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Upcoming SQE Changes: What You Need to Know

Upcoming SQE Changes: What You Need to Know


Aspiring solicitors, brace yourselves! The legal landscape in the United Kingdom is about to undergo significant changes with the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). This new examination will revolutionize the way individuals qualify as solicitors and will have a profound impact on future legal professionals.

What is the SQE?

The SQE is a new assessment framework that will be implemented by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in an effort to create a more standardized and rigorous process for those seeking to qualify as solicitors in England and Wales. It is set to replace the existing qualification routes, including the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).

Why the Change?

The SRA recognized the need for a more flexible and responsive qualification process that was aligned with the changing legal industry. They believed that the current system lacked consistency and failed to adequately assess the skills and knowledge required to practice as a solicitor. The SQE aims to address these concerns by introducing a new and comprehensive assessment framework.

Key Features of the SQE

The SQE will consist of two stages: SQE1 and SQE2. Let’s take a closer look at each stage.


SQE1 will assess legal knowledge and understanding through multiple-choice questions and written tests. It will cover a range of topics, including contract law, criminal law, and constitutional law. This stage can be taken at any time and will not require completion of specific academic qualifications.


SQE2 will focus on testing practical legal skills, such as advocacy, interviewing, and legal research. This stage will involve simulated client interviews and oral presentations. It can only be taken after the successful completion of SQE1 and completion of a period of qualifying work experience.

Benefits of the SQE

There are several benefits associated with the introduction of the SQE.

Firstly, the SQE offers a more flexible route to qualification as a solicitor. It allows individuals to choose when and how they study, providing an opportunity for aspiring solicitors to work alongside their studies or pursue other interests.

Secondly, the SQE aims to enhance fairness and diversity in the legal profession. By removing the requirement for the LPC or GDL, which can be costly and time-consuming, the SQE opens up pathways for individuals from non-traditional backgrounds to enter the legal profession.

Lastly, the SQE sets a consistent standard for all aspiring solicitors. It ensures that individuals possess the necessary skills and knowledge to practice law effectively, regardless of their educational background.

Preparing for the SQE

As the SQE will differ significantly from the current routes to qualification, it is essential to start preparing early. Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the upcoming changes:

1. Familiarize yourself with the SQE syllabus and assessment criteria. This will help you understand what is expected of you and enable you to focus your studies effectively.

2. Consider enrolling in training courses or seeking guidance from SQE preparation providers. These resources can provide you with valuable insights and support to ensure your success in the examination.

3. Make use of online forums and study groups to connect with other aspiring solicitors and share knowledge and study tips.

4. Start building practical legal skills by seeking work experience in law firms or legal departments. This will not only enhance your chances of success in SQE2 but also provide you with valuable real-world experience.


The introduction of the SQE represents a significant shift in how individuals qualify as solicitors in the UK. This new examination framework will bring about greater consistency, flexibility, and fairness in the qualification process. It is essential for aspiring solicitors to stay informed, prepare early, and embrace the changes to maximize their chances of success in the SQE. So, gear up and get ready to embark on a new and exciting journey towards becoming a qualified solicitor!






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