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Routes into Law

This video from The University of Law explores the different routes into Law.
Hi everyone, in this video we’ll help you understand the current routes into practice. And so there will be two options until 2021 and then on the other slides I will go through what will happen after that. So your two main options as you can see up on this slide are the Non-Law route and the Law route. So if you are planning on studying an undergraduate degree that isn’t a qualifying law degree, you will follow the Non-Law route and if you are doing a law degree then you will follow the Law route. So if you do a Non-Law route, that’s absolutely fine. There is just one more stage for you than if you’re doing the law route.
So you would use something known as, and hopefully you can see it as the pink diamond on the screen, a GDL, which is a Graduate Diploma in Law, or an MA in law, which is essentially a conversion course. So what it does is it takes some of those core modules that law students would have studied on the law degree, condenses them down and teaches them in for the GDL. It’s a one year course and an MA in law it’s a two year course and we offer both of these courses. If you’ve done a law degree then you don’t have to worry about doing the GDL or the MA in law, you start at that point.
And then hopefully you can see my arrow. So at this point, so phenomenal students when they finish the GDL and for law students when they’ve finished their law degree, you decide which route you want to go down. If you want to be a solicitor you’ll follow the blue and if you want to be a barrister, you will follow the purple. So if you want to be a solicitor you will do something called an LPC, a Legal Practice Course, which is, as the name suggests, it’s a very practical course that gives you the tools that you will need to be a successful lawyer. And that one if you do it full time is one year long.
You then do something called a Training Contract, which is typically two years long and normally involves four different rotations with a law firm in four different areas of that business. There are different variations of training contracts and a law firm will be the best place to know exactly what is that they offer but that is what typical Training Contract looks like. And then at this point, you are admitted as a solicitor and your email sign off will say you’re a solicitor and you’ll be recognized as a solicitor. So, cuz this is what we normally get asked, is it at this point that you will start getting paid?
So it is after you turn your LPC, unless you are working part time alongside it, when you do your Training Contract you are paid for that. If on the other hand you would prefer to be in court, then you will go down the barrister route. And for that you will do something called the Bar Practice Course. And as you probably guessed that is the same as the Legal Practice Course in some sense other than that it will prepare you to be a barrister as opposed to a solicitor. So some of the models are more around efficacy and how to make really persuasive arguments.
Then after this you get called to the bar, and you either do a one year pupilage or you do two six months mini-pupilages. And then at that point you become a barrister. So, SQE is a new route that is coming in from September 2021. And this slide just shows who it will affect because it will depend what part of the process you’re already in whether this will affect you or not. So, it will come in in September 2021. So anyone that is doing a of course before that you will follow the GDL route, the MA law rule as a Non-Law student and will do the LPC. From September 2021, in some circumstances, you can continue on the existing route.
So if you’ve already started your course, for example, if you’ve already started your GDL you will be able to continue with the LPC after. But if you were doing a Non-Law degree in your second year of history, as an example, you won’t. By the time you read it, it will be asking you what you will be doing? But as you can see there’s quite a lot of overlap and the two will run alongside each other for a while just to ensure that there is an accessible option for everyone. And then in 2032 and that is when the LPC will be completely removed and it will just be the SQE route that you’re able to go down.
So in terms of what it would look like, then SQE will tend to look like this. And the reason tend to is because as you can see there is something that references qualified work experience here. Typically, and what law firms have suggested is that this will come along. And after you’ve done SQE 2, but it is possible to gain some qualifying work experience alongside or before, depending on your individual say. So with who is SQE 4? It will be for anybody that wants to qualify as a solicitor, and you’ll note that I’m saying solicitor rather than barrister. So it’s for graduate solicitors apprentice and foreign qualified lawyers.
It won’t matter for SQE whether you’ve done a law degree or a non-law degree. You will then enter in SQE part 1, which contains some elements of what a typical law degree would contain along with some other modules that will help you for your future career. And then SQE part 2 will also have some more practical elements to it similar to an LPC, but there are some differences.

So how do I become a barrister or a solicitor?

Watch this video from Jade at our Bristol campus to find out more.

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