A second consultation into the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s plans for a ‘super-exam’ to be taken by all would-be solicitors has closed today.
The controversial proposals would see all prospective solicitors take a centrally set two-part exam to ensure qualification. The exam will consist of a computer-based multiple-choice test taken in six parts and a practical stage, including presenting arguments and drafting.
According to the SRA, the exam will ensure qualification standards are rigorous, fair, transparent and consistent.
The regulator received more than 200 responses to its initial consultation, which closed last year – many of them highly critical.
An SRA spokesman stopped short of revealing how many responses it received this time around but said the number had been ‘significant’.
The SRA will then analyse the responses and present to the policy committee and then its board.
Last week, the Gazette reported that the University of Law had responded critically, saying the proposals ‘will not widen participation’ and could lower levels of competence. The Law Society, in its response, said it welcomed revised proposals but warned that the lack of requirement for a degree could also dilute standards.
The suggested start date for the SQE, if the proposals go ahead, will be no earlier than the academic year 2019/20.