The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

The Solicitors Regulation Authority

training contracts, but also working as a paralegal or in a student law clinic, provided that the experience gives a candidate the opportunity to develop the competencies required for practice as a solicitor. These are set out in the Competence Statement for Solicitors. More information about the SQE can be found at: students/sqe/. What this means for aspiring solicitors If you have started, or accepted an offer to start, a qualifying law degree (QLD) or Exempt Law Degree (ELD), the Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law, the Legal Practice Course, or a period of recognised training, before 1 September 2021, then until 31 December 2032 you can choose whether to qualify as a solicitor through the current route (as long as the courses remain available) or through the SQE. More information can be found at https:// arrangements/ Further information For more details, visit students and, where comprehensive student and trainee sections include the Authorisation of Individual Regulations in full, a list of training firms, organisations and institutions that provide academic and vocational courses, and more. If you need to talk to someone, call the SRA’s contact centre on 0370 606 2555 or email The SRA works closely with the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) throughout the year in hosting events for students and young lawyers, such as webinars, to help address some of the issues they face. For more see or page 129.

email from the SRA asking you to complete the pre-screening process. You can apply for admission on the SRA’s website after completing the pre-screening process. To be eligible for admission to the roll you must have: • complied with the SRA Authorisation of Individuals Regulations (available at: https:// regulations/authorisation-individuals- regulations/) • passed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) • completed and passed the Professional Skills Course (PSC). Changes ahead In April 2017 the SRA announced a new national licensing exam for intending solicitors – the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The SQE will be introduced on 1 September 2021. The SRA believes that the SQE will provide a mechanism for all candidates to be assessed on a consistent and fair basis. Once the SQE is introduced, the SRA will no longer require aspiring solicitors to take the QLD, GDL or LPC. Instead, candidates will be free to do the training they need to prepare themselves for the SQE. The SQE will consist of two stages. Stage one will primarily test functioning legal knowledge; stage two will test practical legal skills. The SRA will not specify when the tests need to be taken, but it is likely many candidates will take SQE stage one at or shortly after they complete their law degree. The SRA anticipates that candidates will need to complete a substantial period of legal work experience in order to be able to pass stage two (the skills test). There will continue to be a requirement for two years’ work experience before admission. However, the SRA will recognise a wider range of legal work experience, not just formal

This information is supplied by the SRA.



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