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Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Qualification setback for hundreds of aspiring lawyers due to SQE delays

Qualification setback for hundreds of aspiring lawyers due to SQE delays


Students will not have their SQE1 results back in time to qualify for the SQE2 in October

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced that students who took the first part of the Solicitors Qualification Examination (SQE1) in July 2021 will not have their results back in time to enable them to qualify to sit the second part of the exam (SQE2) in October this year.

A spokesperson for the SRA said it needed to undertake “detailed analysis and quality assurance” before results are released, and that its “priority remains, as always, to ensure complete accuracy in candidate results.”

Students will be required to wait until April 2023 for their results, which will delay qualification by almost nine months.

The new regime has reportedly been plagued with setbacks, including technical issues, mediocre results and significant discrepancies between pass rates for different ethnic groups. In January, the SRA reported 66 per cent of white candidates had passed SQE 1, compared to 43 per cent of Asian candidates and 39 per cent of Black candidates.

Law Society president, I. Stephanie Boyce, said: “We understand the SRA’s measures to ensure standards as the SQE assessments are still new but sympathise with the aspiring solicitors who have been disappointed and will have to wait until next year to sit the SQE2.

“We hope the Solicitors Regulation Authority can take this feedback on board and make any necessary adjustments for future cycles to ensure that the process is smoother.”