SQE Tracker

The final decision has been made. The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is coming in September 2020. At this stage we know it is coming but we don’t know much else. Therefore we have decided to have a dedicated “SQE” tracker page on the Blog in addition to our usual blog post updates.

*April 2017*

The SRA have reached their decision, the SQE will be implemented in September 2020.

  • how will the introduction of the SQE affect university courses?

There will no longer be a “qualifying law degree”. So this may mean that universities completely re-write their law degrees to make them more modular/flexible. There will of course still be universities that offer the traditional LLB, but the change means that there is the potential to offer other opportunities. Universities may also choose to incorporate preparation for the SQE1 assessment into their law degree.

  • What will the SQE cost?

The biggest unknown is still the cost. With no guidance on cost the profession has no visibility on how the SQE will improve access to the profession. However, the SQE will make it easier for students to work and save to fund the assessment. At the moment the guess is that the cost will be approx £4k for the exams and at the moment there are no plans for a scholarship programme from either the SRA or TLS. The law society will also need to look at how this impacts their diversity access scheme. The cost of the SQE is to cover the third party costs of the assessments by the assessor and it is not a “profit-making” assessment.

  • How will this affect training contracts?

It will not affect current trainees. However, it may affect the structure of training contracts in the future. It is unlikely at this stage that any of the large firms will make any hasty changes and the transitional period will mean the for now we will still have people come through by the “old route” Most firms will probably wait to see what the market is doing.


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