Qualify as an English Solicitor

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What is the QLTS?

The Qualified Lawyers' Transfer Scheme (QLTS) or QLTS is a fast-track route for lawyers from other recognized jurisdictions (SRA) and barristers from England & Wales to qualify as English Solicitors.

Kaplan QLTS is the sole authorized assessment provider, appointed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) , the regulatory body of the Law Society of England & Wales.

The Assessments (Exams)

The QLTS assessment consists of two parts, a Multiple Choice Test (MCT) (Kaplan) and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Candidates must pass the MCT before enrolling for the OSCE, and both assessments must be passed to qualify as a Solicitor.

Part I – Multiple Choice Test (MCT)

The Multiple Choice Test ("MCT") consists of 180 multiple-choice questions. The questions test your knowledge and understanding of Part A of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Day One Outcomes (SRA) (Professional Conduct, Solicitors' Accounts, Financial Regulation, Property Law, Business Law, Tort, Contract, Constitutional Law, the English Legal System, Equity and Trust, Human Rights and EU Law).

The detailed subject matter outlines of the content of Part A Day One Outcomes have been provided to us, so QLTS Advantage/City, University of London has designed a course which focus' on the teaching of the "fundamental legal principles" that "will be tested on the MCT."

The MCT is divided into two sessions, morning and afternoon, two hours 45 minutes each. Following each exam, the SRA convenes a "Standard Setting Panel" to determine the overall pass rate for that assessment. For further details, see the Marking and Moderation Policy (Kaplan).

Organization and Administration

The MCT is delivered by computer-based assessment through a network of test centers administered by Pearson VUE. Candidates have a choice of locations during the booking process including: London and other UK cities, New York, Singapore, Dubai, India, Johannesburg, several locations throughout Europe...)

Candidates are assessed on the law in force at the time of the assessment.

Enrollment Deadlines (Kaplan)

For the 17 January 2018 MCT:

Registration with Kaplan QLTS Deadline is: 17:00 UK Time on 14th November 2017.

Booking with Pearson VUE Deadline is: 17:00 UK Time on 6th December 2017. (Delegates are advised to book early to secure places, as the most convenient location for you may fill up well in advance of the deadline.)

Bookings for the 10 July 2018 sitting is not yet open.

NOTE: Candidates must have registered with Kaplan QLTS by the registration deadline in order to be able to book a place on the MCT. No fees are required at that time. **

**Payment IS required at time of booking your place with Pearson VUE.

Part II – Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

The OSCE forms the practical aspect of the QLTS assessments. Delegates are examined on Outcomes C, D and F of the SRA's Day One Outcomes (SRA). (Part C covers: Transactional and Dispute Resolution skills; Part D covers: Legal, Professional and Client relationship knowledge and skills; and F covers: Professional Values, Behaviors, Attitudes and Ethics.)

The OSCE is divided into two parts (OSCE I and OSCE II), with candidates required to demonstrate specific skills within the context of three practice areas:

  • Business
  • Property and Probate
  • Civil and Criminal Litigation
Enrollment Deadlines (Kaplan)

Registration deadline with Kaplan QLTS for the November 2017 OSCE is 17:00 UK Time on 12th October 2017.

Bookings for the April/May 2018 and November 2018 sittings are not yet open.

OSCE I

Which skills are tested on the OSCE I assessments?

OSCE Part I tests your Interviewing and Advocacy/Oral Presentation skills.

How are these skills assessed?

Client interview: The skills are assessed through simulated legal environments called ‘Stations'. Actors play the role of clients, and, for example, may ask delegates for advice on removing a director from their business; how to minimize their tax liability on a transfer of property, to review their will and advise on tax implications…. Clearly the possible scenarios are vast!!!

From Kaplan :

1. Client interview
Preparation (10 minutes)

Candidates are given an email from a partner or a secretary indicating who the client is and something about what the client has come to discuss. The email may, but will not necessarily, be accompanied by documents.

The email also gives guidance on whether candidates should deal with client care, funding or money laundering issues in the interview and subsequent attendance note/case analysis. If the email tells candidates not to deal with these issues then there is no need to do so. The email may also indicate specific legal issues which candidates should have particular regard to in the interview and the subsequent attendance note/case analysis.

Candidates can make notes during the preparation.

Interview (25 minutes)

The client is already present in the room and the interview commences when the candidate enters the room. The client may, but will not necessarily, bring documents with them. During the interview candidates are able to refer to the notes made during preparation and to make additional notes.

