Published on December 5, 2019 by lauraduckett

Six City firms have appointed BPP Law School as the sole legal training provider for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) era.

Named the ‘City Consortium’ group, the firms include magic circle and other leading organisations Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters, Norton Rose Fulbright and Slaughter and May.

Andrew Chadwick, Dean of BPP Law School remarked, “We are thrilled that, following a rigorous and far-reaching tender process, BPP has been selected as the City Consortium’s sole provider for their future graduate programmes.

Our appointment is recognition of our efforts to provide rigorous and commercially sound education and training for graduates.

It is a huge endorsement for the quality of BPP’s vision and planning for the future, the quality of our people and the sound investments we have made to support the learning of 21st century lawyers.”

In light of these developments, BPP will work with the Consortium to deliver a foundation course for their non-law graduates (a tailored version of our PGDL), SQE courses as well as a bespoke programme that extends far beyond the basic requirements of the SQE.

These plans reflect BPP’s integrated approach to the development of knowledge, skills and behaviours by ensuring the practical application and long-term retention of extensive knowledge. In turn this enables graduates to become highly skilled professionals, equipped with the behaviours needed for successful careers in the legal sector.

Chadwick said, “The SQE marks the most profound change in the education and training of entry level graduate talent in nearly 30 years. It has presented us with an unparalleled, once in a generation opportunity to innovate and shape training for the better.”

Famously dubbed the ‘super-exam’, the SQE represents the latest reform in legal education, which began with the Legal Education and Training Review that was published in 2013. The SQE is designed as a two-part qualification process: SQE Part 1 and SQE Part 2.

Part 1 would test candidates’ ability to use and apply legal knowledge though multiple-choice exams, while Part 2 would be taken at the point of qualification and test legal skills. Assuming there are no further delays to the implementation of the SQE, the first group of prospective trainees will sit the SQE 1 assessment in autumn 2022, with that intake of trainees actually arriving at their firms in spring 2023.

The exam itself will be set and run by Kaplan.

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