How do you qualify as a solicitor under the new system?

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themartinipolice
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If all goes well I will be starting a law degree in October 2022. I was quite familiar from sites like this and youtubers (big up eve cornwell) with the old system. 1) Law degree, vac scheme, graduate, LPC, training contract, profit, or 2) Non-law degree, graduate, GDL, LPC, training contract, profit.

Now it seems more confusing. I've heard different people say different things and information seems a bit vague.I gather that the LPC and GDL won't exist. You do any degree, then you can sit two sets of SQE exams, and at some point over all these years you have to do two years worth of qualifying experience which can be in four different settings. This replaces training contracts, but most big firms will likely keep the training contract format so they can train all their associates in house as it were.

Correct any of this if it's wrong please.

So under this new system, what is the benefit of doing a law degree. Don't get me wrong I'm very interested in law as an academic subject but this makes me want to at least consider other options now I won't have to do the GDL. Also how would people go about securing training contracts without vacation schemes (or would they still exist too). Obviously there would still be recruitment but it would be in a different format no? Presuming you do a non-law degree, would you be able to apply to firms with this and have them pay the SQE fees, like the LPC. Or would non-law students have to self fund.

If anyone can clarify any of this I would really appreciate it. Thank you
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by themartinipolice)
If all goes well I will be starting a law degree in October 2022. I was quite familiar from sites like this and youtubers (big up eve cornwell) with the old system. 1) Law degree, vac scheme, graduate, LPC, training contract, profit, or 2) Non-law degree, graduate, GDL, LPC, training contract, profit.

Now it seems more confusing. I've heard different people say different things and information seems a bit vague.I gather that the LPC and GDL won't exist. You do any degree, then you can sit two sets of SQE exams, and at some point over all these years you have to do two years worth of qualifying experience which can be in four different settings. This replaces training contracts, but most big firms will likely keep the training contract format so they can train all their associates in house as it were.

Correct any of this if it's wrong please.

So under this new system, what is the benefit of doing a law degree. Don't get me wrong I'm very interested in law as an academic subject but this makes me want to at least consider other options now I won't have to do the GDL. Also how would people go about securing training contracts without vacation schemes (or would they still exist too). Obviously there would still be recruitment but it would be in a different format no? Presuming you do a non-law degree, would you be able to apply to firms with this and have them pay the SQE fees, like the LPC. Or would non-law students have to self fund.

If anyone can clarify any of this I would really appreciate it. Thank you
Regulatory requirements:
any degree --> self study for SQE or take prep course --> sit SQE --> 2 years working in a firm to get qualifying work experience --> qualification

Law firm requirements:
for firms that did elaborate recruitment, they're literally identical. no one is changing anything. you still apply for vac schemes (why would they stop existing???????????), TCs, and everything's the same. only thing that changes is that you do an SQE prep course with your cohort instead of the LPC - where applicable of course (most firms don't have bespoke LPCs)

there MAY be a SMALL difference in recruitment if the firms that recruit early and sponsor the LPC see their cohorts failing the SQE at much higher rates. dunno what the solution to that would be. probably give out more TCs expecting the idiots to fail.

there were some mutterings that non-law graduates may be encouraged to take an additional SQE prep course by their firms a neo-GDL that law graduates did not but i doubt that this is going to be forced on anyone. that may be something to look into tho! https://www.legalcheek.com/2020/10/w...-kill-the-gdl/

the firms that WILL see a difference are small, local firms that may be willing to consider qualified candidates who got their QWE here and there - i.e. outside of a structured TC, while paralegalling, etc. - or firms that are willing to 'pool' their niches into a multi-firm training contract - e.g. one seat done at a firm that does PI, another at a firm that does employment, another at a firm that does commercial contracts, etc. which begs the question: are you applying to such firms?

there's no real point in doing a law degree, you got that right. do it out of interest. also you have like a year to get better informed about ur options and for more SQE-related info to get published.

also... non-law grads who are not planning on doing the new GDL or whatever it will be called can apply for TCs a year earlier. currently they need to wait until their final year because they need to leave room to do both the GDL and the LPC. that will no longer be the case for many in the future
Last edited by EU Yakov; 3 months ago
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17Student17
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Assume it will be as close to the current system as it can be for the big best highest paid law firms. Eg for those who don't read law they want trainees to finish all exams before starting so they are likely to pay those chosen few they sponsor to sit an SQE1 preparation course similar to the GDL, the SQE1 exam fees - I assume all that will be done in 12 months like the GDL. They are then likely to pay for 7 months of an accelerated SQE2 prep course and the SQE2 exams and then you will start 2 years of paid training with them. If you have a law degree they will probably expect the SQE1 to be taken the summer you graduate and then start sQE2 prep course in Autumn so in other words much as now. I am guessing from what I have heard however.

For those who cannot get sponsored the firms who might recruit you later will want your work experience in the 2 years to be top notch and marks on SQE1 and 2 high. So people probably will want to pay for a course for SQE1 (BPP's pGDL this year by the way has elements relevant to SQE1 as well as preparing people fro the LPC - I have 2 children doing it (and I am a lawyer))

I still favour people reading law for 3 years as you learn more law and it is really interesting. However 50% of those going to the best firms do not read law and half do so it is really up to you whether you want an extra year of studying that not reading law requires now and probably will do in future.
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hihi202
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Hi there - I am currently in my final year of studying French and Spanish at a Russell Group university, interested in becoming a solicitor. I'm looking to follow the SQE route but have no legal background at all - is it a stupid idea to do a GDL anyway to get some legal knowledge and cover my bases? I've been looking at BPP's courses and they offer their PGDL and are working on creating an SQE 1 2 prep course for the near future, so I was wondering if this would be a waste of money to do both the prep course AND a GDL? I'm quite new to this as you can probably tell! Any help is much appreciated
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themartinipolice
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(Original post by hihi202)
Hi there - I am currently in my final year of studying French and Spanish at a Russell Group university, interested in becoming a solicitor. I'm looking to follow the SQE route but have no legal background at all - is it a stupid idea to do a GDL anyway to get some legal knowledge and cover my bases? I've been looking at BPP's courses and they offer their PGDL and are working on creating an SQE 1 2 prep course for the near future, so I was wondering if this would be a waste of money to do both the prep course AND a GDL? I'm quite new to this as you can probably tell! Any help is much appreciated
Hey, obviously I've not done any of this yet, but I've done a fair amount of research so I think I can help. For current graduates, and the next few years of graduates, the old route and new route are running simultaneously. From what I understand, there would be no real benefit to doing the GDL, then SQE Prep course, then SQE exams. The GDL is designed to fully prepare you for the LPC, so you would take this instead of wasting money on a SQE course and also exams.

Alternatively, skip the GDL/LPC and just go straight onto the SQE prep course. This will fully prepare you for the SQE exams. I don't think there would be any point in doing both.
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17Student17
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I agree. If you do the GDL (BPP) that will probably mean you could pass SQE1 in summer 2022 after finishing the GDL in April 2022. You should also apply now - Jan 2021 before Jan deadlines for a training contract in 2023 and then the firm might pay for your GDL and LPC.
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