A Comprehensive QWE Guide for SQE Students

This comprehensive guide is designed to answer all your questions about QWE, from understanding its significance in the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) to knowing what counts as qualifying work experience for SQE.

What is Qualifying Work Experience (QWE)?

Qualifying Work Experience (QWE)  involves a minimum of two years of full-time (or equivalent) work experience, providing legal services where you have the opportunity to develop the competences for solicitors.

What Counts as QWE?

QWE must involve providing legal services, as defined by the Legal Services Act 2007 (s. 12).
This means that any work that involves delivering legal services is likely to be considered QWE (refer to the list below).

QWE can be gained in England, Wales, or overseas, and it does not necessarily need to cover English and Welsh law.

It's important to note that QWE can be gained before, during, or after sitting the SQE assessments and can even include experience from previous roles.

This could be gained in a variety of settings, including:

  • Law firms
  • In-house legal teams
  • Legal clinics
  • Voluntary or charitable organisations
  • Law centres
  • Paralegal roles
  • Training contracts
What Doesn't Count as QWE?

Roles that do not involve delivering legal services, as defined by the Legal Services Act 2007, are unlikely to be considered QWE.

Simulated legal services, such as mock trials or moot court competitions, also do not count as QWE.

The experience must be real and practical.

The Legal Services Act 2007 (s. 12) defines legal activity and can help candidates decide whether their role involves delivering legal services.

How to Determine if Your Experience Counts as QWE?

To determine whether your current or previous job, role, or experience can count as QWE, consider the following questions:‍

  • Does or did your job, role, or experience involve providing legal services?
  • Does or did your job, role, or experience involve real-life legal services provision rather than simulated legal services provision?
  • Have you been exposed to at least two competences in the Statement of Solicitor Competence?
  • Has or will your job, role, or experience be carried out in no more than four organisations?
  • Has or will your job, role, or experience be at least two years' full time or equivalent?
  • Has or will your job, role, or experience be confirmed by a solicitor or Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP)?

If you answer 'yes' to all of these questions, your experience is likely to be considered QWE.

Remember, the definition of 'full time' or its equivalent is not prescribed and is left to the discretion of QWE providers/employers.To know more about SQE Exam.

How to register my QWE?

Candidates only need to register their two years' QWE by the time they apply for admission as a solicitor.

Recording and confirming qualifying work experience in mySRA

For more information - https://www.sra.org.uk/qwe-registration

Frequently Asked Questions

Find your answers here. if you don’t find it here, please contact us

Can a supervising solicitor confirm your QWE if you and/or they no longer work for the organisation?
Can I gain qualifying work experience through simulated legal services?
Can the Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) be completed at multiple workplaces?
Does my qualifying work experience need to be the same standard of work as a qualified solicitor?
Can I count my experience gained at a law clinic as qualifying work experience?

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