The Solicitors Regulation Authority is taking its plans to create a central qualifying exam for all would-be lawyers on the road, in an effort to let students and solicitors have more of a say on its proposals.
The SRA floated the idea of the central exam for trainees in December as a way to ensure all trainee solicitors reach the same ‘high standard of competence’. The regulator said it hoped the exam will facilitate more flexible routes to qualification.
In order to promote discussion around the proposals, the SRA is inviting solicitors, education and training providers and students to a series of consultation events, which will take place in locations including Birmingham, Bristol and London.
The regulator said the events will give anyone who is interested in the changes a chance to voice their opinion, and hear more about why the proposals are needed and how they would work.
Already the 'solicitors qualifying exam' scheme has come under fire, with the Law Society condemning the plans as a barrier to some of the best talent, and damaging to social mobility.
University professors and lawyers have also criticised the plans for not going far enough in helping to restructure legal training – and of trying to over-regulate the profession.
A consultation on the proposed plans will run until 4 March 2016, while the events will take place throughout February.