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    How can I go about getting my hands on a Certificate of Academic Standing? I'm planning to apply for the GDL at several universities (CoL, Westminster, City) and need this document to show that my US degree is equivalent to a UK one. I've written SRA about this but they are taking their time getting back to me. Help?
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    Hi!

    I'm a US student and have accepted my offer to City Law for the GDL and I had the same concerns before. I contacted the SRA and this is what they sent me:

    To obtain a certificate of academic standing we will need to see the following documents:

    - a certified true copy of your degree certificate

    - a certified true copy of your degree transcript

    These should be sent to Caseworking and Applications, Solicitors Regulation Authority, Ipsley Court, Berrington Close, Redditch, Worcestershire B98 0TD.

    On satisfactory validation a certificate of academic standing will be issued and you will be eligible to commence the GDL.
    From my understanding you have to get the Certificate (by applying online and providing the documents) after you graduate. You won't be able to start your GDL (even if you've been accepted) until you've gotten the Certificate.

    Does that help?
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    Perhaps you should apply for a "Statement of Comparability" issued by NARIC first. It costs lesser and you could be sure as to where your application stands prior to application for a Certificate of academic standing. For example, if UK NARIC were to certify your qualification as equivalent to British Bachelors (Ordinary) Degree standard or below, you would not be eligible for a Certificate of Academic Standing in respect of that qualification and it would therefore not be in your interest to apply as the application fee is non-refundable.
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    9. Eligibility to attempt a Common Professional Examination

    (1)

    To be an eligible student a person must:
    (i)

    hold a degree (other than an honorary degree) conferred by an institution in England or Wales empowered by the Privy Council to award degrees or by a university in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland or by the Council for National Academic Awards before its dissolution on 31 March 1993 or a licence awarded by the University College of Buckingham before that college was granted university status; or
    (ii)

    hold a degree (other than an honorary degree) conferred by a university outside the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland which the SRA considers to be of a standard at least equivalent to that of a degree conferred by a university in the United Kingdom; or
    (iii)

    be accepted by the SRA for admission as a mature student; the applicant for such acceptance must:
    (a)

    have had considerable experience or shown exceptional ability in an academic, professional, business or administrative field;
    (b)

    have attained the age of 25 years;
    (c)

    have attained such standard of general education as the SRA may consider sufficient;
    (d)

    have satisfied the SRA as to character and suitability to become a solicitor; and
    (e)

    have a good knowledge of written and spoken English; or
    (iv)

    be a FILEX; or
    (v)

    be a Member of the Institute of Legal Executives who has 3 years qualifying employment; or
    (vi)

    have attained the age of 25 years and hold such qualification in Magisterial Law awarded after successful completion of a relevant course as shall from time to time be recognised by the SRA; or
    (vii)

    have attained such academic and vocational qualifications as the SRA considers to be equivalent to a first degree under sub-paragraph (i).
    (2)

    In exceptional circumstances the SRA may accept such other evidence of academic eligibility as it thinks fit in the case of a person who completes a course of study for a degree at an institution referred to in paragraph (1)(i) or (ii).
    (3)

    An applicant whose application has been refused under paragraph (1)(iii)(d) has the right under regulation 4 of the Solicitors' Admission Regulations to appeal to the High Court within three months of receiving notification of the SRA's decision.


    Hope this helps.
 
 
 
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