The SQE gives students an entirely new pathway into law. But what’s the best way to prepare yourself for the SQE? We caught up with Head of SQE 1 Daniel Cowan to answer your questions and tell you everything you need to know about the ULaw SQE Preparation Courses.
Who are the SQE prep courses aimed at?
The SQE1 and SQE2 Preparation Courses are aimed at students who wish to become solicitors in England and Wales. These exams are the successor to the route into the legal profession that formerly ran through the Legal Practice Course (LPC).
How will the SQE improve accessibility to the legal profession?
One interesting change relates to legal work experience. Under the SQE, a person wishing to qualify as a solicitor must acquire two years of Qualifying Work Experience. Unlike the traditional training contract, this can be undertaken with multiple providers and, in theory, at any point in the SQE process.
What will the courses consist of?
- The University’s SQE1 Preparation Course consists of forty-two units of functioning legal knowledge around dispute resolution, wills and the administration of estates, business law and practice, criminal practice, property practice, legal services and ethics, and professional conduct.
- ULaw’s SQE2 Preparation Course comprises of thirty units of professional skills content, including interviewing, advocacy, legal writing, legal drafting, legal research and case matter analysis.
- The University also offers LLM courses, including the LLM Legal Practice (SQE1&2). This combines the SQE1 Preparation Course and the SQE2 Preparation course with several additional modules in key practice areas that go beyond the SQE syllabus to bolster knowledge for practice in specific areas of the law.
How will the course be structured?
The University uses a prepare, engage, consolidate model for each unit on the course. Students acquire knowledge during the prepare stage; in the engage stage, they put it to use and test their understanding against a series of exercises. Finally, the consolidate stage reaffirms and embeds what has been learned.
What advantage will these courses give to students compared to those who haven’t taken them?
The courses supply structure and practice. There is a lot of material on the SQE syllabus. However, the Preparation Courses have been carefully designed to work through it in a logical, digestible manner. They impart essential knowledge and give exposure to lots of practise questions and exercises. ULaw has many years of experience creating and delivering useful courses to students seeking to enter the legal profession. The SQE courses are the latest in that long line.
Do you learn any extra essential skills needed for working at a law firm?
Many of the ULaw SQE Preparation Courses exercises are delivered in the format of the student working for a virtual law firm called ULaw LLP. The ‘clients’ present problems for students to solve. This is to make the learning experience more realistic and remind students that what is being learned is not just a string of abstract concepts but a set of tools and analytical skills that will help students untangle the problems of real, paying clients.
What do these courses highlight to future employers?
The principal aim of the SQE courses is, naturally, to prepare students for the SQE assessments. However, taking these courses also demonstrates a commitment to a career in the profession. The courses themselves impart knowledge of the law and start to develop analytical skills that are, of course, essential to legal work.
Are the prep courses available online and in-person?
ULaw offers online and on-campus versions of many of its courses, including its SQE courses, and there is also a choice of part-time and full-time study.
What advice would you give to students considering the SQE prep courses?
- Take some time to look through the range of the SQE Preparation Course combinations and study modes we offer. Find the one that works best for you and your situation.
- When you start your course, you should aim to immerse yourself from day one and make the most of all the learning opportunities and resources available. These resources include the University’s SQE study manuals, the course materials and exercises, and the very experienced tutors.
How long does an SQE Preparation Course take?
The University's full-time SQE1 Preparation Course has 11 weeks of content. There are 9 teaching weeks, plus 2 distinct weeks set aside for mock assessments and feedback. However, the course takes slightly longer than this to complete because the Course Planner will include an induction week and may include periods of holiday. Additional time is also left after the scheduled end date of the course to allow students who wish to undertake the University’s SQE1 Exam Preparation Course, a separate short SQE1 revision course just before the real assessment, to do so.
Similarly, the University’s full-time SQE2 Preparation Course has 5 weeks of content but the actual completion time is slightly longer. Time is again left at the end for a revision course should students wish to take the SQE2 Exam Preparation Course.
The University’s part-time SQE1 and SQE2 Preparation Courses have the same overall content but is spread over approximately double the number of weeks to allow for more flexible learning.
How do I study for SQE?
The new SQE syllabus is very broad, so our SQE courses provide a clear structure to guide students through the various parts. In addition to subject manuals written specifically for the SQE syllabus, students on the Preparation Courses have access to a wealth of carefully constructed tasks and mock assessments. Furthermore, on the SQE1 Preparation Course students can use the ULaw SQE Revision App. This is a mobile and web-based platform that allows deep and repeated practice of thousands of ‘Single Best Answer Questions’ of the type that will be encountered on the real SQE1 assessment.
How much does an SQE preparation cost?
Full information about the cost of the University’s full-time and part-time SQE Preparation Courses, studied either in campus or online, is available on our SQE Guide.