Candidates should have 2 main objectives during the interview: First, to win the client's trust and confidence and to ensure that the client wishes to instruct or continue to instruct their firm. Secondly, candidates should try to obtain all the relevant information and as full an understanding as possible of the client's concerns. Candidates need not provide detailed advice at this stage. They can conduct the interview on the basis that they will be advising the client in detail at a later date. However, candidates do need to give enough preliminary advice and to address enough of the client's concerns to establish the client's trust and confidence.

At the end of 25 minutes if the candidate has not already brought the interview to a close, the client will do so.

2. Completion of attendance note/case analysis

Candidates have 25 minutes to write by hand an attendance note/case analysis of the interview they have just completed. They can consult the notes they made earlier.

All relevant information obtained during the interview should be recorded in the attendance note/case analysis. If candidates choose to they can do this by incorporating the notes made earlier where appropriate. Documents which the client has given the candidate should be attached to the attendance note. Candidates should provide an analysis of any legal issues that arise in the matter and record their initial advice for the client. The attendance note/case analysis should also identify the next steps to be taken by the solicitor and, where applicable, the client. Also record in the attendance note/case analysis any professional conduct issues that arise and how they should be dealt with. If the email from the partner/secretary has asked the candidate to deal with any specific issues then advice on these issues should also be included. Please note that legal issues, advice for the client, next steps and any professional conduct issues should be recorded in the attendance note even if they have already been discussed in the interview.

3. Advocacy/Oral Presentation

Preparation (45 minutes)

Candidates are given a separate case study on which they will conduct a piece of advocacy/make an oral presentation. An email asks the candidate to conduct the advocacy/make the presentation and tells them before whom this will be made. Where relevant candidates are also given a file of documents. This file may contain relevant authorities and cases but only where it is considered that a Day One solicitor would need to look up these authorities and cases.

Candidates can make notes during the preparation. They are given 45 minutes to prepare for the advocacy/presentation but the advocacy/presentation itself should not last longer than 15 minutes.

Advocacy/oral presentation (15 minutes)

Candidates make their submission/presentation to a decision maker who is present in the room. The decision maker may ask questions. Candidates can use the notes made earlier. The presentation should not last longer than 15 minutes and candidates will be stopped at the end of this time.

In total, delegates undertake 18 assessed exercises: 6 in Business, 6 in Property and Probate, and 6 in Civil and Criminal Litigation.

What level of competency are you expected to demonstrate?

The SRA has defined the level of competences expected as that of a competent newly qualified Solicitor:

"You are expected to demonstrate a level of knowledge, professional skills and understanding of legal practice and the law, similarly to a competent newly qualified solicitor, that is likely to avoid a negligence claim.

In simple cases you can identify a client's problem and the main legal issues raised. You should be able to recognise and respond appropriately to common situations which raise issues of professional conduct. You will normally know your limits when ignorant; know to what sources to refer for information; and ask for help when the problem is too difficult to deal with.

The advice you give a client will demonstrably progress the client's matter and be clear enough for the client to understand. It will rarely be wrong. You can communicate in a professional and appropriate (though not necessarily sophisticated) way with others including clients, courts, colleagues and other solicitors. Your use of English is readily comprehensible to clients of any background. Following a meeting most clients will have some confidence in you and your ability to deal with their legal problem.

You can make a reasonably persuasive presentation of your case and defend it at least to some extent. You can draft simple legal documents effectively and with few mistakes, can review and make an initial judgment about some aspects of more complex legal documents and can progress routine legal transactions."

In short, you should know and understand the relevant legal principles and foundation law, be able to explain those to the client using accurate and timely advice, know which documents to use and also to draft various documents yourself when needed.

Marking the OSCE I

An assessor who has been trained in playing the role of the client assesses candidates' performance during the interviews. These assessors mark candidates purely on skills, not on the law. All other exercises are marked by solicitors and are marked on both skills and law. For further detail and an outline of the assessment criteria see Kaplan's Marking and Moderation Policy.

OSCE II

Which skills are tested on the OSCE II assessments?

OSCE II tests your skills in Legal Writing, Legal Research and in Legal Drafting.

How are these skills assessed?

From Kaplan :

Legal Drafting

In the legal drafting assessed exercise candidates are given 45 minutes to draft a legal document or parts of a legal document. This may take the form of drafting from a precedent or amending a document already drafted but it may also involve drafting without either of these.

Candidates may be provided with relevant cases and authorities but only where it is considered that a solicitor in practice would need to look up these cases and authorities.

Candidates have access to Lexis Library and Westlaw while doing the legal drafting but there is not time to do any significant research.

PLEASE NOTE that if, as a result of technical difficulties, one or both of these legal databases are not available during the assessed exercise, candidates are expected to complete the exercise without reference to the database/s.

