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55. Upcoming SQE Changes: What Candidates Need to Know

55. Upcoming SQE Changes: What Candidates Need to Know

If you are considering a career in law, or you are currently in the process of pursuing a legal education, you may have already heard about the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The SQE is a new assessment framework that is set to replace the existing routes to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales. In this blog post, we will explore the upcoming changes to the SQE and highlight what candidates need to know.

1. What is the SQE?

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is a standardized assessment that will be divided into two parts: SQE1 and SQE2. The SQE1 will consist of multiple-choice questions and will focus on legal knowledge and application. The SQE2 will assess practical legal skills, such as advocacy, client interviewing, writing, and research.

With the introduction of the SQE, the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) will no longer be required to qualify as a solicitor. Instead, candidates will need to pass both parts of the SQE and complete two years of qualifying work experience (QWE) to be admitted as solicitors.

2. When will the SQE be implemented?

The SQE is set to be implemented from 1 September 2021. This means that candidates who wish to qualify as solicitors will need to familiarize themselves with the new assessment framework and prepare accordingly.

It is important to note that the last administration of the current system, which includes the LPC and GDL, will be in the summer of 2021. After this, the SQE will be the only route to qualification.

3. What are the advantages of the SQE?

The introduction of the SQE brings several advantages for candidates aspiring to become solicitors:

  • The SQE offers a more standardized and transparent assessment process, ensuring that all candidates are evaluated on an equal footing.
  • It provides a flexible and modular approach to qualification, allowing candidates to progress at their own pace.
  • It allows for increased flexibility in gaining qualifying work experience, enabling candidates to secure training contracts or other suitable placements.

These advantages make the SQE a more accessible and inclusive route to the legal profession.

4. How should candidates prepare for the SQE?

Preparing for the SQE can be daunting, but with the right approach, candidates can set themselves up for success. Here are some key steps to consider:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the SQE assessment structure and content. Understanding what will be tested is crucial in developing an effective study plan.
  2. Enroll in SQE preparation courses. These courses are specifically designed to equip candidates with the necessary knowledge and skills required to pass the SQE.
  3. Take advantage of SQE practice exams and mocks. These resources will help candidates familiarize themselves with the format of the examination and assess their level of preparedness.
  4. Develop a study schedule and stick to it. Consistency and discipline are key in ensuring thorough preparation.
  5. Seek support and guidance from mentors or tutors. Having access to experienced professionals who can provide feedback and advice can significantly enhance your chances of success.

To further enhance your preparation, consider utilizing the following resources:

5. Conclusion

The upcoming changes to the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) mark a significant shift in the process of qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales. Candidates need to be aware of the new assessment framework and adapt their preparation strategies accordingly. By familiarizing themselves with the SQE, enrolling in preparation courses, and utilizing practice resources, candidates can position themselves for success in the new era of legal qualification.

Remember, preparation is the key to success, so start early, stay focused, and make the most of the available resources. Good luck!