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Super exam gets go ahead - in 2020

Super exam gets go ahead - in 2020

A single centrally set examination will form the gateway to the solicitors' profession under plans announced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A solicitors qualifying examination (SQE) will come in to use from September 2020 - a date pushed back two years after the profession reacted sceptically to the initial plans.

Following criticism from the Law Society and others, the scheme has been modified to require a degree or equivalent qualification as well as two years of work experience.

Under the scheme, candidates will take a two-part exam as well as undertaking work experience. To qualify as a solicitor, candidates will need to:

  • have passed SQE stages 1 and 2 to demonstrate they have the right knowledge and skills
  • have been awarded a degree or an equivalent qualification, or have gained equivalent experience
  • have completed at least two years of qualifying legal work experience
  • be of satisfactory character and suitability.

Even candidates who have a law degree will still need to pass stage 1.

As a result, the SRA will drop the requirements for all aspiring solicitors to study the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and for non-law graduates to take the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). This, says the SRA, eliminates the current problem of many would-be solicitors having to pay large up-front costs of up to £15,000 without a guarantee of a training contract or becoming a solicitor.

A summary of consultation responses shows that just 20% of respondents said that they agreed with the SRA's contention that its proposals would be an effective measure of competence.


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