If you are already a qualified Lawyer from ANY country outside of the UK, you’re closer to qualifying as a Solicitor of England and Wales than you may think! Law Training Centre is here to assist you in your journey to qualify as a Solicitor in England and Wales. Find out about the stages your prior learning means you’re already exempt from for the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) pathway.
From the 1st September 2021, to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales through the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), aspiring solicitors will need to meet four main requirements:
- 1. Have a degree in any subject (or equivalent qualification/work experience);
- 2. Pass both stages of the SQE assessment – SQE1 focuses on legal knowledge and SQE2 on practical legal skills;
- 3. Have two years’ qualifying work experience (QWE); and
- 4. Meet the SRA’s character and suitability requirements.
You can find out more about the SQE pathway to qualification here.
However, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have confirmed that ALL qualified Lawyers, from ALL jurisdictions, are exempt from the two years’ QWE requirement. This removes one of the four steps required for qualification, as well as verifying that foreign lawyers no longer need to be within a recognised jurisdiction – unlike the legacy QLTS route to cross-qualification.
Furthermore, the requirement for individuals looking to qualify states the need to attain a degree in any subject or to attain a degree equivalent qualification in any subject. However, degree equivalent qualifications can be obtained in England OR overseas – meaning that this requirement can also be met by an overseas qualification that is:
- Shown to be equivalent to either a UK degree/equivalent qualification through a UK NARIC Statement of Comparability
- Is an accredited qualification at level 6 (or above) of the European Qualifications Framework
Given that it is highly likely Foreign Qualified Lawyers will already hold a qualification that meets the above requirements, qualified lawyers could look to become dual qualified as a Solicitor of England and Wales by simply passing the SQE assessments and meeting the SRA’s character and suitability requirements – reducing the four-stage process down to two!
- Have two years’ qualifying work experience (QWE)
- Have a degree in any subject (or equivalent qualification/work experience)
What is even more beneficial is that Law Training Centre’s SQE1 Prep and SQE2 Prep courses are delivered entirely online, and, combined with the ability to enrol at any time, foreign qualified lawyers have the freedom to study anywhere in the world with no need for a costly relocation in order to study for their SQE assessments. All courses are also enriched by unlimited access to support from our experienced and responsive tutors.