This article is written by Amulya Bhatia.

It has been published by Rachit Garg.


Let me give you two scenarios and you decide which one sounds more realistic.

A mother tells her child to wash the dishes by 9 pm and the child listens to his mother.

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Or, a mother tells her child to wash the dishes and tells him that if he does so by 9 pm, she will cook his favourite meal for dinner. The child clearly has an incentive to complete the task given and therefore, does so.

More often than not, we may find ourselves in the same spot as the child. It is no surprise that the child is more likely to wash the dishes when an incentive follows. Similarly, it is human instinct to want to reap benefits from all of our actions; whether it is the simple task of cleaning our room, going to college every day, or life-changing decisions such as giving the Solicitor Qualifying Examination. An incentive, benefit, or any kind of positive result becomes a driving force and I’m here to tell you what is going to be your driving force to sit for the SQE.

What is the SQE and why was it introduced?

The new and standardised route to becoming a qualified solicitor, the Solicitor Qualifying Examination, was introduced due to growing concern of the Solicitor Regulatory Authority about how aspiring solicitors are being prepared for solicitor’s practice. The SQE replaced the existing route to become a solicitor by introducing an all-new method wherein the applicants are examined on the same parameters. 

Since the SQE was only introduced in September 2021, it is natural for the applicants to be worried about the challenges that come their way while preparing for the examination. However, before understanding and tackling the difficulties associated with SQE, let me tell you why this examination is so important and how it will help you in the present as well as the future. 

How is SQE a better mode of examination than the previous route?

The route to becoming a qualified solicitor was changed to SQE and the changes brought in themselves are incentive enough for many solicitor aspirants. These are mentioned as follows:

  1. Nothing in this world is free and such is the case with entrance examinations as well. One of the major barriers for people to become a solicitor in England and Wales was the cost of qualifying along with the risk of investing and not being successful. The SQE is slightly more affordable than the earlier route to becoming a qualified solicitor.
  2. Qualifying work experience is a requirement to become a qualified solicitor and the SQE has made it much more flexible, now that the two years of QWE can be spread among a maximum of four organisations.
  3. The SQE is also a more standardised form of examination, while in the earlier model of examination, different universities were to examine the applicants. Even though the exams were similar, they were not managed by a single governing body. As a result, the SQE seems rather fair.

Why should you give the SQE?

We know that the SQE is a new and standardised way to become a qualified solicitor. Additionally, we also know why SQE is more beneficial than the previous method of becoming a solicitor. Let’s dive right into the impact the SQE has on your life as a student, and a legal professional and how it may amplify your legal career. The following are some benefits of giving the SQE:

  1. We know that London is said to be the hub of many business negotiations and a prominent forum for dispute resolution. It offers a friendly platform for all industries. Additionally, English Law is recognised as a dominant law of business, and giving the SQE gives you the opportunity to pursue the same
  2. Recent trends of globalisation are demonstrations of why lawyers should no longer be confined to their own jurisdiction and expand their horizons in terms of knowledge internationally, beyond their jurisdiction. In order to meet the international demand, lawyers must have the working knowledge and experience not just in their own jurisdiction, but also in other jurisdictions. The SQE can help lawyers increase their knowledge about international law.
  3. With levels of competitiveness skyrocketing in the 21st century, clients today demand results, and their expectations are much higher in terms of effective and cost-efficient results. They expect their lawyers to make things happen while protecting their interests. Having a dual qualification allows lawyers to offer much more comprehensive advice to their clients. 
  4. The title of an English solicitor is one that is recognised globally and is considered a mark of excellence. Additionally, the training and education process in England and Wales is also respected and that enhances their profile, reputation, and marketability in the legal world.
  5. Law is one such profession that is required in every aspect of life. As a result, the international expansion of law firms has seen a rapid rise in the last five years. Due to such expansion, law firms are often looking for employees who shall be able to handle international matters and are well-equipped or on their feet with international law. SQE thus helps in increasing one’s employability in not just England and Wales, but also in their home country due to the skills acquired through SQE.

Skills developed through SQE and how those skills amplify your career

When a child gets to eat his favourite meal in return for doing the dishes, he is at a two-fold advantage. Firstly, the child is given an incentive or a benefit. Secondly, the child is also learning skills such as responsibility and independence through the task of washing the dishes. Similarly, while one can reap extraordinary benefits and amplify their legal career through SQE, there are multiple skills that you shall learn through the course of preparing for this examination and these skills are sure to help you in the long run. 

The SQE as a new form of examination is designed in such a way so as to work on your academic as well as practical knowledge of the subjects. While reading can help you pass the first exam in SQE, your ability to apply that knowledge in real-world situations will help you get through the second exam. In the process of preparing for SQE, you learn intricate details about most of the important subjects in the legal world. Additionally, you also develop skills such as negotiations, legal writing, legal drafting, client interviewing, oral communication, and much more. The SQE focuses on your all-around development to become a qualified solicitor and teaches you skills that don’t just help in passing the exam, but also expand your legal career. Moreover, the examination also judges you on ethics and professional conduct which is beneficial, no matter what you end up pursuing. 

I’m sure all these benefits have gotten you amped up to sit for the SQE. But there is still a long way to go so tighten up you seatbelts and begin with the preparation.

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