LPC or SQE: Which Route Should You Take?
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Brief Background: LPC or SQE
You may be aware that there is a new pathway to becoming a solicitor which will eventually replace the current format. We are talking about the introduction of the SQE replacing the LPC. Given, that the SQE will now be the new pathway into becoming a solicitor, you may wonder whether to be studying the LPC or SQE.
SQE1 v LPC
The SQE is divided into two different set of qualifications. This is the SQE1 and the SQE 2. The SQE1 will assess you on a variety of modules similar to those assessed on the LPC, such as Business law and Property law.
On the SQE1 all your assessment questions will be multiple choice whereby you will be given a scenario and decide which one out of multiple options the correct answer will be. You may already think that the SQE sounds much easier than the LPC. However, this may differ if I were to tell you that these multiple-choice questions cover a multiple modules in one set of your SQE1 assessments.
Unlike the LPC, where each topic area has its own set of assessments (so Property Law and Practice will have its own assessment with all questions relating to Property Law and Practice), the SQE1 assessments will have two sets of assessments combining all the topics in a particular area.
These assessments are known as functioning legal knowledge (FLK) assessments which comprises of FLK1 and FLK2. So, if you were to take the FLK 1 assessment you may have one assessment question about Business law but then another question relating to Contract or Tort. Therefore, the SQE1 will mean that you have to revise many modules for just for one exam.
Though the content for the SQE1 is slightly reduced compared to the LPC, there will still be the challenge of studying multiple modules for one subject area! However, do not fear the SQE! The SQE1 is very doable. With the right preparation and revision, you feel confident by the time you take your first SQE exam.
A further distinction that must be made is that unlike the LPC, the SQE1 will assess you on skill type, which is the skill of answering multiple choice questions.
The LPC, would be a mix of multiple-choice questions (which normally accounts for 40% of a module) and written questions (which normally accounts for 60% of a module). Therefore, the LPC gives more emphasis on practising written style assessment questions whereby you have to think about developing your analysis.
Meanwhile, the SQE exam can give you an accurate representation of what you know and don’t know as there can only be one right way of answering a multiple choice question.
SQE2 v LPC
The SQE2 is the second stage of the SQE and brings you to the end in your journey of qualifying as a solicitor. It must be noted that if you have already started your studies on the LPC, you will not be required to take the SQE2 to become a solicitor, but this will offer an additional route in actually qualifying as a solicitor.
The LPC covers a vast variety of different topics which include core modules which you have to cover (these include Business law, Property Law and Practice and Criminal and Civil Litigation).
Further to this you will also have to cover a set of assessments called ‘skills’ assessments which include drafting, legal research and writing, interviewing and advising, advocacy and professional conduct and regulation.
The SQE2 is not too different from the LPC’s skills assessment area as it covers client interview and attendance note/legal analysis; advocacy; case and matter analysis; legal research; legal writing and legal drafting.
Furthermore, some form of assessment concentrating on negotiation will also be considered on the SQE2. It must be noted that the SQE2 is a step up from SQE1 as you will have to undertake oral exams and you will have to revisit on of the topics (such as Property Law and Practice) you covered on the LPC or the SQE1 as one of your skills assessments (such as interviewing and advising) may entail you to do look over certain concepts in preparation for your assessment.
The combination of the SQE 1 and SQE 2 is considerably harder than the LPC. Although the SQE is in its first half all assessed through multiple choice questions, the amount of content which you will need to look can be quite daunting at first.
Furthermore, the SQE will you the incentive to retain the information you learn as the SQE assessments are a closed book exam. The LPC gives you more liberty with how you approach your exams as you can strategise and make use of notes without necessarily knowing everything off by heart.
Nevertheless, whether you decide to take either the LPC or SQE assessments, you will still need to cover a large amount of material which will require a lot of time and patience.
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