Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) May 2022.pptx

Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad

Check these out next

1 of 21 Ad

Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) May 2022.pptx

Download to read offline

Slides from a webinar on 25 May 2022 on qualifying as a solicitor under the SQE.

The session covered:

- why has the process of qualification changed?
- what does the process look like now?
- how do individuals apply?
- what do firms need to do?
- what should you look out for?

Zoom recording available on request

Slides from a webinar on 25 May 2022 on qualifying as a solicitor under the SQE.

The session covered:

- why has the process of qualification changed?
- what does the process look like now?
- how do individuals apply?
- what do firms need to do?
- what should you look out for?

Zoom recording available on request

Advertisement
Advertisement

More Related Content

Recently uploaded (20)

Advertisement

Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) May 2022.pptx

  1. 1. © Jonathon Bray Limited SQE Solicitor’s Qualifying Examination May 2022
  2. 2. Learning Outcomes • why has the process of qualification changed? • what does the process look like now? • how do individuals apply? • what do firms need to do? • key things to consider • FAQ © Jonathon Bray Limited
  3. 3. Why has the process of qualification changed? The driving factor for change was to standardise and simplify the process of qualification though a centralised assessment process. The SQE is a two-part test to be taken by anyone wishing to become a solicitor in England and Wales. This includes those wishing to qualify from other jurisdictions. © Jonathon Bray Limited
  4. 4. Why has the process of qualification changed? Other factors: Flexibility The SRA has designed the new route to qualification in a bid to offer greater flexibility for candidates. Previous route created a bottleneck for potential lawyers. Once the LPC had been completed, competition to secure a training contract was fierce. Many talented graduates were being ‘left on the shelf.’ Affordability Costs for the LPC were reaching new highs of up to £17,500. The SQE exam is said to costs around £4,000 by comparison. © Jonathon Bray Limited
  5. 5. What does the process look like now? “The SQE provides one common standard for everyone to demonstrate that they have the appropriate skills and knowledge to practise as a solicitor in England and Wales.” SRA The SRA have ‘four building blocks of qualification’ …..
  6. 6. 1. Degree (or equivalent – see apprenticeships later) • Firstly, candidates need to have a degree. • This doesn’t necessarily need to be a Law degree, although we have noted that some universities will now place special emphasis on legal skills, as well as devoting time to legal theory. • This element somewhat replaces the role of the LPC. © Jonathon Bray Limited
  7. 7. 2. Pass both SQE examinations The SQE is not a course, like the LPC. Instead, it is a two- part examination, split up into: SQE 1- functioning legal knowledge (FLK) Comprised of 180 multiple choice questions. Aimed to test both ‘blackletter’ law and students’ understanding of the legal process. SQE 2- practical transactions and legal skills Only undertaken by those who have successfully passed SQE1. Assessing client interviewing, advocacy, legal research, written advice, drafting and negotiating. How quickly could a candidate sit both parts? Studied in succession, the exams can be taken within a calendar year but again, there can be a break if the candidates/law firms so choose. © Jonathon Bray Limited
  8. 8. 3. Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) As a minimum, candidates are required to attain two-years FULL TIME legal work experience. This can be achieved in one block or collated over a period of time. What should QWE look like? This is creating the most questions for law firms – is this is end of the two-year training contract as we know it? In terms of a regulatory requirement- yes, it is. However, some firms are not planning to deviate too far from the system that they currently have. This is an opportunity for employers to tailor the training to their own needs. For example, some firms may offer four days of QWE followed by one-day of classroom training. Other firms may see this as an opportunity collaborate with other firms (regulated or non-regulated) to bring ‘graduate trainees though the qualification process. © Jonathon Bray Limited
  9. 9. 3. Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) © Jonathon Bray Limited Pointers  QWE can be done at any stage of the qualification process (prior to, during, or post SQE examination phase)  It can be completed in a variety of legal settings and not just within private practice Including: (i) in-house legal departments, (ii)law clinics (but excluding simulated legal scenarios), (iii)paralegal work and law vacation placements. Anything that can satisfies s12 Legal Services Act can be counted towards QWE. This can include voluntary work in a legal setting (CAB, for example) but NOT a simulated legal scenario.
  10. 10. 3. Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) © Jonathon Bray Limited  QWE can be obtained in up to four different legal establishments, whether in the UK or abroad.  Candidates complete a record of attainment to demonstrate that solicitor competence requirements have been achieved. This is then signed off by a solicitor or COLP within the firm and logged by the candidate on the SRA portal.  Candidates must reflect on their training and ensure that ‘some’ of these competencies have been attained before submitting their QWE forms to the SRA (‘some’ means at least two of the competencies listed on the QWE list).
