How the SQE will Revamp the Legal Industry
The legal profession is an industry steeped in tradition and, for the longest time, the requirements that aspiring Solicitors would have to meet to reach their career goals were rigid and strict.
However, in this hyper-competitive industry, nothing lasts forever, as recently demonstrated by the introduction of the SQE, which will phase out the LPC and GDL.
What is the SQE?
The SQE was implemented to act as an intermediary between a recognised period of study and a position within a law firm. It has been designed to revolutionise the way one qualifies as a Solicitor, one of the major differences between the SQE and the LPC is the way candidates are assessed. Specifically, it is split into two stages, SQE1 and SQE2. The SQE1 is designed to test functioning legal knowledge in two exams made up of 180 multiple-choice questions. The SQE2 exams assess practical legal skills comprised of four oral assessments and twelve written assessments. The SQE exams follow the same format, regardless of whether you have previously studied law.
What are the Upsides of This?
The primary benefit of the SQE as opposed to the LPC is that all candidates are assessed equally by having them sit the same exam. This ensures consistency and will incentivise people from outside the legal to sector to enter the profession. Further to this, the SQE can offer greater flexibility and by nature, is less of a hindrance to qualify as a Solicitor than the conventional training contract route. The training contract has always been a necessity for those looking to qualify as a Solicitor, but as can be attested by many who have undertaken it, can also be the biggest barrier, as training contracts are infamously difficult to secure. According to the SRA, the SQE is also designed to make a career in law more accessible by implementing lower tuition costs.
What Does This Mean Going Forward?
It is possible that we can expect to see a larger uptake of new Solicitors with the implementation of the SQE, as it would appear to be designed to open otherwise closed doors to a larger pool of people. The subsequent knockon effect will lead to a rejuvenated legal industry, as new people with new ideas will spearhead the future departments of law firms, who may themselves experience a boom in new talent walking through the doors. Those who typically carry a dogmatic view of the profession may find themselves left behind by those who are looking forward to embracing the new crop of talent over the coming years.
Cameron Milton specialises in helping Lawyers right up to Partner level find new roles across London. If you are considering a move, or would like more information about the opportunities available to you, contact Cameron on email@example.com.