Law firm and law school giants to help legal workers qualify as solicitors
Dentons’ new scheme, dubbed ‘Quali-FLY’, enables ten of its paralegals, or other professionals, to qualify under the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) regime. They will be eligible to apply for the scheme after working for six months at the firm.
The candidates will undertake paid Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) over a two-year period, and will be able to apply for newly-qualified (NQ) solicitor roles on passing the SQE exams. Dentons is to also fund SQE exam and prep course fees, and is partnering with BPP for the provision of training.
Once Dentons fully adopts the SQE from 2024, Quali-FLY will be integrated into the firm’s standard training contract route.
Jackie Hanlon, head of Dentons’ legal delivery centre, which houses around 60 paralegals, said: “The launch of Quali-FLY and our early adoption of the SQE demonstrates Dentons’ innovative approach to developing future talent at the firm.”
ULaw, meanwhile, has launched a course, SQE1 Preparation for Legal Professionals, which can be paused and restarted, allowing students to have flexibility around the demands of their 9-5 jobs. It is spread out over 40 weeks, with 10 hours of study per week.
Peter Crisp, deputy vice chancellor at ULaw, said: “The introduction of our SQE1 Preparation for Legal Professionals course will enable those already working in the legal profession to continue the great work they do whilst furthering their legal education and readying them for the new SQE route to qualification.”
The SQE officially went live on 1 September 2021, becoming the new route to qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales and setting in motion the gradual phasing out of its predecessor, the Legal Practice Course (LPC).
Law firms and legal organisations have begun taking advantage of the flexibility afforded by the new regime, including Eversheds Sutherland, which last year launched a pathway for its paralegals to qualify as solicitors.