Specialist careers portal helps aspiring lawyers gain qualifying work experience

updated on 27 March 2023

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A new specialist careers portal, LawQWE, has launched today. The site aims to bring together a “wider pool” of employers with individuals looking for qualifying work experience (QWE) following the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).

The launch follows research conducted by the site’s overhead Hook Tangaza, which revealed that more than 90% of aspiring solicitors didn’t know how they were going to obtain the QWE required to qualify.

The site itself lists roles with various employers across the legal industry, from leading national firms and alternative business structures to charities and in-house legal departments.

According to a statement made by the platform, it aims “to unleash the full potential of the new SQE by helping to unlock a wider range of opportunities across the country for candidates who struggle to access traditional training contract-type arrangements”.

QWE is one of the four stages that aspiring lawyers must complete before they can qualify as a solicitor. The others are passing SQE1and SQE2, and the character and suitability requirements set out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Traditionally, what is now being referred to as ‘QWE’ was gained through a two-year training contract, but the SQE means that both employers and aspiring solicitors now have more flexibility.  

Still confused? Read this Oracle on ‘what counts as QWE?’ or this one on the difference between training contracts and QWE for more information.

Law firms Macfarlanes LLP,TLT LLP and Sintons LLP can be found on the site advertising paralegal roles and training contracts respectively. While Citizens Advice in Bath and North-East Somerset is advertising for a volunteer advisor role for those looking to increase their pro bono workload. 

LawQWE has been set up by legal consultancy Hook Tangaza, the company that runs the Central Applications Board, which provides a portal for more than 13,000 students a year to research postgraduate university courses for aspiring lawyers.   

Commenting on the new site, LawQWE and Hook Tangaza co-founder Alison Hook said: “The SQE has opened up a lot of opportunities for both aspiring solicitors and employers, but it is early days and there is still a lot of uncertainty about how things will evolve. Our ambition is to demystify the new training regime and create a marketplace which supports a profession of more diverse individuals in a wider range of careers.”