What is the SQE?

Your guide to understanding the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam

Find out how BARBRI can help you prepare for the SQE with confidence

SQE at a glance

It’s not just a new name, it’s an entirely different way of testing, bringing with it the need for an entirely new way of preparing for the examination.

From September 2021, the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and the Legal Practice Course (LPC) are being phased out and replaced by the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). With that change comes an entirely new way of testing your legal knowledge and lawyering skills.

The SQE is comprised of a series of exams that, unlike the GDL/LPC exams, include mixed subject questions (contract with civil litigation, for example) and multiple-choice formats. Furthermore, the SQE means that a classic undergraduate law degree, or non-law degree, will provide insufficient test preparation on their own.

The new path to qualification

The SQE has been designed to establish the competence of candidates qualifying as solicitors. All candidates who have passed the SQE will have demonstrated the competencies specified by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) through the Statement of Solicitor Competence (SoSC).

Have a Degree or Equivalent

Pass the SQE

Complete a Minimum Period of Qualifying Legal Work Experience

Satisfy the SRA's Character and Suitability Requirements

Why take the new SQE rather than the old route?

  • The SQE offers greater flexibility, spreading the preparation course and exam fees over longer time periods.
  • Unlike the full-time LPC, earn whilst learning with BARBRI SQE Prep.
  • The SQE and the opportunity for qualifying work experience in place of a traditional training contract allows flexible entry into the profession.
  • Many smaller LPC providers will discontinue their course or migrate to SQE preparation, making it difficult to gain a place in an affordable or convenient LPC.
  • Innovation and investment will be directed towards the SQE as universities, law firms and employers begin focusing on the new qualification.
  • From 2022, most employers will expect their future trainees to have qualified under the SQE.
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Test out our online course

Sign up for free to check out the BARBRI SQE Prep course. Powered by the Intuitive Study Assistant and Coach (ISAAC), it calibrates to your time and progress to ensure you maximise your study time and prepare with confidence for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).

Preparing for the SQE

This completely new method for testing your readiness to become a solicitor in England and Wales requires a completely new method of preparation and that’s what BARBRI offers. BARBRI has been the overwhelming choice of law students in the U.S. for decades.

Now, you can take advantage of those decades of experience. You can face the SQE with confidence. You can make the choice that’s helped more than 1.435 million U.S. law students prepare for their version of the SQE. You can trust BARBRI.

Download the SQE Prep Prospectus

When you download the SQE Prep Prospectus, you’ll have access to key information about the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) and BARBRI. You’ll learn about the SQE format, get information about the path to qualification, and see course options and the timeline for preparation for both stages of the exam.

SQE Sample Course Materials

SQE1 Sample Course Materials

Thinking about enrolling in the BARBRI SQE Prep course? Sample some of the materials and resources you’ll receive to prepare for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam. 

SQE2 Sample Course Materials

Thinking about enroling in the BARBRI SQE2 Prep course? Download sample course materials and receive a step-by-step guide to your study process on the SQE2 Prep.

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