The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) are proposing to introduce a new approach to qualification, through a standardised assessment for all intending solicitors.
The SRA proposes that in order to be admitted as a solicitor, individuals would need to pass a new centralised exam, called the SQE. This would be divided into two parts. The first stage would test a candidate’s ability to use and apply legal knowledge and the second stage would test legal skills. In addition to passing the SQE, new solicitors would need to:
* hold a degree, apprenticeship (or equivalent);
* have undertaken a substantial period of workplace training (18-24 months);
* meet SRA character and suitability requirements.
It is envisaged that these proposals will be brought into effect from the academic year commencing September 2019.
The new model would introduce transparency, according to the SRA and competitive pressures to drive up standards and reduce cost. The proposals would also remove the LPC gamble in which some students pay up to £15,000 for an LPC in the hope of securing a training contract.
For more detailed information on the proposals, please visit the SRA website:
You can respond to the consultation using the easy online questionnaire on the SRA website. The Consultation closes on 09.01.17.