The SQE2 is the final stage of the assessment stage of the new route towards qualifying as a solicitor as set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and will come into effect starting from autumn of 2021. You’ll be able to register to take the exam only once you’ve passed all of the components of SQE1.
The SRA has planned for there to be two sessions per academic year in which you can sit the SQE2 exam series. In the 2021-22 year, you’ll be able to take the assessment series either in April 2022 or the following October, and you’ll need to sign up at least two months in advance.
As has been set out by the SRA in recent months, the SQE2 exams will total 14 hours’ worth of assessment. Like SQE1, the only compulsory aspect of SQE2 is the final exam, so in order to prepare you should look into taking one of the training courses offered by various institutions such as The University of Law, unless your preparation is already organised by your employer.
Assessing practical legal skills
Taking a look at the specification for the exams, the SQE2 will assess your practical legal skills, while still drawing upon the Functioning Legal Knowledge that you’ll have studied for SQE1. The following are the practice areas which in which the skills will be focused on:
- Criminal Litigation,
- Dispute Resolution,
- Property Practice,
- Wills and Intestacy, Probate Administration and Practice,
- Business organisations, rules and procedures.
The assessments themselves will be split into half-days. The oral side of the examinations will take place over two half days, where you’ll take a total of four spoken exams. These will be split evenly between the following legal skills:
- Interview and attendance note/legal analysis,
The written component of SQE2 will then take place over three half-days, covering the following practical skills over 12 assessments:
- Case and matter analysis,
- Legal research,
- Legal writing,
- Legal drafting.