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SQE officially comes into force

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New solicitor training regime will eventually replace the LPC

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) has come into force today, becoming the new standardised assessment to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales.

The two-part SQE eventually phases out the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and years of exams being set and marked by more than 100 different training providers.

SQE1 examines functioning legal knowledge in two exams, each made up of 180 multiple-choice questions, while SQE2 tests practical legal skills through 16 written and oral tasks. The total cost to sit both exams will be £3,980, with preparation course fees on top.

Under the new solicitor training regime, candidates will still be required to complete two years of qualifying work experience (QWE), but this can be completed with up to four different legal organisations.

The first-ever SQE1 sit is just over two months away, and preparations have been underway since January at a number of training providers, including Barbri, Law Training Centre and The University of Law. The first SQE2 exams take place from April 2022.

Get the lowdown on all the major legal educators' prep courses with The 2021 Legal Cheek SQE Providers List

Patrick McCann, chair, City of London Law Society Training Committee and global head of learning at Linklaters, commented: “As we enter the first round of the SQE, it’s important to see if the theory works in practice. Only with time will we see whether some of the concerns voiced by learning and development professionals at City firms, and in the wider profession, prove to be challenges once the system is in place.”

He continued: “Although the new system has a greater range of options and price points for students, the route to qualification will undoubtedly require preparatory courses, which we hope that trainees will opt for and anticipate that City firms will fund. The challenge will be to balance funding the various elements that increase the chances of qualifying with accessibility and availability of funding. The CLLS intends to keep working with the SRA in an attempt to secure the most appropriate qualification routes.”

For more info on the new route to solicitor qualification, check out our comprehensive ‘Paths to becoming a lawyer’ guide.

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10 Comments

Rumours

Have FBD internally announced NQ = £133??

(2)(25)

lol no

go away loser

(18)(2)

JC

As a non-law graduate with a successful media/advertising career behind me, I have decided to self fund a part-time SQE1 prep course and take the July 2022 exam. My CV, although not bad (2:1 Manchester Uni, Masters Degree, lots of commercial experience working with big global brands) has zero legal experience and I don’t think anyone’s going to give me a TC without some commitment to law on there. So my plan is – pass the SQE1 whilst continuing to work part time, then apply for junior / entry level legal roles & TCs to fund SQE2. Anyone see any problems with this plan? At this point I am not particularly interested in big city firms btw – a massive salary isn’t my main priority.

(0)(6)

Anon

Before paying for the SQE1 prep course, could you apply for some vac schemes to see if you get any interest? Might delay you taking the SQE but could save you some money.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

The SRA will seemingly do anything to justify their grossly overpaid existence, even implement a new training regime that no-one asked for.

(18)(1)

Anonymous

Having completed the GDL and LPC I have been working towards CILEx fellowship whilst working as a paralegal (one year to go before I can submit my portfolio) and have taken the professional skills course in order to then be entered onto the Solicitors Register which was a well established alternative route. Have now just discovered that the SRA is requiring CILEx Fellows to take the SQE2 (at a cost of over £2k plus the cost of the prep course), bit of a kick in the teeth. Are the SRA implying that the CILEx qualification isn’t as good as being a solicitor? This is something that CILEx should no doubt take exception to.

(0)(3)

CILEx Fellow

If you’ve done the LPC then you can still cross-qualify with the SRA that way.

CILEx are preparing their own, additional qualification, which you could also look at.

https://www.cilex.org.uk/cilex_lawyer

(1)(0)

CILEx What

Never met a CILEx lawyer who wasn’t either deeply resentful of solicitors/trainee solicitors, or adamant the world is against CILEx. Is the rant of Anon @9.49 trained into you at some session solicitors are banned from because Nasty Solicitor Bad Do Law?

You know who you are.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Fully qualified registered European / now foreign lawyer, who works in UK law firm on England and Wales law exclusively and also teaches English law ( business law, contract and public law), SRA does not give any exemptions from the SQE 1. Still England and Wales remains an open jurisdiction according to the law society president but not any measure for us.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

You need to know a lot of law to be a good solicitor so some kind of good preparatory courses for SQE1 and 2 are likely to be wise on the CV and good training in a good firm after that otherwise people might be a danger to clients.

(0)(0)

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