Solicitor super-exam receives final approval

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on

LSB signs off on biggest shake-up to legal education and training in a quarter-century

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has finally been given the go-ahead to introduce the new solicitor super-exam.

In an update on the The Legal Services Board’s (LSB) website, the super-watchdog said it had today approved the SRA’s application to make “significant changes” to how people qualify as solicitors in England and Wales. This includes the roll-out of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) from 1 September 2021.

The LSB said it conducted a thorough assessment of the application and concluded that if the SRA realises its ambitions for the SQE, “it should have a positive impact” on the profession.

The LSB added that it had received assurances from the SRA on some areas of initial concern, including additional safeguards around qualifying work experience (QWE) to help to prevent the poor treatment of trainees — a concern previously expressed by the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD).

The 2021 Legal Cheek GDL Most List

Commenting on the approval, chair of the SRA, Anna Bradley, said:

“We welcome the LSB’s decision. The SQE will provide assurance that all aspiring solicitors meet consistent, high standards at point of entry to the profession. It will also open up new and diverse routes to qualification.”

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. It will replace the Legal Practice Course (LPC).

Today’s news means the first sittings for SQE1 will take place in November 2021 with the first SQE2 sittings in April 2022.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

Related Stories

Majority of law school websites don’t mention SQE, research finds

Only 8% give some detail about new course provision

Oct 14 2020 12:18pm

Will the SQE kill the GDL?

Legal Cheek talks to the main players to see where they stand on the law conversion course

Oct 9 2020 9:13am