My Journey Through SQE1: A Triumph of Tenacity

Published
June 10, 2024
Reading Time
6 Mins

Hello everyone! I’m Aisha Patel, an aspiring solicitor, and this is my first blog post. As someone who's recently navigated the formidable waters of SQE1, I thought it would be fitting to share my experiences, the hurdles I faced, and how I managed to overcome them.

When I first decided to transition from a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics to pursuing a career in law, I had my fair share of doubts. However, my unwavering determination coupled with my keen interest in legal intricacies pushed me towards accepting this challenge. And here I am, having cleared the first hurdle, the SQE1, which I must admit, was no small feat.

The Preparation

SQE1 is largely about 'Functioning Legal Knowledge' - you have to be familiar with principles of law and procedure, essentially demonstrating your ability to function as a solicitor. While it may sound a bit daunting, the trick is in understanding how to apply the legal principles, rather than simply memorising them.

As for the study resources, I relied on a blend of textbooks, online prep courses, and an extensive collection of flashcards I made. The trick is to use a variety of sources to ensure a well-rounded understanding. Weekly study group sessions with my peers also helped to reinforce concepts and filled any gaps in my understanding.

The Exam

SQE1 is a two-part examination consisting of 180 multiple-choice questions each. While this might seem like a blessing in disguise (because hey, one of the options has to be correct, right?), it’s not that simple. The questions are designed to test your ability to apply legal principles to hypothetical scenarios. To do well, you must have a thorough understanding of the law and its practical application.

Challenges & Triumphs

The most challenging part for me was managing my time effectively. With a part-time job and the SQE1 studies, things often felt overwhelming. I tackled this by setting up a strict study schedule and sticking to it, allowing for breaks and leisure time to prevent burnout.

Despite the challenges, seeing my preparation pay off when I passed the SQE1 was exhilarating. It validated my career switch, and all the long hours spent poring over law books suddenly seemed worth it. The sense of accomplishment I felt is hard to put into words, but let’s just say it was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Key Takeaway

My key takeaway from this journey so far is that passing the SQE1 is more about understanding than rote memorisation. It’s about being able to apply your knowledge in a practical context, and that’s what the law is all about in real life.

The road to becoming a solicitor is challenging but rewarding. For those of you preparing for your SQE1, remember that it's normal to feel overwhelmed at times. My advice would be to stay focused, organise your study materials, practice time management, and most importantly, believe in yourself. Your journey may be tough, but remember that every lawyer you look up to has been right where you are now. Keep going, and you’ll get there!

That's it from me today. I hope my experiences can provide some insight and encouragement for your own SQE journey. If you have any questions or topics you'd like me to discuss in future posts, feel free to drop a comment. Happy studying!

Aisha Patel,
SQE Candidate and Peer Guide

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