BARBRI’s SQE2 candidates beat industry pass rate by 5%

updated on 26 September 2022

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Legal education provider BARBRI has revealed a first-time pass rate of 83% for its candidates who sat the second Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) assessment – SQE2 – compared to the industry average of 77%.

More than 700 students enrolled onto the first ever SQE2 assessment, which took place in April 2022, with more than 200 of these students having reportedly undertaken an SQE preparation course with BARBRI.

Similarly, BARBRI also reported a 77% pass rate for its candidates who took the SQE1 prior to the SQE2, compared to the industry average of 53% that was announced earlier this year.  BARBRI launched its first SQE2 Prep course in January 2022 to prepare hopeful sitters for SQE2 with technology at the core of the programme. Although the courses are taught largely in-person, all resources are available to students online.

Lucie Allen, managing director for BARBRI, stated: “For those pursuing the SQE route, this is a momentous step towards qualification and as a team, we’re proud to play our part. Thanks to our tried and tested preparation methods, we’re currently tracking at an average 83% pass rate for BARBRI candidates, which we believe is something to be celebrated.

“With the SQE2 assessment focusing on practical transitions and legal skills to build on the foundations of SQE1, candidates will soon be practice ready as they take key strides forward in their legal career. We wish all our candidates the best of luck in the future, and we will be here to support them with their continued professional development when they need us.”

As seen in reports of the pass rate for SQE1, concerns have again been raised around the attainment gap for SQE2 when looking at candidate ethnicity. According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the percentage from each group that passed the SQE2 is as follows:

  • White candidates – 85%
  • Asian/Asian British – 72%
  • Black/Black British – 53%

Speaking about the discrepancy outlined here, Allen said: “We can see that there is still work to be done to help close the attainment gap for individuals across all backgrounds and ethnicities. But our learning team is working closely with our candidates to help them achieve SQE success through our Personal Study Plan and tailored support.”

BARBRI continues to offer a range of funding opportunities, scholarships, and wider support for SQE candidates from diverse backgrounds as part of its BARBRI Bridges initiative, having pledged more than £125,000 across the industry so far.

Want to know more about what law firms and the legal profession are doing to improve diversity and inclusion? Head to LawCareers.Net’s Diversity hub, sponsored by Gowling WLG (UK) LLP.