The route to solicitor qualification is changing from September 2021 with the introduction of the Solicitor Qualification Examination (SQE) which will eventually replace the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) model. This new route aims to standardise and simplify the process to qualify as a solicitor in England & Wales through a centralised assessment taken by all prospective solicitors.
The SQE offers law graduates greater flexibility into professional legal education with the introduction of a functioning legal knowledge-based assessment, SQE1 and skills-based assessment, SQE2. The new concept of Qualifying Work Experience will also prove an attractive prospect, as QWE can be obtained with up to four organisations, provided such work is authorised by a Solicitor of England & Wales in the organisation, or the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice, and involves experience of providing legal services work.
At the University of Buckingham, we have adapted our two-year LLB programmes to embrace the new SQE qualification pathway, connecting the academic law and the practice reality of the legal profession. Our law students are introduced to a variety of skills competencies, including negotiation and mooting in their first year of study. Supported by the Student Law Society, they gain additional opportunities to enhance their advocacy skills through mooting competitions, leading to the possibility of acting as an ambassador in national competitions.
Buckingham is proud of its rich history at these events with strong performances in the 2017 Oxford University Press (OUP) Mooting Competition where undergraduates Yashwanth Krishnan and Joshua Cullen progressed to the Final Round, having beaten various Russell Group Universities along the way. In keeping with this tradition, Buckingham LLB undergraduates Afeefa Salehmohamed and Mahima Katun progressed to the semi-finals in the virtual OUP national mooting competition in 2021.
University of Buckingham law students also have the option to participate in extra curricular projects such as the Law Clinic and our Clinical Legal workshops. These activities assist students with developing these all-important skills in a practical setting with real clients and develop networking connections to enhance their post-graduation opportunities.
“ Buckingham provided me with many opportunities for work experience with senior practitioners and judges. I was also given the opportunity to provide consumer advice in the Law Clinic. This practical, hands-on experience is not available in most universities and gave me an edge over other candidates in job interviews.”
– Aaron Tate, LLB and LLM University of Buckingham graduate
Embracing the changing legal qualification pathways, Buckingham has joined forces with BARBRI, the world’s largest legal exam preparation organisation, to offer our undergraduates and alumni the opportunity to complete the academic and vocational training needed to qualify as a solicitor in England & Wales. Buckingham students will benefit from an exclusive discount, as well as a one-to-one consultancy service with both BARBRI and the University’s Clinical Legal Education Team, supporting the next generation of legal professionals to take their next steps into the world of professional practice.
If you would like more information about studying LLB Law at the University of Buckingham, you can visit our website: www.buckingham.ac.uk/study-law/ or contact us by telephone: +44 (0) 1280 820227.
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