  11. 11. 3. Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) © Jonathon Bray Limited  Solicitors/COLPs tasked with signing off QWE are reminded that they are NOT being asked to confirm that the candidate is competent in any way. This remains the domain of the SRA, via the rigour of the SQE exams. They are being asked to confirm that during the period of QWE, the candidate has attained those areas of competencies listed by the candidate. It is therefore important that there is a degree of oversight provided by the solicitor, as the overarching regulatory duty to act with honesty (p4) and integrity (p5) applies to QWE sign-off.  Law firms may wish to rethink the way that they structure placements/employment, to ensure that the solicitor competence requirements expected by the SRA are met. Unsurprisingly, these objectives are geared towards the Standards and Regulations expected of qualified fee earners.  During these QWE placements, law firms can assess the competencies of the individual, and decide whether or not to offer an NQ position, once they are fully qualified.
  12. 12. 4. Character and Suitability The final stage in the qualification process is that the candidate must satisfy the SRA’s character and suitability criteria. This aspect remains the same as for the traditional route to qualification. © Jonathon Bray Limited
  13. 13. How do individuals apply? Register on the SRA website. There is a portal for candidates and this is designed to guide them through the SQE process. This includes booking a place on SQE 1 and 2 It is worth noting that the level of knowledge required for the SQE is that of a newly qualified lawyer on day one, in comparison the standard for the LPC is a trainee on day one. Once the four pillars above have been obtained, a candidate can apply for their practising certificate.
  14. 14. What do firms need to do? Think about what you would like to offer in terms of training, and to whom. Yet again, you have options! Apprenticeships v Graduates Firms can also elect to employ apprentice solicitors. This can be done: (a) Over a six year period as an alternative to the law degree route. This is then followed by the SQE at the end of that period. (An earn as you learn route may suit some candidates.) (b) By hiring a graduate apprentice, over a 2.5year period, which is then followed by the SQE exams. You can find out more about the apprenticeship route on the GOV.UK website NB: Training and assessments are paid/partly paid for through the apprenticeship levy fund. (c) Alternatively, you can recruit graduates into QWE placements, offering some or all of the funding for the SQE exams for the right candidates. © Jonathon Bray Limited
  15. 15. Things to consider Timings This is a good time to reconsider your existing training framework. • Identify how you can improve QWE to fit the specific needs of your firm. • Depending on the type of candidate you would like to recruit, consider when would be the best time to advertise for positions. Knowing when to recruit. • We are in the transitional period, where the last LPC course began in September 2021. This is now nearing completion. • Your choices are now, whether to offer a two-year training contract to those LPC graduates or to offer them QWE. ** It is worth noting that where they switch routes, they will still need to complete SQE2 before qualification.
  16. 16. FAQ 1 What if candidates have already qualified into another jurisdiction? There are some exemptions for certain jurisdictions. The SRA are currently ‘mapping out’ those jurisdictions where they feel that the training and competencies offered in work experience mirror that of the UK. They will still need to sit and pass both SQE 1 AND 2, along with the character and suitability tests. Current exemptions by territory and job title include: Brazil - Advogado Denmark, Faroe Islands and Greenland - Advokat Hong Kong - Solicitor Romania – Avocat Scotland – Scottish solicitors can apply for an exemption for SQE 1 and 2. Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland Solicitors are exempt from both the SQE exams and QWE * See the Exemptions page of the SRA website for more on exemptions by country. © Jonathon Bray Limited
  17. 17. FAQ 2 What if the candidate is already a qualified barrister – are they exempt? Answer: No There are currently no exemptions for SQE 1 and 2 for the following: - Barrister (who has completed pupillage) - Chartered Legal Executive - CILEx Practitioner Additional experience over and above the qualification stage may be taken into account. * There is more information available on the SRA website. © Jonathon Bray Limited
  18. 18. FAQ 3 Once a candidate has been signed off for QWE and completes both SQE PARTS 1 AND 2, do you then have to offer a job as a solicitor within the firm? Answer: No Where the candidate was previously employed the firm, (perhaps as a paralegal), then it is expected that you have an early, and open conversation with them about job opportunities within the firm, upon qualification. If the candidate choses to remain at the firm as a paralegal regardless of not being offered a NQ position, then they will be expected to be on the roll, with a practising certificate albeit with a ‘paralegal’ job title. © Jonathon Bray Limited
  19. 19. FAQ 4 Do firms have to sign off retrospective claims for QWE? Answer: Yes You can expect to see a degree of retrospective claims for QWE, from former members of staff and even those who have been at the firm for work placements. - What should you do when a candidate asks you to sign off a period of QWE from several years ago? - Can you, or a member of your staff who was supervising the candidate confirm that the competencies were achieved during the window of employment? - Where those staff members have retired or moved on, then it becomes a difficult task. - Do HR records tally with what the candidate is saying? - Can you access files where they have made a contribution to verify what they are saying? Ultimately, it is for those solicitors/COLPs who are tasked with QWE sign-off to do so with their overarching regulatory duties in mind (honesty/integrity). © Jonathon Bray Limited
  20. 20. © Jonathon Bray Limited ?
  21. 21. © Jonathon Bray Limited SQE Solicitor’s Qualifying Examination May 2022

×