The Route to Qualification

Requirement to train as a solicitor

The route to qualification as a solicitor is changing. The current route of the Legal Practice Course (LPC), following an undergraduate law degree or law conversion course, is being replaced with the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).  All trainees starting their training contract with us from September 2023 onwards will undertake this new SQE path to qualification. You can find more information on the SQE route to qualification on the SRA website.

We have been working with BPP Law School and 5 other global law firms (the City Consortium) to design our new SQE preparation programme, the City Consortium Solicitor Training Programme (‘CCP’). The CCP is an 11 month course and will cover preparation for the SQE1 and SQE2 assessments and also includes a bespoke Plus Programme which will focus on key areas for our practice, as well as the additional knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that you are well prepared to undertake your training contract with us. The CCP will run in March and September each year, in-person, at BPP (London), with trainees joining the firm the following March and September respectively. You can read more about the CCP here.  

If you have not completed a law degree in England and Wales, we may require you to complete all, or some, modules of the the Law Foundations Course (PGDL) before commencing the CCP. This is likely to be necessary if you have not completed modules in these seven key areas of law: Contract, Tort, Criminal Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Property Law, Equity and Trusts, and the Law of the European Union. You may study the PGDL course at any BPP branch; Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, London (Waterloo) or Manchester.

We pay the course fees for the Law Foundations Course (PGDL) and the CCP and provide a maintenance grant of £12,000 for the Law Foundations Course and £17,000 for the CCP. There is also an interest-free financial hardship loan of up to £3,000 available to our future trainees.  

OUR ROUTE TO QUALIFICATION

 

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Law Foundations Course (PGDL - non-law students only)
  • CCP - SQE1 Preparation Programme (15 weeks)
  • SQE 1 Assessment
  • City Consortium Plus Programme (15 weeks)
  • CCP - SQE 2 Preparation Programme (6 weeks)
  • SQE 2 Assessment
  • Qualifying work experience i.e. the training contract (2 years)*
  • Qualified

*Our training contract is intended to provide you with the two years’ qualifying work experience required before you are eligible to apply to qualify as a solicitor. We will normally require anyone qualifying to a position as a solicitor with this firm to have completed our full two year contract.

The firm is considering what the training contract of the future will look like in the new Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) world. The changes the SRA is implementing present us with a unique opportunity to sculpt a new and exciting two year programme that allows for an innovative refresh of training for our future lawyers, alongside a renewed focus on what our current and future clients need from our legal services.

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