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Reddit Roundup: February 2024

Our Reddit Roundup blogs seek to answer the most frequently asked questions posted on the social media platform. This includes changes to the legal landscape, our range of courses and studying with us.

By April Baniqued. Published 29 February 2024.

This month, two topics are getting a lot of attention: the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) and law conversion courses.

Below is a breakdown of the questions we’ll be going through:

  1. Are old SQE exam papers available online?
  2. What are the recommended resources for preparing for the SQE?
  3. What do the University SQE mock assessments involve?
  4. Is a law conversion course still necessary?
  5. Is it possible to take an online law conversion course overseas?

1. Are old SQE exam papers available online?

The short answer to this question is no. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced that past papers for the SQE1 assessment will not be made available online. On top of this, candidates who have taken the assessment are also told to not share its content.

Currently, the only material provided by the SRA is a bank of 130 sample questions. Although some questions were recently added, the set does not generally change over time.

With the materials given being limited, you may be wondering: What resources can I use?

Our students have access to several thousand questions that they can use to study and practice with. This was made using all the information publicly available about the SQE1 assessment.

Curious about other useful resources we offer? Look in the next section below.

2. What are the recommended resources for preparing for the SQE?

The SQE involves a lot of preparation and the materials you use to study with plays an important role in your success.

If you’re a law graduate, you may be tempted to just use your academic textbooks for preparation, especially since they cover the important black letter law (BLL) subjects. This may save you money, but you aren’t necessarily studying effectively. This is because these types of academic textbooks aren’t designed for the SQE as the focus, meaning you are missing out on important information and guidance.

Instead, we recommend purchasing the . As the name implies, the main goal of these resources is to help you pass the SQE, in particular SQE1.

How do the manuals help with SQE1?

The manuals give early insight into SQE1 which includes two big MCQ (Multiple-Choice Question) exams and is made up of eight subjects. Students usually find it difficult trying to work out the topics that will likely appear and making sure they are preparing for them properly.

Our manuals fully cover the new syllabus, making it a perfect guide. Each chapter explains what will be included from the syllabus, as well as the learning results.

The authors of these manuals are not only all lecturers at the University but are also professionally qualified lawyers with great expertise in their specialisms. By having heavy experience both in educating and practicing law, they have made sure that the manuals pinpoint the areas that are typically found difficult and are taught in an understandable style.

The chapters include useful materials like worked examples, flowcharts and of course a variety of sample assessment questions. A QR code is also available which gives access to additional assessment questions to help you understand your progress and see what areas need improvement.

Are the manuals helpful for SEQ2?

Even though the manual’s primary goal is to help students pass the SQE1, the materials are also helpful towards SQE2 and QWE (Qualifying Work Experience). SQE1 focuses on understanding the core legal principles, which is important for both paths. In fact, it makes up for 50% of the SQE2 marks.

The manual can also help to further understand the key skills needed for these environments. Skills like clear communication, simplifying complicated information and solving problems to reach client goals.

Where are the manuals located?

The manuals are available to the public through the , as well as well-known retail and online bookstores, including and . Hard-copy versions can even be shipped internationally.

In addition, the manuals are available for . Our students, current and past, can also take advantage of additional discounts, and our SQE course students receive e-copies for free as part of the course fee.

3. What do the University SQE mock assessments involve?

The SQE mock assessments are a step up from the practical tests provided in each study unit. They are longer, closely timed and cover more subjects at once, giving you a real feel of the overall style of the SQE1.

These mock assessments will give you helpful insights into your readiness; assessing both your knowledge and technique for the real assessment. With the advantage of no consequences of that environment of course.

Remember, no matter your results, you should always think about what worked and build on that, and think about what didn’t work and come up with a plan to improve it. The SRA/Kaplan’s SQE1 assessments are tough, and it’s important to build resilience for them. Mock assessments are part of this process.

It is normal to feel pressure when taking these assessments. We have numerous resources available to support you with the stress of preparation so don’t be afraid to reach out, and always make use of the available to you.

4. Is a law conversion course still necessary?

There seems to be confusion about whether law conversion courses are still available and if they are even relevant. To be clear, conversion courses do still exist. Whether it is necessary or not depends on the route you want to take...

