Mishcon joins initiative to fund refugee lawyers through SQE

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By Thomas Connelly on


Teams up with BARBRI and charity Breaking Barriers

London law firm Mishcon de Reya is to help refugee lawyers on their journeys to becoming qualified in the UK through a three-way charity partnership.

The soon-to-be listed law firm will be working with refugee employment charity, Breaking Barriers, to offer fully funded Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) prep programmes with BARBRI to lawyers living in the UK with a refugee background.

The tie-up, which will see Mishcon cover the cost of part one of the legal education providers’ course, follows a similar move by magic circle law firm Linklaters.

The SQE came into force in September and replaced the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) as the route to qualification for foreign lawyers who wish to re-qualify in England and Wales.

The 2022 Legal Cheek SQE Provider List

Commenting on the partnership, Mishcon partner and co-training principal Samantha Kakati said:

“Refugees have a valuable contribution to make to both the profession and to our society. However, without proper support, that potential is overlooked and we squander experience, knowledge and skills that could otherwise enrich the operation and progress of not only the profession and legal systems as a whole, but the experience of each of us as participants in it and beneficiaries of it.”

She continued: “The legal profession should reflect and represent our society. That means continuing to improve access to, and equity in, the profession, particularly for those who are currently underrepresented. This was one of the drivers of a fundamental change in the qualification process by the introduction of the SQE. This partnership is one of the ways in which we have committed to practical change in the right direction.”

News of the partnership follows the release of the first ever SQE results, with just over half of the 1,090 candidates (53%) successfully navigating the first stage.

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