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College of Legal Practice launches SQE route that is half the price of the LPC

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Total cost with exam fees is just over £8,000

The College of Legal Practice (CoLP) has revealed its Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) prep course fees, offering both SQE1 and 2 for a combined £4,100.

The training provider, which is the UK spin-off of Australia’s biggest law school, today announced its online SQE prep course comprises three core areas which can be undertaken in isolation or grouped together as part of a masters in legal practice.

These are ‘Solicitors Legal Knowledge’ and ‘Solicitors Legal Skills’, which prepare candidates for SQE1 and 2, respectively, as well as ‘Legal Skills Modules’, which provide practice-specific training covering topics from banking & finance to dispute resolution.

CoLP’s SQE prep courses are priced at £1,800 for SQE1 and £2,300 for SQE2. When added to the cost to sit both exams — set by the regulator at £3,980 — the total SQE cost is just over £8,000. This is half the price of the most expensive Legal Practice Course (LPC) on the market, which comes in at over £16,000.

Students can take the ‘Legal Skills Modules’ for an additional £800. The full LLM in Legal Practice, which incorporates SQE prep, is £6,900.

As part of its SQE offering, CoLP says students will have access to a personal tutor and one-to-one supervision from practising solicitors. SQE prep courses can be taken full-time or part-time and will begin this summer, with the LLM available in the autumn subject to validation.

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CoLP launched in the UK towards the end of 2019. Its parent company is Antipodean giant The College of Law Australia and New Zealand.

At the time of the launch, Legal Cheek exclusively revealed the venture had attracted a number of big names, including Richard Clark, ex-managing partner at Slaughter and May, and Isabel Parker, former chief legal innovation officer at Freshfields. Both are on the College’s board.

Commenting on today’s announcement, CoLP CEO Dr Giles Proctor said:

“The College of Legal Practice’s entry into the market signals a generational change for legal education. An old fashioned ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach simply doesn’t work because every learner’s need is different. We recognise that we need to design legal courses around individual needs, and help learners develop the skills and competencies for success in their careers. By doing so, we hope to ensure a more diverse group of individuals can access and do well in the legal profession. We’re proud to support access for our learners to high quality, practical legal education.”

CoLP is also pitching its training model to elite City outfits. It was announced in the autumn that CoLP had partnered with Reed Smith to deliver practice-based training to the firm’s incoming trainees.

A number of new entrant SQE providers have now gone public with their fees. BARBRI is offering a £6,000 SQE prep course, with SQE1 and SQE2 each costing £2,999. QLTS School has launched three online course packages, with the lowest priced option costing £1,490 for SQE1 and £1,590 for SQE2. The Law Training Centre revealed last month its SQE1 fees will cost £2,890, with SQE2 fees soon to be announced.

Earlier this month, The University of Law revealed its SQE prep course fees, ranging from £500 for a short SQE1 revision course to £16,500 for its most comprehensive LLM. Other traditional law schools, BPP University, City and Nottingham Law School have revealed early details of their SQE offerings but are yet to confirm fees. Further announcements are expected in the spring.

The SQE received the green light to go ahead from the Legal Services Board in October. The first SQE1 sit is scheduled for November 2021, with SQE2 in April 2022.

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12 Comments

Anonymous

Shows how dumbed down the SQE really is.

Throw in the rampant grade inflation among unis that see students as customers and beg for applications and the result is: SQE and 2:1 degree from uni outside the top 15 = not evidence you are good enough.

(13)(5)

Curious

What is a top 15 Uni? Seriously, I hear it used so much but there are more than 15 Unis included in the list. The obvious are Oxbridge, Durham, UCL, LSE, St Andrews. But is Bristol in there? Are Manchester-Birmingham-Leeds? Liverpool? Warwick? UEA? Southampton? York? All these Unis are 3 A minimum for the LLB and many other subjects.

(11)(3)

Bi

Liverpool? UEA? You’re having a laugh. 3 As today meaning nothing either.

(10)(6)

FT

Bristol is definitely a target uni (probably top 10). Grad recs hold a shit ton of promo/networking events every year. Also a solid number of law & non-law students consistently getting TCs at top city firms.

(13)(0)

Anonymous

“Oxbridge, Durham, UCL, LSE, St Andrews” only a deluded St Andrews graduate would compile that list.

(18)(4)

Anonymous

Durham and St Andrews ‘top’ heh ^^

(2)(2)

Jarrod

This is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done. Half the price is still too much and will put people off. This will disproportionately impact individuals from certain demographics. Fees for these courses should be funded by law firms, who will ultimately gain from the training of these students.

(3)(5)

6 year PQE

Before the backlash, I am from a thoroughly working class and non-traditional background and it took me nearly a decade to qualify. I appreciate anything that can be done to widen access to the profession – but I fear this just isn’t going to do much in the long run.

Fees for the LPC are already funded by firms. If you have a TC lined up. Given that the market is absolutely saturated already, it’s been well known for a very long time that self-funding the LPC is a gamble. With reduced fees, there’s going to be even more baby lawyers out there competing for employment. With the SQE route now widening access, I wonder when the issue of people complaining that they’re an NQ but cant get an NQ job will happen.

(9)(0)

Jane

Sadly I think we allow them to set up in practice as a freelance solicitor only 3 years later so they might well get some low grade low pay NQ job and then we let them loose on the public.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Where’s the evidence for “This will disproportionately impact individuals from certain demographics”? Just wondering the basis for the proposal to tax the incomes of workers. The tax would, in your world, “ disproportionately impact individuals from certain demographics”.

(0)(1)

Rick

Jarrod mate, I bet you are the type to put leaves of fresh basil on a pizza. Absolutely bonkers. It’ll completely overpower the other flavours. If I wanted to taste basil then I’d suck on a basil leaf. Why go and disturb the balance of a fine pizza? Absolute mugs behaviour. Don’t even get me started on the dip situation. I’d rather eat a dry crust than dab in that filth. Oh my goodness.

(1)(0)

Luigi

Depends on what you are eating bro. A proper pizza doesn’t have much of a crust, and will be very delicious if eaten as is. However it seems you are talking about pizza hut/dominos/papa johns pizza, in which case you get what you deserve with those chunky dry crusts. I wouldn’t even call those concoctions pizzas tbh. You must work at Irwin Mitchell.

(3)(0)

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