SQE Exam or Alternative Routes: Making the Right Choice

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SQE Exam or Alternative Routes: Making the Right Choice

As the legal profession continues to evolve, aspiring solicitors are faced with a new challenge: the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). This new exam replaces the traditional Legal Practice Course (LPC) and aims to provide a standardized assessment of knowledge and skills for entry into the solicitors’ profession.

However, the introduction of the SQE has also opened up alternative routes to qualification, leaving many potential candidates wondering which path is right for them. In this article, we will explore the SQE exam and its alternatives, helping you make an informed decision about your future in law.

Understanding the SQE Exam

The SQE exam is divided into two stages: SQE1 and SQE2. SQE1 focuses on assessing candidates’ knowledge and understanding of substantive law, while SQE2 tests their practical skills. The exam covers a wide range of legal topics, including criminal law, contract law, and property law, among others. It aims to provide a fair and standardized assessment of candidates’ abilities, regardless of their background or training.

Preparing for the SQE exam can be a daunting task. However, with the right resources and support, it is certainly achievable. There are several course providers that offer comprehensive preparation programs for the SQE exam. You can find a detailed review of the best course providers here.

One of the benefits of the SQE exam is that it allows candidates to study at their own pace and in their own time. This flexibility is especially beneficial for those who are already working or have other commitments. Additionally, the SQE exam is designed to be more affordable than the traditional LPC, making it a more accessible option for many aspiring solicitors.

Alternative Routes to Qualification

While the SQE exam is the most direct route to qualification as a solicitor, there are alternative paths available. One such alternative is the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS), which allows qualified lawyers from other jurisdictions to qualify as solicitors in England and Wales.

Another alternative is the Legal Apprenticeship route, which combines work experience with part-time study. This route offers aspiring solicitors the opportunity to gain practical experience while studying for their qualification. It is a popular choice for those who prefer hands-on learning and want to avoid the costs associated with full-time study.

Making the Right Choice

Deciding between the SQE exam and alternative routes requires careful consideration of your personal circumstances and career goals. It is important to assess your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your level of commitment and dedication to the study of law.

If you are already working in the legal field or have prior legal experience, the SQE exam may be the most suitable option for you. It allows you to build on your existing knowledge and skills while obtaining the necessary qualification to progress in your career.

On the other hand, if you are new to the legal profession or prefer a more hands-on approach to learning, the alternative routes may be worth considering. The QLTS and Legal Apprenticeship routes offer unique opportunities to gain practical experience and develop your skills alongside your studies.

Ultimately, the choice between the SQE exam and alternative routes depends on your individual circumstances and career aspirations. It is recommended to seek advice from professionals in the field or consult with a career counselor to help you make an informed decision.


The decision to pursue a career as a solicitor is an important one, and choosing the right path to qualification is crucial. Whether you opt for the SQE exam or explore alternative routes, it is essential to consider your personal circumstances, career goals, and preferred learning style. Remember to take advantage of the available resources and support, such as the comprehensive review of course providers here, to ensure you are well-prepared for your chosen path. Good luck!

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