Law Society publishes SQE synopsis
The Law Society has published a synopsis giving “unique insight” into the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), which is due to replace the existing training for solicitors in 2020. The Law Society is representing the legal profession's views as the SQE policy is created and assessments for trainee solicitors are developed.
The new super-exam for trainee solicitors will involve important decisions for anyone thinking of entering the profession, said the Law Society – including those “already some way along the road to becoming a solicitor”.
The Law Society added that there was a particular need for clarity ahead of the lengthy transitional period while the new training system was being phased in.
“The development of the SQE is a long process, which we are only part-way through,” said the Law Society.
More information on key aspects – the assessment detail, costs and implementation timetable – will be forthcoming as the assessments are developed and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) completes further work. Because of this, the Law Society’s document on the SQE will be updated to include any additional information as it is announced.
Law Society president Christina Blacklaws added that the SQE signified a fundamental shift in how solicitors trained and qualified – and many solicitors were understandably concerned about what this meant for them.
“This document contains the facts,” she added. “They have been checked by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for accuracy and they represent a comprehensive round up of everything we currently know.
“The introduction of the SQE is of fundamental importance to the profession and to everyone seeking legal advice and it is crucial the SRA gets it right. The Law Society is supportive of the SRA taking the necessary time to consider the detail fully, with the continued input of stakeholders.”
The Law Society added that it was continuing to engage with the profession –
and with the SRA on behalf of the profession. It also said that it was important that those affected begin thinking of how the SQE might impact on them and/or their business and consider any changes they may need to make, including law firms preparing to oversee implementation of the SQE and helping to guide graduate trainees through their qualification as solicitors.
“Maintaining high professional standards and ensuring the diversity of the solicitors’ profession have been top priorities for the Law Society from the very start of the SQE process. We want to enable potential entrants to the profession to make informed choices about which route may be best for them – and we hope this overview is valuable to schools, universities and careers advisers.”
Law Society president Christina Blacklaws concluded:
“The Law Society has a vital role in promoting information on how to enter the profession – and we hope this document will prove invaluable for those managing SQE implementation.”
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