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Could the SQE result in 
‘pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap’ education?

Jackie Panter discusses the latest SRA consultation on legal training, which, if implemented, could affect every step a wannabe solicitor takes to qualification 

26 January 2016

The latest steps in the ongoing and very lengthy process of creating ‘new’ pathways for aspiring solicitors to enter the profession were announced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in December.

The proposals for a solicitors qualifying exam (SQE) are nothing new but, unlike previous changes, its introduction would impact on all elements of the pathway to becoming licensed. There are 104 institutions offering undergraduate law degrees; ?33 offering the graduate diploma in law (GDL); and 26 offering the legal practice course (LPC) – so a significant number of institutions will be affected.

Profession’s gatekeeper

Currently, the pathways to becoming a solicitor are prescribed by the SRA. The traditional route is to complete a qualifying law degree or GDL, followed by the LPC, and then undertake a period of work-based learning (the training contract). 

The SRA is proposing that it will no long...

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