Solicitor’s Qualifying Examination (SQE) - Law Training Centre

Solicitors Qualifying Examination

The Law Training Centre (LTC) will provide preparatory courses and Level 6 qualifications for the SQE. ​

LTC is listed on the SRA website as an SQE training and materials provider.

Do you want to practise
as a solicitor?

With the SQE, there will be lots more ways in which it can happen!
This will include thorough training that makes it cheaper and more accessible for a wider range of people to do the job. But these new ways will be just as thorough and professional as their predecessors.
The SQE will take effect from 2021 – learn about it now: you will need to prepare.
What happens now?
At the moment,
aspiring solicitors must have:
A law degree – or a non-law degree plus a postgraduate conversion course called a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). These provide the basics of legal knowledge.
  • A legal practice course (LPC). This is a vocational qualification that provides further legal knowledge and training in practical legal skills such as drafting legal documents and advocacy.
  • Completed a training contract – two years of work experience with one legal employer.
  • The only other available paths to becoming a qualified solicitor is if:
  • You have first qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), and then completing the LPC with no need to secure a training contract.

  • If you have a relevant qualification from an overseas jurisdiction and have then taken the Qualified Transfer Test. This allows you to be a solicitor in England and Wales.
  • The SQE widens the legal market whilst providing consistency in legal education.
    What happens when the SQE is launched?
    From then on, if you want to be a solicitor, you’ll need to do the following:
    1. Take Stage One and Stage Two of the SQE. These will cover similar areas to the GDL and LPC, respectively;
    2. Complete two years of Qualifying Legal Experience (QLE) – but it needn’t be through a training contract. What qualifies are wider categories of work experience – see below.
    You do not need to have a University degree to sit the exams – so long as your prior academic work is at Level 6, i.e. to degree standard but not necessarily gained through taking a degree. Other relevant Level 6 qualifications include apprenticeships and other forms of work experience in which learning has been completed at Level 6.
    Standards of character
    The Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) is the driving force behind the SQE. Before people can practice as solicitors it will also expect them to meet standards of certain character and behaviour. What these will be is yet to be announced.
    Stage One SQE
    Examines your ability to apply legal knowledge. It includes a practical examination on legal research and writing, and tests of legal knowledge on:
  • Principles of Professional Conduct, Public and Administrative Law and the legal systems of England and Wales.
  • Dispute Resolution in Contract or Tort.
  • Property Law and Practice.
  • Commercial and Corporate Law and Practice.
  • Wills and Administration of Estates and Trusts.
  • Criminal Law and Practice.
  • The emphasis is on testing how candidates apply what they learn about the law to real life situations, in other words, their “functioning legal knowledge”. Assessment is by 360-scenario-based multiple-choice questions, plus written tasks (e.g. writing a legal letter). All examinations need to occur within a short space of time.
    Stage Two SQE
    This part of the SQE examines legal skills such as advocacy, client interviewing and drafting legal documents – as well as testing legal knowledge. Students must demonstrate their ability to apply those legal skills across the following five practice areas:
  • Criminal Practice.
  • Dispute Resolution.
  • Property.
  • Wills and Administration of Estates and Trusts.
  • Commercial and Corporate Practice.
  • For example, students must demonstrate skills in advocacy, interviewing or drafting in Property, plus the other four areas. Some SQE2 exams will be online; others involve role playing in the form of mock interviews with actors playing clients.
    The SQE will be awarded as a pass or a fail without distinctions or commendations. City firms may ask new recruits to study additional courses or electives.
    Qualifying Legal Experience (QLE)
    Your two years legal work experience (QLE) can occur before, during or after completing SQE 1 and 2 – even though the SRA thinks the majority will do most of their work experience post SQE 1.
    There is flexibility: for example, two months pre-SQE 1 paralegal work experience may be deducted from the mandatory 24 months total, leaving 22 months of work experience.
    What constitutes suitable qualifying work experience has yet to be fully decided but is likely to include:
  • Paralegal work.
  • Law apprenticeships.
  • Work placements.
  • Volunteering.
  • N.B. The organisation with which you do legal work experience must be recognised as complying with SRA rules. The experience must also be validated by one of the following:
  • Solicitor at the organisation.
  • Compliance officer for legal practice.
  • A solicitor outside the organisation with direct experience of the student’s work.
  • What happens if I’m already studying for a law degree, GDL or and LPC?
    If you are studying for those before September 2021 you may continue with this route.
    Widening access to the profession
    The SQE will allow law firms to plan more flexible career paths for their staff. It’s part of a pattern in which some workers study only for specific legal areas but who then become more widely qualified and potentially head for partnerships as and when they aspire and when the business requires. It should give greater “career-power” to those who want to earn and learn, for example someone on the following path:
  • Being in possession of a level 6 qualification. The subject for which may be non-legal or it could be legal as part of a non-degree, such as Level 6 qualification route offered by an educator such as Law Training Centre.
  • Having those qualifications will satisfy the degree part for taking the SQE exams, as degrees are assessed at Level 6. They also make it more likely you have some qualifying work experience – but please check.
  • AND
  • Studying an SQE1 preparation course and pass the SQE1 exams.
  • THEN
  • Studying an SQE2 preparation course and pass the SQE2 exams.
  • AND
  • Completing two years QLE.
  • Satisfying the SRA of your suitability to practice and your character.
  • Timings
    After passing SQE stage one, you have six years to complete the two years’ QLE and pass SQE2. You can re-sit the SQE twice during that six-year period. In other words, you can study it a maximum of three times.
    The SRA estimates that the total cost of the SQE will be between £3,000 and £4,500 broken down into

    Stage One

    £1,100 and £1,650

    Stage Two

    £1,900 and £2,850

    Why choose us?

    We are specialised legal trainers, solely focussed on the provision of legal and business training for aspiring and qualified lawyers.

    We have a deep understanding of the current legal sector and the training needs of those who work within it.

    Our course delivery is uniquely engaging, having full regard of how precious time is for those not only studying law, but also practising at the same time.

    We are here to support our students and partners by providing them with the tools to stand out from the competition and accelerate their legal career.