversion course tailored specifically for students looking to sit the SQE. Following completion of the eight-month course students have the option to undertake the LPC or head on to its upcoming SQE1 prep course, which it has also not yet announced fees for.

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“But the SQE will be bad for diversity!” they said

Actually looks quite good for diversity from where I’m standing.



I could sit the LPC with a university I had attended an pay less. Hardly diversity for a couple grand anyway.



Depends whether the SQE will ask questions in long sentences (bad for diversity apparently but probably a basic expectation of someone entering the profession) or be a comedy multiple choice quiz (better for diversity it seems, but maybe a less reliable indicator of suitability as a solicitor).



Fool?! How is that for a short comical question in a sentence in response to a comment cloacked in xenophobia.



Sign me up



Finally, some great news! Been looking forward to the final development of the SQE with confidence as an LLB graduate, start dates, fees and provider. All which are coming through nicely. In my humble opinion, us aspiring legal professionals and lawyers work endlessly to make ends meet, thus having the opportunity to study and pass the SQE along side QWE is a huge relief, as the LPC just does not guarantee a training contract nor is it good value for money. Thank you BARBRI, thank you Solicitors Regulation Authority. Thank you God. Onwards and upwards.


Go Barbri

This is right. A cost effective option with QWE rather than forking out for the duopoly ULaw BPP rinse.


Spam Hamwich

It cost me £10k to do the LPC.



While aiming to tackle the right issues with access into the profession, this recalibrated route risks creating a blind alley whereby more students can push through into qualification without a job at the end of the line. Qualifying without an NQ role to start does happen now, but imagine a situation where lots of solicitors are ready to start work but struggle to find employers because firms don’t want to take on lawyers who haven’t undertaken a bespoke training course. I can’t imagine City firms will want to take on an NQ who has never undergone similar preparation to a training contract. It’s obviously frustrating for many how difficult it is to get a training contract but is being qualified without a job or reasonable prospect of finding one much better?

I’m also sceptical of how quality control can be assured when you can have solicitors who have qualified not through a training programme but experience such as law clinics and paralegal work. This is especially true given the SQE requires you to study subjects across the legal sector, so the tailored focus of LPC electives is gone.



What issues with access to the profession?



There are none.


tired millenium

Right back to those LPC prices that they said they were trying to prevent and bypass



The LPC was getting at the ~£15k mark. This is much cheaper.

If people can’t afford £6k then they really need to consider just ending things.



It’s not £6k though is it? The cost of exams have to be factored in which takes it £10k.



Still chepah! xD



When you say “consider just ending things” do you mean a decision not to pursue a career in law, or do you mean that they should end things altogether?

If the latter, I think that is a bit too much. Unfortunately there are lots of poor people, may of whom are poorly educated, who do not have the opportunity to work in good jobs and make enough money to allow them to save. Some people will struggle to pay their rent, to pay their bills, and to even put bread and soup on the table. To suggest that they should rid themselves from society would be really harsh.



Why so srs?


Masuma Khanom

If anyone can answer – for non-law students what is the predicted route and how long is this expected to take? Will it differ with different providers? E.g. BARBRI is providing a SQE1 prep course which is for both law and non-law students. But BPP are providing a conversion course and then a prep course (which will take longer – maybe an extra 3 years after graduation?)



Why don’t you just do a law degree for the certainty? If you can’t hack 3 years of that, it’s hardly worthwhile dedicating the rest of your life to it.



This is exactly what everyone needs to know and is not yet clear in my view. Eg if someone graduates in 2024 (two relatives of mine, not reading law but interesting in it as a career) – I presume the GDL LPC route is closed to them by then as they are too late even by the extended you can start the GDL in Sept 2021 decision….. So if they find a training contract I presume they just do as instructed by the firm which will probably want all exams over before you join -firm would pay for a PGDL/SQE1 type course and probably some kind of accelerated SQEII course perhaps even quicker than current 7 month accelerated LPC. I would guess it might end up being 18 months of course and the firm only lets you join when you have passed both and if you fail them you lose your TC. For those without a TC or whatever we then call it QWE or articles as it was or indentured service or whatever….. you probably wi8ll need 18 months of study for SQE and II in my view. This is just a guess however.



The real sting is that SRA “expect” pass rate on the SQE to be circa 50%, so you have roughly this chance of having to resit, pay exam fees again and prep course again… so overall much more expensive than the LPC (which has 90%+ pass rate, nearly 100% if you’re at ULaw)



Erm… Wrong! F**king Ulaw has a pass rate of 40% with people dropping out in their first 10 days! LOL Get a grip.


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