jb2453
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#1
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#1
Hi,

I'm currently working as a Paralegal at an international law firm (I've already completed the LPC) and they are offering to sponsor me to do CILEX to qualify as a Solicitor through that route, so i'd basically need to complete a Portfolio and then the PSC.

However, I am just wondering whether to go down that route or do the SQE. With the SQE i'll have to fund myself (which I can afford but it is a lot of money) and I believe it's just one exam if you've already completed the LPC.

My question basically is with the SQE do you still only qualify in a certain area of Law like CILEX? I'm not sure which route to go with, as if I would only qualify in a certain area for both it may be best to go down the CILEX route if they are sponsoring..

What are your thoughts?

Sorry if anything sounded silly, i'm not yet too familiar with all things regarding the SQE.

I definitely plan on researching both options in further detail but wanted to see if anyone else here was more clued up and could provide their thoughts.

I've applied for a TC at the firm i'm working at - so if I am unsuccessful I am planning on taking one of the above routes.
Last edited by jb2453; 1 year ago
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aspiringlawyerrr
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Hi

You may have seen this already, but here's a link to SRA's route to admission through CILEX: https://www.sra.org.uk/trainees/admi...al-executives/. There may be other requirements if you choose to qualify after 1 September 2021, which is when the SQE starts. I am from a CILEX route, and currently a Graduate member (so not fully qualified CILEX lawyer i.e. Fellow member) and I am applying for TCs. This is because although CILEX is good, and it allows to diversify the legal market, in my view, CILEX qualified lawyers are paid less than solicitors even after qualifying. It is also rare, although it happens, for CILEX lawyers to become partners in international/City law firms. I would suggest doing the SQE route than CILEX - if this is important to you.

I am very much hoping to get a TC and then proceed to do the SQE.
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jb2453
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(Original post by aspiringlawyerrr)
Hi

You may have seen this already, but here's a link to SRA's route to admission through CILEX: https://www.sra.org.uk/trainees/admi...al-executives/. There may be other requirements if you choose to qualify after 1 September 2021, which is when the SQE starts. I am from a CILEX route, and currently a Graduate member (so not fully qualified CILEX lawyer i.e. Fellow member) and I am applying for TCs. This is because although CILEX is good, and it allows to diversify the legal market, in my view, CILEX qualified lawyers are paid less than solicitors even after qualifying. It is also rare, although it happens, for CILEX lawyers to become partners in international/City law firms. I would suggest doing the SQE route than CILEX - if this is important to you.

I am very much hoping to get a TC and then proceed to do the SQE.
Thank you for your response!

A big thing i'm worried about is if there is a pay difference at all! I'm applying for TC's in the meantime, I'm really hoping I get one at the firm i'm working at as it is my dream firm. This is kind of a factor why I am really considering CILEX as I would like to stay here longterm.

I'm definitely considering the SQE too! With the SQE do you still only qualify in a certain area?
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aspiringlawyerrr
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(Original post by jb2453)
Thank you for your response!

A big thing i'm worried about is if there is a pay difference at all! I'm applying for TC's in the meantime, I'm really hoping I get one at the firm i'm working at as it is my dream firm. This is kind of a factor why I am really considering CILEX as I would like to stay here longterm.

I'm definitely considering the SQE too! With the SQE do you still only qualify in a certain area?
Hi

I don't know if you have instagram but Rob from the Legally speaking podcast is speaking to a CILEX person regarding the SQE live on instagram live at 6pm on Monday. His instagram is rob_law_kc. I will definitely tune in!
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jb2453
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(Original post by aspiringlawyerrr)
Hi

I don't know if you have instagram but Rob from the Legally speaking podcast is speaking to a CILEX person regarding the SQE live on instagram live at 6pm on Monday. His instagram is rob_law_kc. I will definitely tune in!
Thank you, appreciate you letting me know! I'll check it out!
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jb2453
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#6
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Bumping to see if anyone else has any thoughts.
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AW_1983
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(Original post by jb2453)
Bumping to see if anyone else has any thoughts.
As you already have a QLD and the LPC, then the SQE will be a complete waste of time because you will be in the same position at the end of it, needing to gain 2 years of suitable work experience. All you will be doing is exposing yourself to potential failure of a set of exams you don't need to sit.

Whilst under the old LPC route you still need to do a 2 year period of recognised training, it is possible to claim an exemption on the basis of suitable work experience which would seem more worthwhile pursuing than more exams:

https://www.sra.org.uk/students/reso...ised-training/

I understand the SRA created this exemption and changed the rules on qualifying work experience for the SQE in order to end an abuse in some firms where LPC graduates were employed for years as paralegals in order to pay them considerably less than they would be as solicitors and dangling the prospect of training contracts that at best would only be awarded when the LPC was about to expire.

As for CILEx, they are redesigning their qualification so as an LPC graduate if you wait until January 2022 there will be even less exams to take. In the process, your work experience to date would be counted and you could get an exemption from the period of recognised training too. However, this should only be an option if you really want to stay at your current firm and they won't give you a training contract (although I'm still rather perplexed as to why a firm would want to spend more money on exams you don't need - possibly including study time out of the office - in order to get you to the same end state as a qualified solicitor rather than giving you a training contract. Is it because they want you in the same dept throughout?)
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