The inside line

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.

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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.


Public Sector SQE Scholarship

Scholarship value £600
Application info An SQE1 funding opportunity for those contributing to the public interest

Essay Competition SQE Scholarship

Scholarship value £2,999
Application info Submit an essay on how you will act as an agent for change and make a real difference using your legal training for a chance at either a full scholarship or partial funding; ten SQE1 scholarships available: one full-fee, one half-fee and eight of £1,000 towards fees

First Class Honours SQE Scholarship

Scholarship value £900
Application info A 30% offer for all first class honours graduates pursuing the SQE1 Prep 10-week course

SQE Humanitarian Scholarship

Scholarship value £1,500
Application info Open to those who can prove asylum/refugee status or displacement due to war


SQE1 £2,999
SQE2 £2,999

BARBRI alumni are entitled to a £500 discount (confirmed through enrolment). SQE2 Prep costs £3,499 for non-BARBRI alumni.

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