Increasingly, African lawyers working on international transactions or with clients represented in multiple jurisdictions, are seeking to become dual qualified – able to practise at home but also in countries like the UK or the US.
However, later this year, the system for registration in England and Wales will change when the Qualified Lawyers’ Transfer Scheme (QLTS) is replaced by the Solicitors’ Qualifying Exam (SQE).
The SQE will be more uniform and incorporate a system of assessment for all new lawyers not just those wanting to expand their international qualifications.
Naima herself is preparing to be one of the first to write the SQE in November and is currently busy with the 40-week preparatory course.
She says though that lawyers wanting to qualify under the old system do have one last chance and will be able to complete the last QLTS Multiple Choice Test (MCT) in July and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination or OSCE (practical assessment) in early 2022.
“The advantage of doing the QLTS is that it has been trialed and we know exactly what it involves whereas the SQE is an unknown. If you have the opportunity and time I would do the MCT now,” she advises.
“However, the first stage of the new SQE does mirror the MCT – both exams include 360 questions over two days, five hours per day in front of the computer.”
BARBRI, of course, has more than 50 years of experience providing support to lawyers preparing for these kinds of legal exams. In their conversation, Naima explains to Tom what the changes will look like and what this will mean for lawyers wanting to become dual qualified.
However, she points out, lawyers wanting to follow the tried and tested method of qualification – and, who are able to undertake the preparation now, – would be wise to work towards qualification before the change in the exam.
Preparation is entirely online with one-to-one mentorship meetings and online lectures. She also reminds listeners that BARBRI uses technology to support its students and this AI can identify gaps in knowledge and where support is needed.
At a time where more and more transactions are global and with increasing interest from the UK in doing business with Africa, this conversation is a useful introduction into the possibilities of dual qualification.
To find out more about the Barbri QLTS and SQE preparatory courses, click HERE.
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