Oversea law graduate (MA) hired after internship - Routes for qualifications? Watch

Fabio_Fox
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Hi!

I graduated last December in Law (5-year Integrated Master of Arts in Law, 29 modules,) the so called Laurea Magistrale in Giurisprudenza, the Italian law degree which allows to qualify (after 18 months of training) as a solicitor/barrister, as a judge and more.

I then moved to London.
Long story short, after few months of internship in a hybrid law firm/legal department here in London, I was offered to stay. My manager (solicitor) seems to be very supportive and willing to offer me the possibility to work (4 days a week) according to my needs to qualify in the UK. This would give me the possibility to start a part-time law degree/qualification course.

Now, as you probably now, the SRA do not consider oversea law degrees as a "qualifying law degree", which otherwise would have allowed me to undertake the LPC or to enrol as a Graduate CILEX.

Considering that within my syllabus I took some units which are enclosed within CILEX Level 6 (e.g. European Union Law), I am thinking to undertake the CILEX route next year (also to improve my general knowledge of the legal system here).

My decision is also motivated by the fact that I read about the SQE "super-exam", which would enable me - once taken some units of the CILEX level 3 - to switch to a preparation course for the SQE.

Since all this has happened in such a short period, I am still far from having the bigger picture of the qualification routes here in the UK and your support would be gold for me.

Could you help me understanding what path would be better for me to undertake considering my situation?
Every information or advice is welcome and appreciated.

King regards,
Fabio
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Basiil17
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(Original post by Fabio_Fox)
Hi!

I graduated last December in Law (5-year Integrated Master of Arts in Law, 29 modules,) the so called Laurea Magistrale in Giurisprudenza, the Italian law degree which allows to qualify (after 18 months of training) as a solicitor/barrister, as a judge and more.

I then moved to London.
Long story short, after few months of internship in a hybrid law firm/legal department here in London, I was offered to stay. My manager (solicitor) seems to be very supportive and willing to offer me the possibility to work (4 days a week) according to my needs to qualify in the UK. This would give me the possibility to start a part-time law degree/qualification course.

Now, as you probably now, the SRA do not consider oversea law degrees as a "qualifying law degree", which otherwise would have allowed me to undertake the LPC or to enrol as a Graduate CILEX.

Considering that within my syllabus I took some units which are enclosed within CILEX Level 6 (e.g. European Union Law), I am thinking to undertake the CILEX route next year (also to improve my general knowledge of the legal system here).

My decision is also motivated by the fact that I read about the SQE "super-exam", which would enable me - once taken some units of the CILEX level 3 - to switch to a preparation course for the SQE.

Since all this has happened in such a short period, I am still far from having the bigger picture of the qualification routes here in the UK and your support would be gold for me.

Could you help me understanding what path would be better for me to undertake considering my situation?
Every information or advice is welcome and appreciated.

King regards,
Fabio
Hi Fabio,
a way of qualifying in the UK is to take the Graduate Diploma in Law, then the LPC, and that may take 2 years and a bit more.
Hope this helps, but that is just a way.
Dreamliner
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Fabio_Fox
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(Original post by DreamlinerFinder)
Hi Fabio,
a way of qualifying in the UK is to take the Graduate Diploma in Law, then the LPC, and that may take 2 years and a bit more.
Hope this helps, but that is just a way.
Dreamliner
Thank you Dreamliner!
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999tigger
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(Original post by Fabio_Fox)
Hi!

I graduated last December in Law (5-year Integrated Master of Arts in Law, 29 modules,) the so called Laurea Magistrale in Giurisprudenza, the Italian law degree which allows to qualify (after 18 months of training) as a solicitor/barrister, as a judge and more.

I then moved to London.
Long story short, after few months of internship in a hybrid law firm/legal department here in London, I was offered to stay. My manager (solicitor) seems to be very supportive and willing to offer me the possibility to work (4 days a week) according to my needs to qualify in the UK. This would give me the possibility to start a part-time law degree/qualification course.

Now, as you probably now, the SRA do not consider oversea law degrees as a "qualifying law degree", which otherwise would have allowed me to undertake the LPC or to enrol as a Graduate CILEX.

Considering that within my syllabus I took some units which are enclosed within CILEX Level 6 (e.g. European Union Law), I am thinking to undertake the CILEX route next year (also to improve my general knowledge of the legal system here).

My decision is also motivated by the fact that I read about the SQE "super-exam", which would enable me - once taken some units of the CILEX level 3 - to switch to a preparation course for the SQE.

Since all this has happened in such a short period, I am still far from having the bigger picture of the qualification routes here in the UK and your support would be gold for me.

Could you help me understanding what path would be better for me to undertake considering my situation?
Every information or advice is welcome and appreciated.

King regards,
Fabio
You will need to get permission to study the GDL, which is one year, then you will do the LPC which is another year and then a training contract of 2 years.

As you noted the SQE wll be introduced in 2020 and getting rid of the current training regime. I expect there will be transitional arrangements whereby both are run side by side, so that the last people on the GDL/LPC route are not prejudiced.

You may need to contact the SRA about the recognition of your degree , which should be a formality.

The two main providers of the LPC are the University of Law and BPP. I believe you could also do it part time if you wish to remain working where you are. Consult with your manager as to what is possible.

You should also note there is a degree of uncertainty as to what will happen with brexit and the rights of EU nationals to work in the UK and that would be just about the time you would be finishing your exams. I expect you will be ok, but who knows if negotiations go poorly and the EU tries to punish the UK.
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J-SP
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The SQE won't be ready for another 3 years at least. But at the same time it could still be worth waiting for considering you potentially otherwise have 4 years to qualify (GDL + LPC then two years of training).

