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December 2, 2020

Confused about the benefits of an LPC when the SQE comes into force? Here’s a guide from BPP Law School about the differences between each route to solicitor qualification.

LPCSQE
The LPC has been developed with the profession over a number of years – tried and testedThe SQE will provide developed in collaboration with legal employers, but only if studying with a provider that collaborates with those employers
The LPC works in conjunction with a training contract, but can also work with Qualifying Work Experience (QWE)The SQE works in conjunction with QWE
Some law firms may continue with the traditional route (available, if there is demand, until 2032) but the number of training contracts being offered will reduce year on year once firms start to take on SQE cohorts of traineesThe SQE offers more flexible options and potentially a greater number of opportunities for gaining work experience. Compulsory qualifying work experience does not have to be paid
LPC assessments are undertaken following attendance on a heavily regulated course, which prepares you directly for those assessmentsThere is more flexibility and choice as to how you prepare for the SQE
Whilst most LPC exams set by different providers are similar, they are not exactly the sameAll students sit the same centrally-set SQE1 MCQ assessments in the same sitting. All SQE 2 assessments will cover identical areas
With the LPC, you have a choice of electives to suit your chosen or potential careerthere will be no electives as part of SQE 1 and 2 assessments
In this course, substantive law knowledge is assessed in a mixture of long-form questions and multiple-choice testsFor the SQE, substantive law knowledge is assessed through multiple-choice tests and in skills assessments
Details of overall LPC costs are widely availableFull SQE costs will depend on the training option chosen
Almost all (if not all) LPC providers offer the LPC as part of an integrated Master’s programme which makes it eligible for postgraduate Student Loans Company (SLC) funding (if the student qualifies)Only some of the longer SQE-preparation courses will be eligible for postgraduate SLC funding. Some providers do not have Master’s degree awarding powers and some programmes are not eligible for the funding. The headline price might be cheaper but may be less affordable if the programme does not attract SLC funding
Students with Learning Support needs are currently served well by many LPC institutions which provide significant support by way of reasonable adjustments for such students when studying and sitting assessmentsThe SRA has not yet published its Learning Support package/process how to apply for additional time/support with the central assessments
LPC resit fees will be nothing at all or relatively small because if you fail an LPC module, you will only resit that module (until you have failed it three times)If you fail SQE2, you will have to resit all of it and the resit cost will be almost £2,500. If you fail all of SQE1, the resit cost will be almost £1,500
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