Maintain-up comes as group representing greater than 4,000 authorized lecturers urge refusal

The Authorized Providers Board (LSB) has given itself extra time to make its resolution on whether or not or to not approve the brand new solicitor super-exam, it has emerged.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) formally submitted its Solicitor Qualification Exam (SQE) proposals to the LSB on 31 July.

The LSB had an preliminary 28 days to approve the regulator’s blueprint for the brand new path to solicitor qualification however prolonged the choice interval to 90 days as permitted by the Authorized Providers Act 2007. A brand new deadline has now been set for 28 October.

“The SQE software represents a major change of coverage to the framework for admission as a solicitor in England and Wales that requires cautious consideration by the LSB,” the extension notice stated, persevering with:

“It is going to be vital for the LSB to make further enquiries with the SRA in order that the LSB could totally perceive the impression of the proposed change for each shoppers and the occupation.”

The LSB’s delay to formal approval is one other step within the super-exam’s bumpy journey in the direction of inception.

A gaggle of 5 authorized associations final month wrote a joint letter to the LSB urging it to not approve the SRA’s software. The Affiliation of Vital Authorized Students, the Affiliation of Legislation Lecturers, the Committee of Heads of College Legislation Colleges, the Society of Authorized Students and the Socio-Authorized Research Affiliation, which have a mixed membership of over 4,000 authorized lecturers, declare the SRA’s proposals “aren’t justified by any important proof that the earlier preparations had been endangering the pursuits of shoppers or the general public curiosity”, and are unlikely in follow to be considerably cheaper than the present regime.

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The group take difficulty with the proposed multiple-choice query (MCQ) format of SQE1. They write:

“A serious deficiency within the proposed preparations is that they’re wholly insufficient to make sure that candidates reveal the understanding and expertise wanted to advise shoppers in these many and sophisticated conditions the place the regulation is unsure. This can be due to gaps or inconsistencies in case regulation or as a result of statutes require interpretation. These are issues that require the deployment of appreciable authorized expertise in analysing case regulation and deciphering laws that go method past something that may be examined in a a number of selection query.”

Additional, the letter says the SRA’s work expertise requirement kinds a barrier to qualification that may “profit potential candidates from higher related family and friends networks”, and that non-law grads that move the SQE are “unlikely to search out employment as a solicitor until they will depend on private contacts”.

Regardless of these considerations, the SRA has not wavered in its dedication to the SQE. Commenting on the proposals earlier this summer time, Paul Philip, SRA chief govt, stated: “Intensive enter, professional and unbiased assessment and cautious testing means we’re assured that we have now developed a rigorous, truthful, world class evaluation for all aspiring solicitors, no matter background or route taken. The SQE will present larger assurance for the general public and employers that qualifying solicitors have met the constant, excessive requirements they’d anticipate.”

The 2-part nationwide evaluation is because of come into drive from 1 September 2021 — topic to approval from the LSB. Metropolis regulation companies are getting ready for the main overhaul to authorized schooling and coaching, with 40% saying they’ve thought concerning the SQE and that plans are rising.