The second half of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination will take a different format to the first, consisting of a series of assessments of your practical skills related to the legal profession. You will need to have completed SQE1 before registering to take these exams.
It’s likely that you’ll be taking this part of the examination well into your two years’ of professional experience in the legal sector, another requirement for completing the SQE pathway known as the Qualifying Work Experience. However, you can still take the exams before, during or after your placement.
Exam format and content
The SQE2 set of exams looks to assess legal skills such as client interviewing, advocacy, case analysis, as well as legal research, writing and drafting. They will draw on much of the technical knowledge that you will have covered in the SQE exams, which instead cover ‘black letter law’. These would include criminal litigation, dispute resolution, land law and contract law.
You can expect to take a series of oral exams, which look to assess you in interview, attendance note-taking and advocacy scenarios. These would take place over two half-days, while you will also take a total of 12 written exams which cover these same topics.
Exam costs and preparation
Like the SQE1 series of assessments, it acts as a standalone exam and is not part of any course. The entrance fee will amount to £2,422, a significant decrease compared to the cost of past courses which were requirements for qualifying as a solicitor. In order to prepare for it, there are a range of third-party courses that will equip you with the right preparation for the exams, such as the one offered by the The University of Law.