Current law degree students, or those starting in September this year, will need to take the Solicitor Qualifying Examination (SQE) route to becoming solicitors if that is their desired career path.
The Legal Practice Course (LPC), a postgraduate course that was the only option towards qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales before the introduction of the SQE in September 2021, will no longer be available after the 2025/26 academic year. This means that anyone hoping to undertake the LPC route towards qualifying as a solicitor must have completed, started, accepted an offer of a place, or paid a non-refundable deposit for the course before 1 September 2021.
And as the LPC comes to an end, law students and those looking to enter the profession must begin to consider the exciting new route to becoming a solicitor – the SQE.
SQE will take the front seat
Although the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will continue to authorise the LPC until the end of the 2025/26 academic year, the future of solicitor qualification sits with the SQE – a new, standardised assessment that ensures consistent high standards for all trainee solicitors, no matter your educational and training background.
The SQE provides a clear route into a career as a solicitor, and ensures the process is accessible to all with a lower cost of study (compared to the LPC) and a range of flexible course opportunities.
It’s likely that the LPC will become less readily available as demand decreases and more people look to SQE.
Law Training Centre offers the full range of SQE1 and SQE2 courses to suit individual learners’ needs – from full prep courses, to just mocks.
What if I am already studying the LPC?
For students already on the LPC, the SRA has announced transitional arrangements to allow you to qualify through the LPC route or to move to the SQE. Anyone who wishes to continue the LPC must qualify by 31 December 2032.
Switching to the SQE from LPC
You may feel you want to switch to the new SQE route.
Having started or completed the LPC, you may be eligible for certain exemptions for the SQE and it is important you understand these. Law Training Centre supports exempt learners by offering SQE preparation courses specially designed for those with exemptions. To find out whether you are exempt, please contact the SRA.
Our SQE2 Exemption Plus course is ideal for those exempt from the SQE1 but wanting to build on the Functional Legal Knowledge required to successfully sit the SQE2.
We also offer a range of courses for those without exemptions – whether you would like a fully comprehensive preparatory course, or would just like to test your knowledge with mock exams. You can compare our wide range of courses here.
More information from our Student Services Team
If you are considering the SQE as your next step toward becoming a solicitor, whether you are new to law or not, our friendly Student Services Team is always on hand to talk you through your options and help you discover the perfect course for you.
Contact us to discuss your journey to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales.