De Montfort University launches new LLM SQE programme

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“We sought out expertise and reputation”

The Leicester De Montfort Law School at The De Montfort University (DMU) has recently launched their LLM SQE programme, with BARBRI’s SQE1 Prep 40-Week course embedded within. Robbie Burke, Account Manager for Universities at BARBRI, spoke to Associate Head of Law Brett Koenig about the benefits of partnering. 

Date: 26 October 2023

Robbie Burke: Brett, can you describe briefly how De Montfort University’s LLM SQE programme works and how it helps students develop their skills?

Brett Koenig: DMU’s postgrad LLM SQE is a fantastic course designed to prepare students for the Solicitors Qualifying Examinations (SQE), the new route to qualifying as a solicitor in England in Wales. The course will equip students with the knowledge and skills tested in the challenging SQE1 and SQE2 assessments, covering key elements such as practical legal research, drafting, advocacy, legal writing and interviewing. 

Throughout the course, students will learn how to apply relevant core legal principles and rules at the level of a competent, newly qualified solicitor across many areas, including business law, property law and criminal litigation. Their learning will culminate in a final dissertation, which presents the opportunity to personalise their learning by pursuing a relevant area of law of particular interest.

Students will also have the amazing opportunity to bolster their learning with wider employability skills, helping to prepare them for success not only in the SQE exams, but also for life as a solicitor. Our campus is an incredibly welcoming environment and we have world-class educators who are happy to help.

What were the considerations when you set up the LLM SQE course at DMU?

We wanted to make sure the LLM curriculum is carefully aligned with the content and skills required for the SQE assessments. This includes mapping the course to the SQE1 functional legal knowledge (FLK) and a brief introduction to SQE2 practical legal skills. We wanted to provide students with support to ensure they were prepared for the SQE and have access to all the facilities and technologies on campus. 

Why did De Montfort Uni choose BARBRI as a partner? And how did you find the process of setting up the LLM SQE?

When choosing an SQE partner, we sought out expertise and reputation in the industry. BARBRI has a strong track record in legal education and offered easy-to-use, user-friendly study materials that aligned with our goals for the LLM programme. The process was smooth and efficient and we would fully recommend BARBRI as a partner.

How does BARBRI help your students in their career journey?

Our students use BARBRI’s online learning management system, which organises content and assigns our students with relevant tasks. By using an AI system that recalibrates the learner’s learning plan based on progress, students are able to understand quickly where they can improve. 

What does the future hold for the programme? 

We would like to see our LLM SQE grow in numbers and attract students from a wider pool of universities. We will be looking to integrate our new legal clinic and seeing how that can play an important role in the development of our students. 

What do you see as the future for the SQE? 

The SQE will need some refinement. It’s clear there have been some issues in the early iterations and the SRA and other stakeholders will need to make ongoing adjustments and improvements based on feedback, experience and changing legal industry needs. The introduction of the SQE has already had an impact on legal education but it may be that a pedagogical review is needed into the assessments, as these arguably do not mirror the experience of many in practice. 

What do you see as the future for the SQE? 

Coming into the second year of offering the programme, Factor understand the process of working closely with BARBRI and they have learned a lot from their first cohort. They have had a positive experience thus far and look forward to continuing our partnership this year.

About Leicester De Montfort Law School:

The Leicester De Montfort Law School at De Montfort University (DMU) places research excellence and innovation at the heart of their mission, and teaching across its programmes is underpinned by quality scholarship and research. It is also home to the Leicester Institute of Legal Practice, which has provided first-class legal education and training since 1989. It offers students excellent careers provision, including a mentoring scheme and vacation placement schemes as well as individual careers advice and guidance.

Read more information about De Montfort University’s LLM SQE programme here.

Get in touch:

If you’re interested in partnering with BARBRI to offer SQE to your law students, reach out to Robbie Burke ( or Chris Howard, Director of University Partnerships (  

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