LSB gives go-ahead on first stage of solicitor qualification reforms
Responding to the Legal Services Board’s approval of the framework for changes to how solicitors are admitted to the profession, employers and education suppliers are being urged to push ahead with their preparations for the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination(SQE).
The SQE, which will not come in before September 2020, will involve a single common assessment which replaces the multiple courses and examinations available under the current regime.
The new assessment will mean the public and law firms can have full confidence that all new solicitors meet the same consistently high standards, regardless of how they qualified.
As well as building trust and confidence, the SQE should also help widen access to the profession, by allowing different routes to entry, including ‘earn as you learn’ pathways such as apprenticeships.
It will also remove the need for all would-be solicitors to pay significant up-front costs, often up to £15,000, to take the Legal Practice Course, which offers no guarantee of a training contract or becoming a solicitor.