Differing perspectives on the SQE

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By Sophie Yantian on

We look back on this summer’s LegalEdCon as the new solicitor training regime gets underway

LegalEdCon 2021 saw speakers from all corners of the profession gather to explore the future of legal education and training.

Over the course of the two-day virtual conference, we heard how the legal profession is gearing up for the launch of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), the preparations for the roll-out, and insights into the ways law schools and law firms are looking to build out from the basics of the new training framework. Also up for discussion was how remote learning and working can be blended with a gradual shift back towards more in-person interaction.

Below are video recordings of each of the sessions.

The conference was headline sponsored by BARBRI, BPP Law School and The University of Law, with The College of Legal Practice, LexisNexis and Nottingham Law School as silver sponsors.

Day 1

Session 1

Beyond the SQE: Developing the next generation of lawyers

How societal shifts around hybrid working and diversity & inclusion, as well as rapid developments in commerce and technology, will shape legal training during the 2020s.

The speakers:

Morette Jackson, director of business development at The University of Law
Patrick Johnson, director of equality and inclusion at The University of Law
Peter Arnold, early talent development manager at CMS
Maria Kell, professional support lawyer at the BBC

Session 2

What education and training do the lawyers of the future want?

Trainees-to-be share their views.

The speakers:

Jonny Hurst, head of outreach and student recruitment at BPP Law School
Mira Motani, future trainee solicitor at Slaughter and May
Sam Edwards, future trainee solicitor at Slaughter and May
Aset Paul-Christian, trainee solicitor at Travers Smith
Freya George, future trainee solicitor at Walker Morris

Session 3

The general counsel perspective

Pathways for professional development and competence through the SQE.

The speakers:

Giles Proctor, CEO of The College of Legal Practice
Susan Cooper, founder and CEO of Accutrainee
Dan Kayne, founder of The O Shaped Lawyer and general counsel (regions) of Network Rail
Bhavisha Mistry, general counsel at Mawdsleys

The 2021 Legal Cheek SQE Provider List

Day 2

Session 1

What does the introduction of Qualifying Work Experience mean for law firms and legal service providers?

The radical new QWE regime explored.

The speakers:

Jane Ching, professor at Nottingham Law School
Andrew Francis, head of Manchester Law School at Manchester Metropolitan University
Jane Jarman, professor at Nottingham Law School
Julia Robinson, City of London Law Society training committee member and senior manager, professional development and training at Ropes & Gray
Alex Smith, partner and managing director at Shakespeare Martineau

With further contributions from Julie Brannan, director of education and training at the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Session 2

How law courses are proving their value

The LLBs giving students an edge at a time of change.

The speakers:

Christopher O’Connor, head of segment marketing at LexisNexis
Thom Brooks, dean of Durham University Law School
Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare
Matthew Tomlinson, dean at The University of Law Leeds and Sheffield campuses
Paul McConnell, director of careers and employability at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham
Chris Nichols, director of policy and regulation at the Legal Services Board

Session 3

Agile working and L&D: Insights from other industries

What law firms can learn from big tech and other progressive sectors.

The speakers:

Victoria Cromwell, director of UK programmes at BARBRI
Rebecca Chui, associate at Osborne Clarke and former technical consultant at Microsoft
Christopher Dede, professor in learning technologies at Harvard University
Bill Henderson, co-founder of the Institute for the Future of Law Practice

The 2021 Legal Cheek SQE Provider List

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