You'd probably get some exemptions from the GDL too.


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artful_lounger
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You seem to be pretty familiar with the system, so usually you would do something to equate to the QLD (typically a GDL) then complete the LPC and a training contract. You can apply for a training contract without a QLD and they may take you on, funding you through the GDL and LPC (or not, potentially) and then onto the main training contract pending successful completion of those things.

As noted though, the SRA are looking to implement the new "super exam" open to law and non-law graduates, to replace the QLD, LPC and training contract requirements. Since you are already working in the area (as a paralegal I presume?) I would speak with your manager and see if the firm would consider you applying for a training contract and funding you for the GDL and LPC. If so, there's no reason not to go that route as you'd be getting paid for it anyway, and you have a legal background so the academic elements shouldn't be particularly challenging.

If not, then I would recommend pursuing the CiLEX route and if applicable taking the super-exam when it's launched. The CiLEX route may allow you to perform a wider variety of work while awaiting the deployment of this new development, and if that gets shelved for whatever reason you're already on the path to achieve legal executive status though CiLEX.
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Fabio_Fox
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(Original post by 999tigger)
You will need to get permission to study the GDL, which is one year, then you will do the LPC which is another year and then a training contract of 2 years.

As you noted the SQE wll be introduced in 2020 and getting rid of the current training regime. I expect there will be transitional arrangements whereby both are run side by side, so that the last people on the GDL/LPC route are not prejudiced.

You may need to contact the SRA about the recognition of your degree , which should be a formality.

The two main providers of the LPC are the University of Law and BPP. I believe you could also do it part time if you wish to remain working where you are. Consult with your manager as to what is possible.

You should also note there is a degree of uncertainty as to what will happen with brexit and the rights of EU nationals to work in the UK and that would be just about the time you would be finishing your exams. I expect you will be ok, but who knows if negotiations go poorly and the EU tries to punish the UK.
Thank you Tigger,

I know, there are a lot of aspects to be aware of in doing this choice, but for several reasons I would prefer to pursue a career here in the UK.

Considering, as you've said, the degree of uncertainty as to what will happen with Brexit, I just could not take completely in account this but I think that a work experience in a Law firm in London would be an asset in Italy as well.

Thank you again!
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999tigger
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(Original post by Fabio_Fox)
Thank you Tigger,

I know, there are a lot of aspects to be aware of in doing this choice, but for several reasons I would prefer to pursue a career here in the UK.

Considering, as you've said, the degree of uncertainty as to what will happen with Brexit, I just could not take completely in account this but I think that a work experience in a Law firm in London would be an asset in Italy as well.

Thank you again!
If its what you want then go for it. Dont forget it is very competitive, but imo use your language skills. the fact you are already working somewhere at the moment is a plus.
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Fabio_Fox
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
You seem to be pretty familiar with the system, so usually you would do something to equate to the QLD (typically a GDL) then complete the LPC and a training contract. You can apply for a training contract without a QLD and they may take you on, funding you through the GDL and LPC (or not, potentially) and then onto the main training contract pending successful completion of those things.

As noted though, the SRA are looking to implement the new "super exam" open to law and non-law graduates, to replace the QLD, LPC and training contract requirements. Since you are already working in the area (as a paralegal I presume?) I would speak with your manager and see if the firm would consider you applying for a training contract and funding you for the GDL and LPC. If so, there's no reason not to go that route as you'd be getting paid for it anyway, and you have a legal background so the academic elements shouldn't be particularly challenging.

If not, then I would recommend pursuing the CiLEX route and if applicable taking the super-exam when it's launched. The CiLEX route may allow you to perform a wider variety of work while awaiting the deployment of this new development, and if that gets shelved for whatever reason you're already on the path to achieve legal executive status though CiLEX.
Thank you artful!

As you said, I would choose the CiLEX route especially because of the SQE prospect. I am working as a legal officer/paralegal, and so I would need a qualification as soon as possibile to perform more work.

I will apply in the next days for a Statement of Comparability of my degree (UK NARIC) and then contact both the CILEX and the SRA.
Do you think that my degree would allow me to skip the GDL as well? If so, I could sign a Part-time-study training contract. This would be great but I honestly don't think they will recognise my degree.

Another question: I know that in the UK it is like a tabu, but: I was offered two different types of contract: a fixed income salary or a "fee earner" one.
What should I take into account in taking this choice?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Fabio_Fox)
Thank you artful!

As you said, I would choose the CiLEX route especially because of the SQE prospect. I am working as a legal officer/paralegal, and so I would need a qualification as soon as possibile to perform more work.

I will apply in the next days for a Statement of Comparability of my degree (UK NARIC) and then contact both the CILEX and the SRA.
Do you think that my degree would allow me to skip the GDL as well? If so, I could sign a Part-time-study training contract. This would be great but I honestly don't think they will recognise my degree.

Another question: I know that in the UK it is like a tabu, but: I was offered two different types of contract: a fixed income salary or a "fee earner" one.
What should I take into account in taking this choice?
You might get exemptions from some of the content of the GDL, but I couldn't say for certain; I would suggest contacting the providers of the GDL you're looking at after you get the statement of comparability.

It's hard to say on the last point but it's my general understanding that a fixed income contract may have you doing more administrative type work, whereas a fee earner contract will necessarily entail legal work. I would advise to go for the latter if your intent is to work as a solicitor; in general, all solicitors work as fee earners for a firm (unless they work as the legal counsel for the firm in house or something) so this will give you more insight into the work you'll be doing once you qualify (and some experience of it, which won't make a difference in the long run but will help you settle into it quicker).
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