The two sets of exams that will be introduced when the SQE reform comes into effect will see a change in the cost of qualifying as a solicitor.
Under the current regulation, the Legal Practice Course (LPC) - the course taken by law graduates and those from other academic backgrounds who have completed a conversion course - can cost up to £17,000. For those who didn’t complete a Qualifying Law Degree, the Graduate Law Diploma would have to be taken before and can cost an addition £12,000,
This is a considerable financial burden to place on applicants who will be coming off accumulating three years’ worth of debt from studying their undergraduate degree, from living costs to the £9250 tuition fees.
SQE exam fees
However, the SRA has sought to make the admission process more accessible by introducing comparatively lower fees for the SQE exams. While SQE1 will cost £1558, the entrance fee for SQE2 will be £2442, totalling £3980 for the entirety of the assessed section of the qualifying process.
In addition, you’ll only need to initially pay the SQE1 fee, with the SQE2 payment expected only once you’ve passed these first exams. Nevertheless, you should bear in mind that this figure does not take into account the cost of any training courses you’ll take from any of the approved providers.
There are also opportunities to reduce this cost - for example, if you complete a solicitor apprenticeship, your training and assessments will be paid for by a fund. It would last six years, and just like other candidates you would sit all of the SQE assessments within this period.