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What the SQE assessment will cover

SQE 1

The SQE1 Assessment Specification sets out the overview of the SQE1 assessments and what they will cover. The SQE1 will consist of two functioning legal knowledge (FLK) assessments, of 180 multiple-choice questions.

Candidates must apply their knowledge of the law, the fundamental legal principles and rules, to demonstrate the competences required to the level of a newly qualified solicitor of England and Wales. Questions may draw on any combination of the subject areas below which a solicitor might encounter in practice.

The two multiple-choice assessments will cover:

  1. business law and practice; dispute resolution; contract; tort; legal system of England and Wales; constitutional and administrative law and EU law and legal services
  2. property practice; wills and the administration of estates; solicitors' accounts; land law; trusts; criminal law and practice

Ethics and professional conduct will be examined pervasively across the two assessments. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate their ability to act honestly and with integrity, and in accordance with the SRA Standards and Regulations regarding the purpose, scope and content of the SRA Principles and the Code of Conduct.

Principles of taxation will be examined only in the context of business law and practice, property law and practice and wills and the administration of estates.

SQE 2

The SQE2 Assessment Specification sets out the overview and detail of the requirements for the SQE2 assessment.

The SQE2 assessment is divided into two parts, although there is one pass mark for the assessment as a whole:

  1. SQE2 oral – four oral legal skills assessments which will take place over two half days, covering:
    • interview and attendance note/legal analysis
    • advocacy
  2. SQE2 written – 12 written legal skills assessments which will take place over three half days, covering:
    • case and matter analysis
    • legal research
    • legal writing
    • legal drafting

The interviewing exercises ('stations') will be marked by the assessor playing the role of the client and will be marked on skills only. All other stations will be marked by a solicitor who will assess candidates on both skills and application of law.

Candidates must demonstrate that they can apply fundamental legal principles in the skills-based situations in a way that addresses the client’s needs and concerns, thus demonstrating that they meet the standard of competency of a day one solicitor. This does not include detail that a day one solicitor would be expected to look up, unless it has been provided as part of the assessment materials.

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