The second component that makes up the SQE assessments will look to assess your practical legal skills, such as client interviewing and legal drafting. You’ll only be able to sit these exams once you’ve passed all components of SQE1. The Solicitors Regulation Authority has devised this part of the qualification as a single assessment made up of at least 15 ‘stations’, or tasks covering a range of legal skills and practice areas.
In total, you will sit 14 hours’ worth of exams, an increase from the ten that SQE1 candidates are expected to complete. They are spread out over a series of both practical tasks and written assessments. There won’t be any choice on the practice areas that you’ll be assessed on, so it’s important to cover all of the content that comes under the specification so you don’t get caught out on the day!
When will I do the SQE2 exam?
Generally, you will take the SQE2 nearer the end of your two years of legal work experience, having already completed the SQE1 earlier in your route towards qualifying - usually before you begin your placement.
As with the SQE1 exams, there will be a range of preparation courses available, with many law firms already partnering with providers in order to get their trainees ready for the assessment. The SRA have also announced that there won’t be any changes made to the introduction of the SQE despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, so it will still be phased in starting from the autumn of 2021, with a first exam period taking place in November.
Courses such as the ones provided by The University of Law will look to equip candidates with the necessary skills to do well in the practical tasks, all the while keeping up their technical knowledge from SQE1.