The SQE: The assessments and qualifying work experience

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  • Released 4th Apr 2022
  • Shane Robson
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After a brief recap of the changes to the route of qualification this video will assist anyone wishing to enter the legal profession as a solicitor or wanting to know more about the Solicitors Qualifying Exams (SQE) this talk will take them through the step-by-step processes.

Within this video, we will look at the types of assessments that will be undertaken, this will cover both the SQE1, which tests functioning legal knowledge and the SQE2 which is practical based, assessing oral and written skills and when these exams can be taken.

There will be a discussion about the subjects which now part of the SQE and how these have changed from the traditional LLB courses and why a prep course will offer candidates a better chance of success.

There will also be the opportunity to explore the huge changes to the work experience that is required for the SQE which moves away from the traditional route of the Training Contract. Looking at how someone currently with work experience may be able to ‘bank’ this as part of the SQE and thus being one step closer to becoming a solicitor than they think!

This is the second of three videos that aim to explore the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).

What is the SQE?

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is a new legal route to become a solicitor that will gradually replace the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is the new single, rigorous assessment for all aspiring solicitors, the concept may have been inspired by the Law Society’s Final Examination the predecessor of the LPC. It was the job of the LPC ‘to ensure that those entering the profession were competent to deal with clients' changing need’s and this has a similar tone to the SRA making the changes here, it has stating

‘The standard expected of solicitors in England and Wales is a high one. We have a duty to ensure that these standards are maintained, against a background of a developing legal and education market and an increasing understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of our current training system’.

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) will ensure that all aspiring solicitors, no matter what institution they attended or pathway they took, are assessed against the same high standard of competence.

What are the SQE requirements?

The pathway looks a little different and, in many ways, very similar. The new pathway entails a degree or degree equivalent, the SQE exams, Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) and character and suitability requirements.

Have a question? If you have any comments or feedback on this content, please get in touch.

Learning objectives:

  • Recap on the current changes to the route of qualification.
  • Understand the SQE requirements and the way in which the exams are formatted and how to take them
  • Identify key subject knowledge needed for the SQE exam
  • Understand how QWE is an essential element to the SQE exam and how it can be obtained


Your CPD Certificate can be found in your Account.

Shane Robson

Academic Support Officer • Law Training Centre

Shane is the Academic Support Officer at Law Training centre and a university lecturer based in the West Midlands. He has a First class degree in Law and Practice and a Masters degree in International Law. He teaches students from foundation level to Degree level and also teaches on the CILEx professional law courses.

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