The SQE is for anyone who wants to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales who has not yet embarked on either a qualifying law degree (QLD), GDL or LPC or is already qualified as lawyer in another jurisdiction.
The SQE will be formally launched on 1 September 2021 and will eventually replace the curent LPC route to qualification as a solicitor. This means that if by 1 September 2021 you have not completed, started, accepted an offer of a place or paid a non-refundable deposit for:
• a qualifying law degree (QLD)
• the Common Professional Examination / Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE)
• exempting law degree (ELD)
• the Legal Practice Course
• a period of recognised training (also known as a training contract).
There is no prescribed route to follow under the SQE, however, to reach the point where you can qualify as a solicitor you must:
• have a degree in any subject (or equivalent qualification or work experience)
• pass both stages of the SQE assessment - SQE1 (legal knowledge) and SQE2 (practical legal skills)
• have two years' qualifying work experience
• pass the SRA character and suitability requirements
During the transition period, there will be some who are eligible to take either the current GDL/LPC route or the new SQE route to qualification. If you are not sure which route to take, please use our eligibility tracker. You may also find it helpful to read 'Should I choose to qualify under the GDL/LPC or SQE route?' in the FAQs section.
Just as there is no set route to qualify under the SQE, there is also no formal requirement for how you prepare to pass the two SQE assessments. You may decide that you need no preparation at all, although you might want to do your research before coming to this decision! Most people will want to undertake some form of preparation for the assessments but it will be completely up to you what form this takes. You may want to do a university course that is eligible for student funding or a stand-alone SQE preparation/top up course, or even study on your own using online resources. You might prefer to study part-time or through full-time face to face teaching; it is completely up to you how you choose to prepare - the only formal requirement is that you pass the two assessments.
Please see Where Can I Study? for further information about course providers and the SQE preparation courses you can apply for on our site.
You will be able to make your course and course provider selection when you reach the ‘course choice’ section of the application form.