Solicitors Qualifying Examination

What we are trying to do

Introduce a common assessment that all prospective solicitors will take before qualifying

Who needs to know

Aspiring solicitors, law firms, and legal education and training institutions

What's going on

Our Board have decided to introduce a common assessment for all would-be solicitors from autumn 2021.

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) will mean everyone will meet the same high standards in a consistent way.

How people will qualify as a solicitor after 2021

  • Pass stages 1 and 2 of the SQE - the first focuses on legal knowledge and the second on practical legal skills.
  • Have a degree (in any subject) or equivalent qualification.
  • Pass the character and suitability requirements.
  • Have a substantial period of work experience.

Assessment partner

We appointed an assessment partner, Kaplan, in summer 2018. Over the coming months we work with solicitors, law firms, educators and students to develop a world-class assessment.

SQE pilot

We are piloting key elements of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) Stage 1. We are looking for candidates to sit the pilot assessments who, as far as possible, are representative of those who will sit the SQE. This includes people who have completed Stage 1 of the Legal Practice Course.

Applications for the pilot have now closed but you can find out more about the pilot.

Get involved

Over the past 18 months, we have engaged extensively with more than 8,800 people, through 135 events and meetings, and digital activities - resulting in more than 500 responses across both consultations.


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