SQE Regulations and transitional arrangements

SQE Regulations

The regulations which bring into force the SQE have now been approved.

Admission principles for Qualified Lawyers

If you are a qualified lawyer seeking admission under the SQE, please read our principles for admission.

Degree or equivalent

Any candidate wishing to be admitted as a solicitor under the SQE, will need a degree (in any subject) or equivalent in addition to passing the SQE.

What are the transitional arrangements?

Our transitional arrangements are designed to give candidates who are on their way to becoming a solicitor as much choice as possible.

Someone who is already on their way can choose to qualify through the existing routes or the SQE. This includes anyone who has started, completed or accepted an offer for the Common Professional Examination or a Qualifying Law Degree by the time the SQE is introduced in autumn 2021.

These people will have 11 years after the SQE is introduced to qualify in this way.

Qualifying without a training contract (period of recognised training)

Candidates who have taken the Legal Practice Course but cannot find a training contract, can continue to qualify under our Equivalent Means route. This involves compiling a portfolio to demonstrate how your experience is equivalent to a period of recognised training and submitting it to us for assessment.

We will also accept experience equivalent to the new qualifying work experience as a period of recognised training, so long as you have successfully completed the SQE 2 assessment as well. Please note the costs of the SQE 2 will be between £1,900 - £2,850.

Qualifying work experience will allow a wider range of experience to count towards qualification. It could include time spent:

  • working as a paralegal
  • on a placement during a law degree
  • in a student law clinic or at the Citizens Advice.

How will the transitional arrangements affect me?

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Effectively managing Legal Practice Course closure

We will continue to authorise Legal Practice Courses (LPC) until the end of the 2024/25 academic year. However, we expect courses may close as demand for the LPC decreases. We want to make sure the standard of the LPC is maintained during the transition period for those who want to complete their route to qualification.

We have made authorising a course subject to a number of conditions to make sure that we are aware if a course is closing. This is so that we know where students may be affected and can work with providers to make sure that the quality of provision is maintained.

Bar Standards Board changes

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) are also making changes to their training requirements. We have entered into a Common Protocol with them to explain how this will affect Qualifying Law Degree and the Common Professional Examination.