Some firms are considering suspending their graduate recruitment programmes until more information is forthcoming about the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination, the Gazette understands.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority announced last week that all would-be solicitors will be required to take the centralised assessment test from 2020. However many details remain to be finalised.

Kayleigh Leonie, Law Society Council member for Junior Lawyers, said the SRA’s announcement has created uncertainty for firms, law students and trainees. ‘A number of important questions, particularly regarding the funding of the SQE, remain unanswered,’ she said.

 ‘In order for firms to make key decisions regarding the future of their trainee recruitment processes; undergraduate and LPC providers to be able to adequately prepare for the changes required to their current programmes; and individuals looking to qualify as solicitors to make important decisions regarding their career path into the profession, the SRA needs to address these questions as soon as possible,’ she added.

Bryan Scant, chair of the Society’s Junior Lawyers Division, said he fears the proposals could lead to a ‘two-tier profession’.