updated on 15 November 2022
I’m a non-law student qualifying via the SQE – do I still need to do a law conversion course?
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The short answer is no. However, it’s more complicated than that.
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Non-law students qualifying via the SQE route are no longer required to complete a law conversion course (like the GDL) to take the SQE – instead, they’re being encouraged to complete appropriate SQE preparation courses to give themselves the best possible chance of passing the SQE.
That said, many legal education providers are developing non-law-specific preparation courses that incorporate the Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL)/GDL, or aspects of it. This means that it’s likely you’ll still do a law conversion before you commence any SQE preparation – for example:
While these SQE preparation courses aren’t compulsory, they are recommended. As they’ll help to fill the knowledge gap and ensure that non-law graduates are well prepared to take the SQE exams.
Choosing the right SQE preparation course provider for you is crucial. There are many factors to consider, including cost, content, study options and location – you can use LawCareers.Net’s guide to SQE preparation courses as a starting point. Please note, the list of courses in the guide is not exhaustive and it’s important that you seek out non-law-specific courses to give yourself the best chance of success.
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SQE or GDL?
From September 2021, non-law students who haven’t accepted a place on the GDL or secured a training contract offer will qualify via the SQE route.
If a non-law student has already started the GDL, LPC (on or before 31 December 2021) or secured a training contract offer, they can continue to qualify via the old route (ie, law conversion, followed by the LPC and a training contract).
Read LCN’s ‘GDL and SQE: what’s going on with conversion courses?’ for advice if this applies to you.