Linklaters to fund SQE prep courses for refugee lawyers
Through tie-up with BARBRI and charity Breaking Barriers
Linklaters will provide funding to support refugee lawyers through part one of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), thanks to a new partnership with a legal education provider and a refugee employment charity.
The magic circle player has teamed up with BARBRI and Breaking Barriers to offer up to five fully funded SQE1 prep courses per year to lawyers with a refugee background living in the UK.
Commenting on the partnership, Linklaters’ global corporate responsibility manager, Joanna Keefe, said:
“Promoting and protecting refugee rights globally and using our skills to help people in our local communities to access employment and education opportunities are longstanding priorities of our Social Impact work. We are pleased to be working with Breaking Barriers and BARBRI to increase access to the legal profession for individuals who might otherwise face financial barriers to undertake the SQE prep course.”
As part of new arrangement, BARBRI will also help prepare the firm’s lawyers in London, but who are qualified in another jurisdiction, to sit the SQE. This follows the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s decision to phase out the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme, the route currently used by foreign lawyers to qualify in England and Wales, and replace it with the new super-exam.
These lawyers will study for and sit the SQE1 and 2 exams at the same time as working at the firm’s London office, Links said.
Victoria Cromwell, director of UK programmes at BARBRI, added:
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Linklaters, to train its lawyers qualified outside of England and Wales for the SQE, and we are particularly proud of the partnership we have established with Linklaters and Breaking Barriers to support refugee lawyers to become qualified as solicitors in England & Wales.”
BARBRI is one of a number of major legal education players to offer SQE prep courses. Others to launch similar offerings — or who have plans to in the future — include The University of Law, BPP Law School and Nottingham Law School. Check out our SQE Providers List to get the lowdown on their new offerings.