Julie Brannan, Solicitors Regulation Authority: It certainly is an important moment for the training of the profession, so it is sensible to start with a reminder of what it is all about. First, better assurance of high professional standards is at the heart of this. Protecting consumers of legal services by making sure everybody we admit as a solicitor is competent to practise is a core part of our regulatory duty. It is also the platform supporting the standing of the profession in this country and abroad. SQE [Solicitors Qualifying Examination] is about assuring high professional standards.
It is also the key that unlocks the possibility of greater flexibility in how people train. If we can be sure those who we admit have the right knowledge and skills to practise, we can open the market to much more flexibility of training. We would no longer need to prescribe particular routes to practice. We know there are people who want to qualify but get stuck. They might get stuck because they cannot afford the Legal Practice Course [LPC] or do not want to take the risk and pay for the LPC without a guarantee of a job at the end of it. We know there are people in the system who have the talent but cannot proceed. We want to do something about that. Continue reading “The training debate – The fear of freedom”
Its supporters are accused of advocating reforms not fit for purpose, posing a threat to the standing of the profession; its detractors are derided as ‘dinosaurs’, apologists for inequality and ‘buggers’ who moan about everything.
Four years since the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) announced plans to shake up legal education in England and Wales with the introduction of a new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), the debate is as passionate as on day one. And as deeply entrenched. Continue reading “Regime change – The scorched-earth approach to legal education reform”
Thomas Alan reports on a lively LB debate on training the solicitors of tomorrow
With the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) primed for a 2021 launch; a new generation of lawyers entering the industry; and the partnership model under increasing strain, the legal education sector is set for its largest upheaval in a generation. Continue reading “‘Getting access to the talent’ – The profession struggles to react as sweeping training reform looms”
Legal education provider BARBRI International has accelerated its plans to move into the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) prep market by acquiring UK-based training and assessment provider Kaplan Altior.
The acquisition was completed 30 November, and the new business BARBRI Altior will offer training courses including the Professional Skills Course (PSC) for trainee solicitors and preparation for the controversial SQE, which is set to be launched in 2021. The buyout will see all Kaplan Altior employees join the new company, which will operate from the same centres throughout the UK. Continue reading “BARBRI acquires SQE provider Kaplan Altior in preparation for education market overhaul”
BPP has been chosen by a consortium of six leading firms to provide Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) preparation, as the City gears up for an incoming education overhaul.
The consortium is comprised of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), Hogan Lovells, Linklaters, Norton Rose Fulbright and Slaughter and May. BPP will now design an education and skills programme to train future trainees at the firms. Continue reading “Six City firms appoint BPP to deliver ‘super-exam’ prep courses amid education shake-up”
Australia’s leading legal training outfit is to team up with a major US player to enter the UK market ahead of a radical but controversial shake-up of the framework for training solicitors in England and Wales. The College of Legal Practice has today (27 November) launched as a new entrant to the vocational training sector to build courses geared to the incoming Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), the biggest overhaul in the UK’s legal educational regime for a generation.
The College – a wholly-owned subsidiary of The College of Law Australia and New Zealand – will partner with US education provider BARBRI on the initiative, an attempt to challenge the effective duopoly of solicitor training in England and Wales. The move is touted as harnessing a more dynamic approach to training under the new regime, which abolishes the requirement for two-stage vocational training to usher in more flexible routes to qualification. Continue reading “Foreign giants combine to enter UK training market as radical education shake-up looms”
In a busy week for the legal watchdog, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced it is postponing the implementation of its new centralised assessment, dubbed the ‘super-exam’, until September 2021.
The new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) was originally slated for a 2020 launch, but the SRA has postponed plans after law firms and education providers indicated a ‘strong preference’ for a delay. Continue reading “SRA defers super exam until 2021 as costs of new assessment revealed”
While education services company Kaplan has emerged as the winner of the race to develop the Solicitor Regulation Authority’s (SRA) controversial new ‘super-exam’, rival providers BPP University and University of Law (ULaw) claim to have pulled themselves out of the running at an early stage.
Kaplan prevailed in a year-long contest between a number of organisations to develop the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). They were appointed for a period of eight years beginning from the introduction of the SQE, which could be as early as September 2020. Continue reading “Kaplan wins bid to create controversial SRA ‘super exam’ after rivals pull out early”
In about as big a talent move as possible between the UK’s two dominant legal training providers, BPP’s former chief executive Peter Crisp has joined the University of Law (ULaw) as pro vice chancellor.
Crisp, who spent 20 years at BPP University Law School first as a tutor and later chief executive, will assume his new role on 2 January and join ULaw’s executive management team led by vice chancellor and chief executive Andrea Nollent. He joins two existing pro vice chancellors and will focus on business development and client relationships. Continue reading “ULaw continues fightback to bring in high-profile former chief of arch rival BPP”
Gowling WLG and Fieldfisher are to begin training solicitor apprentices with the University of Law (ULaw) as part of a training course designed to create new pathways to becoming a qualified lawyer.
The new course from ULaw, which officially launched on 25 September, will see 28 apprentices this autumn begin the six-year process in a programme aimed at encouraging a wider pool of candidates to enter the profession.
Continue reading “Gowling WLG and Fieldfisher to train solicitor apprentices as ULaw forges new paths to profession”