US-based legal education provider BARBRI, previously best known in the UK for its New York and California bar exam prep courses and Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) prep courses, launched its Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) Prep course in January 2021.
What sets it apart
BARBRI’s SQE offering differentiates from that of traditional market players on both price and delivery. SQE1 and SQE2 Prep courses are offered at £2,999 respectively, with SQE2 Prep costing £3,499 for non-BARBRI alumni.
Using its existing investment in technology and more than 50-years’ experience in training candidates to master multiple-choice exam questions, BARBRI’s courses are delivered mostly online, with some workshops taking place on-campus at the universities with which it has partnered.
Deals, teams & tie-ups
BARBRI has cut deals with several leading institutions, including City law firms, in-house teams and Russell Group universities, to prepare future solicitors to pass the SQE.
Notably, BARBRI will train up Reed Smith and Baker McKenzie rookies to sit the centralised assessments as part of exclusive SQE training deals. It has tied up with Metro Bank to support future in-house lawyers through the SQE, and will also offer students at King’s College London and the universities of Manchester and Sussex SQE workshops and fee discounts. Further, BARBRI’s partnership with the O Shaped Lawyer integrates necessary commercial, human and business skills into its training.
There are further limbs to BARBRI’s SQE offering. The new entrant SQE provider has teamed up with organisations like Flex Legal and the National Association of Licensed Paralegals to support paralegals to sit the exams. BARBRI offers them SQE scholarships and fee discounts.
Back in 2020, BARBRI also announced its partnership with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), a professional membership body for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioners. The duo have developed ADR training as part of BARBI’s SQE course, while CIArb members and BARBRI alumni are offered fee discounts.
Courses on offer
BARBRI’s SQE1 Prep courses are offered in three different forms. The first is a 40-week flexible part-time course, suitable for non-law graduates or law graduates currently in full-time employment. The second is a 20-week course, best for law graduates who have been out of law school for three or more years and currently not working. The third, aimed at recent law graduates looking for an efficient course, runs full-time for 10 weeks.
Similarly, BARBRI SQE2 Prep course is offered in three guises, starting at different points throughout the years. Students can select from a 10-week full-time course, or part-time courses running for either 12 or 20 weeks.
BARBRI has four scholarships (details below) available to all new students starting on a BARBRI SQE1 Prep course of study. This includes its Humanitarian SQE Scholarship, launched through the BARBRI Bridges initiative, in an effort to help those seeking refuge outside their home country or those displaced by war.
What’s more, BARBRI has teamed up with Linklaters and Breaking Barriers to offer up to five fully funded SQE1 prep courses per year to lawyers with a refugee background living in the UK.