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Law school enters SQE market with £3k prep course

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QLTS School package covers both SQE1 and SQE2; with exam fees it will slash total cost of qualifying as a solicitor to just over £7k; students can pay more for additional support

A legal training provider has gone public with its Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) prep course fees, offering both SQE1 and SQE2 for a combined £3,080.

QLTS School has announced three online-only course packages to prepare students for the upcoming assessments, with the lowest priced option, which includes no tutor support, priced at £1,490 for SQE1 and £1,590 for SQE2.

With the total SQE exam fees set at £3,980, this means students could potentially qualify as a solicitor for just over £7,000, which is less than half the price of the most expensive Legal Practice Course (LPC) on the market.

QLTS School is also offering more expensive courses that unlike its ‘Basic’ option feature video library access and tutoring. They cost an additional £400 to £800 per course and are geared towards law graduates wanting more guidance or non-law graduates.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) new two-part assessment is due to come into force from September next year, with the first SQE1 sit scheduled for November. QLTS School will begin its SQE1 prep course from next month.

So far BARBRI is the only other legal education provider to go public with its SQE fees. BARBRI is offering a £6,000 SQE prep course, with SQE1 and SQE2 each costing £2,999. Both QLTS School and BARBRI aim to challenge traditional law schools ULaw and BPP — who are yet to reveal the costs of their new SQE offerings. Legal Cheek understands that a number of other universities are mulling entering the lucrative SQE market, including Staffordshire University and Arden University, the latter which is headed by former BPP chief Carl Lygo.

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New SQE market entrant QLTS School has long been on the legal training scene with its prep course for the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) assessments.

Nir Chanoch, managing director of QLTS School, said:

“We have designed and developed our SQE preparation courses by benefiting from the invaluable and unique experience we have gained in our QLTS training since 2011.”

The SQE assessments are substantially modelled on the QLTS assessments; both include a multiple-choice test and a practical legal skills exam.

Chanoch continued: “We are therefore uniquely positioned to offer high quality and affordable training for SQE candidates which will ensure their success in the SQE assessments.”

The SQE received the green light to go ahead from the Legal Services Board (LSB) earlier in the autumn.

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7 Comments

JLD

Halving the cost of qualifying as a solicitor to £7,000 is an extremely worrying move for diversity.

The risk is that students from poor backgrounds will be duped by the cost reduction and qualify as solicitors without meaning to and then feel jolly sad and confused about it.

This will disproportionately affect people of colour, who we at the JLD worry terribly about.

Our concerns, and we can’t stress this enough, have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that lower course fees will allow more students to qualify as solicitors and devalue the qualification we’ve worked so hard to achieve.

(4)(16)

James Kitching

One question for you:

Where do you expect all these new jobs to come from for all the newly qualified solicitors who wouldn’t previously have been able to qualify under the old system?

(8)(0)

Joy

Hi, How muce does time it require to preprae for QLTS MCT exam for a foreign qualified lawyer? Actually, I am from the US and wish to qualify in England. I was planning to adopt the current QLTS route. Last MCT exam is in July 2021, I was wondering if 7 months are enough to crack this exam!

(3)(2)

Dunno

Is it better to wait to do SQE or just get the lpc done with (since it’s tried and tested)?

Not sure which route to take.

(4)(0)

JM

The SQE (please correct me anyone if I’m wrong) appears to omit the three electives which one chose on LPC, in favour instead of an enhanced focus on a broad bread-and-butter revisiting of all the old 7 law school pillars in conjunction with the old LPC core module materials (wills, procedure, tax, etc) and a practical slant. So with the SQE one will probably be more suited to generalism as a country solicitor doing a bit of this and a bit of that. But no family, immigration, and other of the core bits.

(1)(0)

JM

The SQE (please correct me anyone if I’m wrong) appears to omit the three electives which one chose on LPC, in favour instead of an enhanced focus on a broad bread-and-butter revisiting of all the old 7 law school pillars in conjunction with the old LPC core module materials (wills, procedure, tax, etc) and a practical slant. So with the SQE one will probably be more suited to generalism as a country solicitor doing a bit of this and a bit of that. But no family, immigration, and other of the old LPC electives.

(1)(0)

SJ

I would never opt for an online only course. As evidenced through the current situation with doing university online. It is honestly the worst form of learning.

(2)(1)

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