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What is the Solicitors Qualifying Exam?

The Solicitors' Qualifying Examination (SQE) will be a two-part exam that all prospective solicitors must pass before they can qualify. It being introduced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and intended to go live after September 2021.

SQE 1 - candidates will take a series of exams made up of multiple-choice questions to test candidates' knowledge of the law - known as Functioning Legal Knowledge. The SRA is still to decide whether SQE 1 will include a written exercise.

A pilot of SQE 1 was ran in 2019 and you can read the reports on the pilot's outcomes on the SRA website.

SQE 2 - will be a skills assessment.

The SRA ran a pilot of SQE 2 in December 2019 with 190 students taking part of the exam and 167 sitting the full assessment. Information on the content of the SQE 2 pilot has been published, with the full report is due for release in summer 2020.

A consultation is currently underway on whether candidates should be able to choose the legal practice area(s) in which they are assessed or whether they should be assessed on a common set of scenarios.

Next steps on the SQE

The SRA has to submit its application to the Legal Services Board for final approval of the SQE. This application is expected to be submitted in the summer of 2020.

SQE - What it is, and what will change

If you would like to be kept up to date on our SQE training courses. Please follow us on social media or contact us direct at:

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What is the Solicitors Qualifying Exam, SQE1 & SQE2

What topics will be examined in the SQE?

SQE 1 will cover:

  • Business law and Practice,
  • Dispute Resolution,
  • Contract,
  • Tort,
  • Property Practice,
  • Wills and the Administration of Estates and Trusts,
  • Solicitors' Accounts,
  • Land Law
  • Public and Administrative Law,
  • The Legal System of England and Wales,
  • Criminal law and Practice

 

SQE 2 will be a skills assessment. It will test seven skills:

  • Client interviewing
  • Writing attendance notes/legal analysis (linked to the client interview)
  • Oral presentations/advocacy
  • Legal research
  • Case and matter analysis
  • Legal writing
  • Legal drafting

Along with assessments based on five practice areas:

  • Business
  • Property
  • Probate
  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Practice

The SRA ran a pilot of SQE 2 in December 2019 and the report is due out in summer 2020.

The SRA is currently consulting on whether candidates should be able to choose the legal practice area(s) in which they are assessed or whether they should be assessed on a common set of scenarios.