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A City response to the SQE proposal

Ruth Grant and Viola Joseph ‘fear that part one of the SQE will not test to a high enough standard’

5 April 2016

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is proposing to change ?how solicitors qualify – and ?its proposals are radical. ?The plan is to introduce a uniform approach for everyone, ?called the solicitors qualifying examination (SQE), which will encompass two sets of tests with multiple choice assessments of legal knowledge, followed by some practical skills exams. 

Everyone would need to pass the tests to qualify as a solicitor: law graduates, barristers (although there is some confusion over this), overseas lawyers, and those without a degree – there are no exemptions except as mandated by EU law. And, if workplace experience is retained, assessment of trainees’ performance to enable them to qualify is likely to become more burdensome. 

We support what the SRA is seeking to do, which is to offer open access to the profession for all and set a minimum standard that everyone must reach. ?But we have major concerns about the proposals...

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