SQE prep provider launches law course with built in qualifying work experience
Law Training Centre offers aspiring lawyers chance to tackle real legal cases
One of the newer names to the solicitor training scene has launched a law course which enables students to gain qualifying work experience (QWE) at the same time.
Launched by the Law Training Centre (LTC), the Foundations to Law Clinic Practice course sees aspiring solicitors tackle a range of modules on the background and practical workings of a law clinic while also gaining pro bono work experience in areas including employment, debt, personal injury, wills & probate and housing.
The legal work, undertaken remotely through the Access Law Clinic, the centre’s pro bono arm, is recorded and signed off by a supervising solicitor, meaning the work counts towards students’ two years’ qualifying experience.
The opportunity has been made possible thanks to a number of tweaks brought in following the introduction of Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). Among these changes is the option for would-be lawyers to circumvent the training contract process and complete two years QWE with up to four different “employers” — including, in this case, a pro bono clinic.
As well as course notes covering the core content, students will have access to a “personal academic coach”, multiple choice question assessments and access to ongoing training and development. Students have access the course materials for up to 12 months, but can continue to work at the clinic for as long as they like.
To be eligible a student will have completed either an undergraduate law degree or SQE1 (or equivalent). Fees start from £250.
Eve Dullabh, director of education, LTC, told Legal Cheek:
“We know that for many students, accessing the required qualifying work experience can be challenging. Whilst QWE is more flexible to get than the old training contracts which required aspiring solicitors to be employed in a law firm for two years under a specific training contract, most QWE opportunities are still likely to be standard Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm roles.”
She continued: “Like studying at Law Training Centre, students can take an Access Law Clinic case home, work on it in the evening or weekend when they are free, gain the QWE hours they need, and be able to fit this in around their work life. What’s even more beneficial is that by allowing our students to work within Access Law Clinic on a pro bono basis, we’re also enabling access to justice for those who cannot afford traditional legal fees.”
The LTC was co-founded by Dullabh, a lawyer, and her partner Dino in 2015, and is perhaps best known for its range of courses geared towards paralegals, chartered legal executives and licensed conveyancers. Following the introduction of the SQE, the centre launched a range of online prep courses priced at £1,950 for part one and £2,500 for part two.
This isn’t first time students have been offered QWE alongside their studies. From spring 2023, solicitor hopefuls at BPP will have the opportunity to apply for a six-month, full-time paid placement with the law school’s pro bono centre. Elsewhere, Nottingham Law School offers similar paid experiences, while The University of Law runs a large number of pro bono initiatives.
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QWE needs to be 2 years full time. So although doing it out of hours is probably techincally possible I believe it would need to be 2 years eg all day Saturday and Sunday (i.e. 2 fifths of a normal full time TC, 40%) presumably you have to do that for well over 4 years to get your 2 years I think.