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Is it better to get a Training contract (TC) before or after the SQE?

Hello everyone,

2023 LLB graduate here, torn between the LLM SQE1&2 or SQE prep courses and finding the most resourceful provider - BPP or orUlaw (or others). Overall, with all the options I am simply trying to find the most efficient path to becoming a solicitor.

After graduating, I spent most of my time attending virtual legal events with legal cheek and firms, trying virtual internships and applying to vacation schemes(some training contracts). However, I have been unsuccessful. I then thought maybe I could try to become a paralegal, legal assistant or any entry-level legal position for a year or so to gain some legal experience (as I have none!) to boost the chances of a successful application potentially. However, I am also struggling to get into these positions - i.e. some saying they require the LPC.

This leads me to consideration of the SQE or LPC. When researching, doing the SQE1&2 Prep courses (or SQE1&2 Diploma for BPP) in person sounds good, which is why I am attracted to BPP and Ulaw. However, the fact it is self-funded is a concern. The only thing putting me off the LLM is the extra course and examination at the end, which has its pros, but the intensity of it concerns me, especially considering the SQE which is hard enough. (For example, I saw there being 7,000-word coursework, reports etc, for Ulaw which is too much for me.)

I am torn between the universities and finding one with high pass rates, good quality teaching, tools and networks. I have seen that top firms would send their trainees to BPP, and they have around a 73% pass rate for the SQE1 compared to the national rate which is very comforting! Unfortunately, this information is not disclosed for Ulaw, although I have heard the resources have been helpful and closest to the examination. Both seem to be 50/50, so authentic options would be much appreciated. I'm not sure if it's worth trying to secure a training contract so they can help fund the SQE, but I am also not sure if completing the SQE could boost my chances of securing a TC, to begin with. OR if I should do the SQE 1 Prep course and exam, try to secure a training contract and when I do, they can fund the SQE 2??!

Thank you so much for taking the to read all of this! And thank you for your guidance in advance!
(edited 2 months ago)

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