What happens after the LPC is scrapped?
Legal education expert Sarah Hutchinson has taken to Instagram to deliver her five top predictions for the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). Hutchinson, who is the international managing director of global law course provider BARBRI, focuses in particular on the potential impact that the SQE — nicknamed the solicitor super-exam — will have on students and law grads. Here is what she expects:
1. The cost of qualifying as a solicitor will fall
Hutchinson first predicts that the cost of qualifying as a solicitor will decrease under the SQE, although not as much as the exam architect, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, hopes.
2. Law graduates won’t be able to just turn up and take the exam without any preparation
Hutchinson’s second prediction relates to the level of preparation required for the SQE. She anticipates that even law grads will need extra courses to get ready for the new exams — and it’s going to take longer than a weekend to get your head round them.
3. Traditional universities will have to incorporate SQE prep courses into their curricula
Her third prediction concerns changing attitudes towards the SQE. Although universities have so far been slow to take interest in the legal education reforms, Hutchinson believes that they will have no choice but to respond to student demand and adapt law degrees to include training for the SQE.
4. Law firms won’t ask their future trainees to sit the SQE until 2021
Her fourth prediction addresses the question of when do you need to start worrying about the SQE? According to Hutchinson, it’s unlikely that law firms will ask their trainees to sit the SQE before 2021.
5. There’ll be a rush of international lawyers seeking to get through the cheaper and quicker QLTS before it’s abolished by the SQE
In her fifth and final prediction, Hutchinson sees a new wave of international lawyers rushing to re-qualify in the UK under the cheaper and quicker Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) before it’s abolished by the SQE.