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The SQE Sessions

Legal Cheek is holding an afternoon of virtual seminars to mark the start of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam’s (SQE) launch year

Taking place on the afternoon of Thursday 28 January 2021, from 2pm to 5:30pm, the SQE Sessions feature a series of short talks and panel discussions from key figures within law firms and legal education as the profession prepares to implement the biggest change to solicitor training in a generation. Joining them will be representatives from the Solicitors Regulation Authority and other key SQE stakeholders.


Catherine Baker

Member of The O Shaped Lawyer Group

Julie Brannan

Director of Education and Training, The Solicitors Regulation Authority

Matthew Homewood

Deputy Dean, Nottingham Law School

Chris Howard

Director of Professional Programmes, King's College London

Sarah Hutchinson

Managing Director, BARBRI Global

Morette Jackson

Director of Business Development, The University of Law

Jane Jarman

Professor of Legal Practice, Nottingham Law School

Deborah McCormack

Head of Early Talent, Pinsent Masons

Claire McGourlay

Professor of Legal Education, The University of Manchester

Will Pearce

Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell

Ben Perry

Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell

Laura Pinkney

Director, Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre

Rachel Rowley

Head of Postgraduate Portfolio, Nottingham Law School

Matthew Tomlinson

Campus Dean for Leeds and Sheffield, The University of Law

Kirsty Wilkins

Senior Professional Development Manager, Shearman & Sterling


Headline sponsors

Additional sponsor


Early Bird


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Second Release


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Final Release


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This event is for professionals. We have a limited number of free tickets available for students. To access these you must join our campus ambassador programme.



Welcome and introduction


SQE Highflyers: How Law Firms and Law Schools are Approaching the SQE. Discussion hosted by BARBRI


• Chris Howard, director of professional programmes, King's College London
• Sarah Hutchinson, managing director, BARBRI Global
• Claire McGourlay, professor of legal education, The University of Manchester
• Ben Perry, partner, Sullivan & Cromwell
• Kirsty Wilkins, senior professional development manager, Shearman & Sterling


Coffee and virtual networking


Delivering high quality legal education at a time of change with The University of Law


• Catherine Baker, member of The O Shaped Lawyer Group
• Morette Jackson, director of business development, The University of Law
• Deborah McCormack, head of early talent, Pinsent Masons
• Flora Porkolab, solicitor apprentice, Ashurst and student, The University of Law
• Matthew Tomlinson, campus dean for Leeds and Sheffield, The University of Law


Coffee and virtual networking


Mind the [training] gap! Perspectives from Nottingham Law School and global law firm Davis Polk on training the solicitors of the future


• Matthew Homewood, deputy dean, Nottingham Law School
• Jane Jarman, professor of legal practice, Nottingham Law School
• Will Pearce, partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell
• Laura Pinkney, director, Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre
• Rachel Rowley, head of postgraduate portfolio, Nottingham Law School


SQE Latest and Closing Keynote


• Julie Brannan, director of education and training, The Solicitors Regulation Authority


Coffee and virtual networking

About the sponsors


BARBRI has over 50 years’ proven expertise in preparing aspiring lawyers to succeed in their professional exams. The SQE assessment requires a breadth of knowledge in one multiple-choice exam not previously experienced in the law degree, GDL or LPC. Only BARBRI has the experience to prepare graduates to succeed in this style of assessment. BARBRI supports law firms, universities and graduates by investing in a new pathway to qualification and creating a generation of innovative, adaptable and diverse lawyers.

The University of Law

The University of Law (ULaw) is one of the UK's longest-established specialist providers of legal education, with a rich heritage and reputation for innovation. ULaw boasts over 250 tutors who are qualified lawyers and bring their extensive practical experience to the classroom, as well as a track record in impressive employment and pupillage rates.

Nottingham Law School

Nottingham Law School is one of the leading providers of academic and professional legal education in the country with an established national and international reputation for excellence in legal education, and a record of delivering innovative and transformational courses. We are one of the largest law schools in the UK, offering a range of undergraduate degrees, academic and practitioner taught postgraduate courses. With our established research centres, close links with the legal sector, and a multi-award-winning teaching law firm, Nottingham Law School is at the forefront of modern legal education.


LawCare is an independent charity offering emotional support, information and training to the legal community in the UK and Ireland. We work to promote good mental health and wellbeing in legal workplaces and drive change in education, training and practice. Our support service offers a safe place to talk without judgment. We’re here to help, with helpline calls, emails and webchats answered in confidence by trained staff and volunteers who have first-hand experience of working in the law. We also have a network of peer supporters.