To qualify as a solicitor you will need
The SQE is split into two assessments :
SQE1 and SQE2 (Update Sept-2021)
Degree or equivalent
You must have a degree in any subject (or equivalent qualification or work experience).
You'll have to pass both SQE assessments - SQE1 focuses on functioning legal knowledge and SQE2 on practical legal skills and knowledge.
Qualifying Work Experience
You will need to complete at least two years’ full-time (or equivalent) Qualifying Work Experience (QWE). Know more about : SQE Qualifying Work Experience (QWE)
Character and Suitability
Your character and suitability will be treated as seriously as your knowledge and skills.
The “Day One Solicitor” Standard
The questions in SQE are designed to assess legal skills using fundamental rules and principles at the level required of a competent newly qualified Solicitor.
They are not designed to test specialist practice which is unlikely to be encountered at the level of a Day One Solicitor.
Candidates are required to apply relevant core legal principles and rules appropriately and effectively, at the level of a competent newly qualified solicitor in practice, to realistic client-based and ethical problems and situations.
Students preparing SQE
Student took SQE in 2022
SQE1 pass rate in 2023
SQE2 pass rate in 2022
SQE1 consists of two Functioning Legal Knowledge assessments - FLK 1 and FLK 2: each of 180 single best answer Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ).
- Assessment Day: split into two sessions of 2 hours 33 minutes with 90 questions in each session. There will be a 60 minute break between the sessions.
- FLK 1: Business Law and Practice; Dispute Resolution; Contract; Tort; Legal System of England and Wales; Constitutional and Administrative Law and EU Law and Legal Services .
- FLK 2: Property Practice; Wills and the Administration of Estates; Solicitors Accounts; Land Law; Trusts; Criminal Law and Practice.
Legal system of England
Constitutional, Administrative & EU Law
The SQE2 assessment is divided into two parts, although there is one pass mark for the assessment as a whole:
- Criminal Litigation
- Dispute Resolution
- Property Practice
- Wills and Intestacy
- Probate Administration
- Practice Business Law
- CMA case and matter analysis
- LR legal research
- LW legal writing
- LD legal drafting
- Interview and attendance note/legal analysis
- 2 Oral assessments per day, 4 in total over 2 half days
- 4 Written assessments per day, divided into 2 sessions of 2 each over 3 days
- Sessions: 2 sessions of 1 hour 30 minutes each, with 15 minutes break
- Total: 5 days
- Practical legal skills assessment
- Oral: Client interview & Advocacy
- Written: CMA, LR, LW, LD
- 5 Areas of Law: CL, DR, PP, WI, BL
Each grade representation
Candidates will be evaluated based on specific assessment criteria for each of the six types of legal skills stations in SQE2. Trained assessors will make judgments on your performance using a grading scale from A to F. Here's what each grade represents
Your performance exceeds the competency requirements of the assessment.
You clearly meet the competency requirements of the assessment.
Your performance just meets the competency requirements of the assessment, but only by a small margin.
Your performance just falls short of meeting the competency requirements of the assessment, but only by a small margin.
Your performance clearly does not meet the competency requirements of the assessment.
Your performance is well below the competency requirements of the assessment.
SQE2 in Numbers
5 Days - 4 Oral Assessments and 12 Written legal skills assessments
The Exam Day
Advocacy and Cl. InterviewDispute Resolution - Property Practice
Advocacy and Cl. InterviewCriminal Litigation - Wills and Probate
Written: CMA - LD - LR - LWCriminal Litigation - Dispute Resolution
Written: CMA - LD - LR - LWProperty Practice - Wills and Probate
Written: CMA - LD - LR - LWBusiness Law
Popular Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Course
You can only be admitted to the roll of solicitors once you have:
- passed all SQE assessments
- have a degree (in law or another subject) or equivalent qualification or experience (such as a solicitor apprenticeship)
- completed a minimum period of two years of Qualifying Work Experience (qualified lawyers are exempt)
- meet the SRA character and suitability requirements
You will need to apply to the roll of solicitors and undergo screening, as well as pay the SRA fees. Become Solicitor - SQE
Fees for assessments
SQE1 - £1,622 (£811 for FLK1 and £811 for FLK2)
SQE2 - £2,493
All fees are VAT exempt.
The SRA has agreed an increase in the candidate fee for the SQE assessment. Across the two exams this means SQE1 will go up from £1,622 to £1,798 (i.e. £899 for FLK1 and £899 for FLK2) and SQE2 from £2,493 to £2,766 (overall increase of 11%). The fee rise will take effect from September 2023. It will therefore apply to anyone booking to take the SQE2 in October 2023 (booking opens for the October SQE2 at 10am (UK time) on 21 June 2023) and subsequent assessments.
This increase is due to inflation. The SRA has a rigorous annual monitoring process in place to review candidate fees with Kaplan. This is to make sure the SQE continues to offer good value for money and any increase in fees is justified.
Candidates are required to apply relevant core legal principles and rules appropriately and effectively, at the level of a competent newly qualified solicitor in practice, to realistic client-based and ethical problems and situations. Your assessment for the SQE exams will evaluate your legal knowledge at the level expected of a Day One Solicitor.
Everyone has only three attempts at each assessment, to be passed within six years from the first sitting of an SQE assessment. Wasting an attempt by having a go before you are ready is not only expensive, but could risk being demoralising and slowing down your qualification journey.
Don’t just take our word for it
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