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Completing an SQE prep course with The University of Law

updated on 18 March 2024

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This article has been produced in collaboration with The University of Law.

Chris Eaton completed The University of Law’s LLM Legal Practice (SQE1&2) ahead of sitting the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) and securing a training contract. We spoke to Chris about the prep course, taking the assessments themselves and Chris' advice for future SQE candidates.

What SQE preparation course did you study and how did you find it?

I completed the LLM Legal Practice (SQE1&2).

How’s the LLM Legal Practice (SQE1&2) structured and how well did it prepare you for the assessments?

The course was centred around the prep-learn-consolidate model allowing for multiple opportunities throughout the week to work through the material.

The course I sat was in person and meant I could ask questions of the lecturer when needed. The ability to work and study in groups was also very helpful.

The course definitely helped to prepare me for the exams but I believe the study and time put in outside of the course was also essential to performing well.

How did you choose which SQE preparation course to do?

I received a master's loan from Student Finance England, which definitely impacted my decision making.

How did you find SQE1?

It was tricky and quite a bit of a memory test. I felt it half relied on memory and half relied on being able to take an educated guess where memory failed.

How did you find SQE2?

I much preferred the SQE2 as the practical exams allow for a much greater expression of ‘soft skills’ such as interviewing and presenting an oral argument.

What would your advice be for students due to complete SQE1 or SQE2?

It seems daunting at the start but it’s very doable. Everyone is in the same position at the start of the course and going through the process with a group of people makes it a lot easier.

Is there anything you wish you’d known about either assessment that you now know that you’d like to pass down to future SQE students?

My advice would be to start revising as soon as possible. I left it a little late when I sat my exams and I’d have saved a lot of stress if I'd started earlier.

Is there anything you’d do differently if you had the chance to prepare/take the assessments again?

I'd tell myself to take it step by step and just focus on learning the material – it can be easy to get overwhelmed if all you think about is the exams themselves.

Did you complete any QWE to help you with the SQE2 assessment? 

I didn’t do any qualifying work experience (QWE) before the course, no.

Are there any myths you’d like to bust about the SQE in general? 

That firms don't take the SQE seriously – the firm I joined was impressed by the fact I’d passed the SQE exams and it definitely helped me to obtain a training contract. As well as this, there’s a common myth among trainees that you still need to sit the Legal Practice Course if you do the SQE, but this is not the case.