One-fifth of law firms to require LPC graduates to pass parts of SQE

updated on 25 May 2022

Reading time: two minutes

Nearly 20% of graduate recruitment, and learning and development teams at law firms in the UK, revealed that Legal Practice Course (LPC) graduates will be required to pass parts or all of the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). Plus, most firms still want their future non-law trainees to complete some form of law conversion.

A survey of 33 law firms conducted by Legal Cheek highlighted that 18% of said firms will ask candidates to complete SQE1 and SQE2 or just SQE2 when joining them as trainees. The fees for taking the exams and embarking on the preparation courses will be covered by the firms.

Candidates who have passed the LPC can qualify as solicitors by passing the SQE2 and completing two years’ qualifying work experience (QWE), according to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), with QWE deemed equivalent to the traditional training contract. Legal Cheek suggested that some of the surveyed firms might choose this route for future trainee cohorts.

Use LawCareers.Net’s training contract search tool to find a list of approaching deadlines!

The Legal Cheek research also found that 36% of the firms surveyed will fully transition to the new route from 2023 and 42% said they would fully transition to the SQE from 2024.

Meanwhile, 85% of firms said that their future non-law trainees will be required to complete either the Graduate Diploma in Law or Postgraduate Diploma in Law. The SRA no longer requires non-law graduates to complete a law conversion however, candidates are being encouraged to do so to give themselves the best chance of passing the SQE – this research indicates that firms are still likely to request that non-law graduates complete law conversion courses.