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Major Changes to the Solicitor's Qualifying Examination

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The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) has introduced Major Changes to the Solicitor's Qualifying Examination. SRA has recently launched a new route to qualification for solicitors (in England and Wales). From 2020 candidates who wish to become solicitors (in England Wales) will have to complete three core components:-

  • a degree or equivalent (not necessarily a law degree)
  • two stages of the Solicitor's Qualifying Examination (SQE) assessment
  • a two-year period of work experience (which does not have to be in a law firm or be undertaken in one block but will have to demonstrate a development of a set of required professional skills for the practice of law.)

The new route to qualification will gradually replace the current system which requires completion of a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) or equivalent (the GDL/CPE), the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and the two-year training contract at a law firm for those wishing to qualify as solicitors.

The SQE

The new SQE will commence in 2020, it will have two parts: SQE1 (legal transactions and litigation) and SQE2 (professional skills), which will be set and administered by an external provider.

Students who will be affected

The current qualification route will remain available to students starting their LLB studies before 2020. As soon as the SQE starts to run in 2020, it will also be available as an alternative option for those pre-2020 graduates who wish to qualify through that route.

The SRA is currently proposing a similar provision for students who start a QLD or equivalent (GDL/CPE) before 2020. Once introduced in 2020 the new SQE will eventually become the only route to qualification. 

Further Information

For more details and the latest updates, please visit the SRA’s ‘Training for Tomorrow’ website.