Becoming a barrister

First things first - when is it compulsory to take a conversion course? If your objective is to become a barrister, you have two options:

  1. hold a qualifying undergraduate law degree
  2. take a law conversion course.

If you don’t hold a qualifying undergraduate degree, a conversion course is a great substitute to show you have the knowledge and skills for the position.

Becoming a solicitor

While if you want to become a solicitor, a conversion course is not mandatory. The SRA instead expects you to have a degree in any subject before applying for admission. However, it is still highly recommended to take a conversion course if the undergraduate degree is not law, as it brings great benefits.

What are these benefits? The SQE is an thorough test of legal knowledge, with 50% of the first stage covering black letter laws (BLLs). Most students who either hold a law degree or have completed a conversion course tend to pass the SQE faster, likely because these qualifications cover the foundations of BLLs.

Plus, law firms are known to value knowledge of BLLs when considering their trainee applicants, meaning you’ll have an advantage over the competition.

In addition, we ran a survey with Legal Cheek in May 2023 which found that 98% of law firms require non-law students to do a conversion course to become a solicitor. This survey consisted of 50 leading UK law firms.

Unsure what to become

Of course, there is a possibility that you may not know just yet what you want to be which is completely normal. If you do not have a qualifying undergraduate law degree, we advise completing a conversion course. This gives you the option to be a barrister or solicitor, and makes sure you are fully prepared when the time comes to decide.

It also assures that if you ever do find yourself wanting to switch routes e.g. solicitor to barrister, it’ll be a far easier and quicker transition.

Still deciding whether to take a conversion course? Learn more about the courses we offer. Or find out why some of our students decided to take a conversion course and their experience.

5. Is it possible to study a law conversion course online overseas?

If you live internationally, it is completely possibly to enrol in our online law conversion courses. Our courses attract students across the globe.

Although it is online, it still offers the same excellent quality of teaching and learning experience as an on-campus education - with the additional advantage of studying in a way that’s most fitting for your everyday life.

We understand that students, both nationally and internationally, have different responsibilities like childcare or paid employment. An online course gives you the ability to fit your education around your schedule. You can study at your own pace, at any location and at any preferred time of day, as long as you are meeting the weekly submission of tasks at their set deadlines.

During your online course, you’ll be provided with a structured environment and an easily accessible online learning platform called Blackboard ELITE. You will also benefit from scheduled live touch points that you can attend with a lecturer to support your learning.

In addition, you’re sure to have the same support our face-to-face students receive, from access to our employability and wellbeing teams, to your Academic Coach and Student Journey Advisor being around to guide you through your studies.

We have three online law conversion courses available: Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL), Master of Arts in Law (MA Law) and MA Law with SQE1, which we cover in more detail below.

Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL)

If you have an undergraduate degree in another subject and want to transition into law, then this course is for you.

Our PGDL online course is for non-law graduates looking to qualify as a solicitor via our SQE1 Preparation Course, or LLM Legal Practice (SQE1&2). Or as a barrister via our Bar Practice Course (BPC).

You will learn the academic law needed to convert, as well as the key skills important for entering the world of law.

Master of Arts in Law (MA Law)

Our online MA Law course is for non-law graduates who are looking to gain a legal qualification at the Masters level, adding a beneficial boost to your portfolio.

You will gain practical legal skills like analysis and critical evaluation, as well as broader transferable skills such as research and presentation skills. You can also study according to your schedule as we offer both full-time and part-time options.

Once you’ve completed this course, you can then progress onto one of our SQE courses (to become a solicitor) or our BPC (to become a barrister) courses.

Master of Arts in Law with SQE1

MA Law with SQE1 is a new online conversion course. It includes the content in the MA Law course covered above, with the added value of our SQE1 Preparation course. This means you will not only gain a legal qualification at Master’s level but you will also be prepared for the SQE1 assessments- a necessary step to qualifying as a solicitor.

In addition, there is no need to worry regarding Qualifying Work Experience (QWE), as we guarantee four weeks’ worth within our Legal Advice Clinics.

If you’re interested in this particular course, talk to our SQE team regarding further requirements.

 

 

Have more questions? Browse through our SQE and law conversion course pages.