The solicitors qualification examination: something for all? some challenges facing law schools in England and Wales

Waters, B. (2018) The solicitors qualification examination: something for all? some challenges facing law schools in England and Wales. The Law Teacher, The International Journal of Legal Education. ISSN 0306-9400.

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The forthcoming changes to the solicitors’ training regulations in England and Wales, which include the proposed introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), whilst generally considered to be unwelcome based on consultation responses and feedback from various stakeholders, present a perfect opportunity for law schools to reconsider the way in which the law degree curriculum is structured and delivered.

In the competitive, marketised world of higher education, there are institutions who will undoubtedly see the changes as an opportunity to increase student numbers by making their law degree attractive to those students wanting to be ‘SQE ready’, possibly for both stages of the proposed examination. Others may wonder what all the fuss is about and continue to deliver the curriculum without regard to the proposed changes and rely on other providers to prepare aspiring solicitors for the new style centrally assessed examinations. In terms of regulation, the changes have been described as ‘light touch’ and the academy is being left to consider which direction it intends to take regarding curriculum development.

This article briefly considers the current approaches to legal education (focusing mainly on the law degree) in England and Wales, what the new qualification changes mean and the possible response to those changes in the development and delivery of an enlightened contextual curriculum which could provide broad appeal. The challenges and viability of such a progressive approach are recognised and considered.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing
Depositing User: Mr Ben Waters
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2018 12:57
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 16:16

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00