Answers are written in Microsoft Word using MS Office Professional 2010 or on an electronic form depending on the task.

On-line Legal Research

The on-line legal research takes the form of an email from a partner asking candidates to research an issue or issues so that the partner can report back to the client. Candidates are given 60 minutes to complete the on-line legal research.

Candidates are provided with an electronic template on which to write the answer. The template is divided into 2 sections, namely advice to give to the client, and legal reasoning mentioning any key sources or authorities.

Candidates are provided with a computer with the databases Lexis Library (not Lexis PSL) and Westlaw on which to conduct the research. There is no access to other sites. All legal research questions can be answered using either Lexis Library or Westlaw but in any particular case it may be easier to use one of these databases rather than the other. PLEASE NOTE however that in the event of technical difficulties with one of the databases during the exam period candidates are expected to do the legal research on the other database.

PLEASE NOTE All QLTS candidates are eligible for temporary access to Lexis Library and Westlaw at a reduced fee. Candidates should contact Lexis Library and Westlaw for further details.

Answers are written in Microsoft Word using MS Office Professional 2010.

Legal Writing

In the legal writing assessed exercise candidates are given 30 minutes to write a letter or an email as a solicitor acting in or assisting with a matter.

Candidates may be provided with relevant cases and authorities but only where it is considered that a solicitor in practice would need to look up these cases and authorities. Candidates have access to Lexis Library and Westlaw while doing the legal writing but there is not time to do any significant research.

PLEASE NOTE that if, as a result of technical difficulties, one or both of these legal databases are not available during the assessed exercise, candidates are expected to complete the exercise without reference to the database/s.

Answers are written in Microsoft Word using MS Office Professional 2010. Candidates are provided with an electronic template on which to do this.

QLTS Benefits

Where will I be able to practice law?

Passing the QLTS not only licenses you as a solicitor in England and Wales, but also may confer a right to practice in many other jurisdictions including:

Alberta Isle of Man Saskatchewan
Anguilla Israel Singapore
Antigua and Barbuda Jamaica South Africa
Bahamas Malaysia South Australia
Barbados Manitoba St. Lucia
Belize Montserrat St. Kitts and Nevis
Bermuda Newfoundland St. Vincent and the Grenadines
British Columbia New South Wales Tasmania
British Virgin Islands New Zealand Trinidad and Tobago
Cayman Islands Northern Territory Turks and Caicos
Dominica North West Territory Victoria
Grenada Nova Scotia Western Australia
Guyana Ontario Yukon Territory
Hong Kong Papua New Guinea Zambia
India Prince Edward Island

Note: In some instances, further academic and/or practical legal training may be required. Minimum periods of residency may also apply.

Qualify as a Solicitor and have the skills and credentials to work in 48 countries and 6 continents.

Why sitting for another bar exam makes sense:
  1. While the information is still 'fresh', parlay your recent bar prep knowledge/experience to earn an international license.
  2. Set your CV apart by adding this distinguished qualification to your list of accomplishments.
  3. Instantly, gain the credentials for employment in 48 countries.
  4. Leverage your dual-qualified status to secure positions with firms engaged in transnational commerce. (ie. Financial services, Intl. Arbitration, Aviation, Oil & Gas, Insurance and Assurance houses, Intl. trade divisions of large accountancy firms)
  5. Add a little 'class' to your professional title:

    [ Your Name Here ],
    Solicitor of England & Wales.

SQE – The Future

What is the SQE?

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is the new exam that has been proposed to replace the QLTS as of September 2019.

Learn more about it on the SRA's website: https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/consultations/solicitors-qualifying-examination.page

New Format

The format of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is still in a proposal form. Watch this space for more information about the format and requirements as it becomes formalized.

For now, read all there is to know about the proposal on the SRA website: https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/consultations/solicitors-qualifying-examination.page

How does it effect current QLTS Enrollees?

Everyone who is registered with Kaplan to take the QLTS will be allowed to sit the QLTS exam for as long as it is offered, which as of now should be at least for the next two years (until September 2019). As the SQE is still in a proposal phase, we don't yet know the specifics about being grandfathered in under the current regulations. We will update this space as we know more about it.

Please follow us on social media for updates:

Why enroll for the QLTS now?

Good question! All we know is that as long as you enroll for the QLTS now, you will be able to qualify as an English Solicitor under the currently established guidelines. When the SQE replaces QLTS, we will be figuring it out how to pass it best together, and with our team of skilled law professors and LPC tutors. But until then, we can offer you a finely-tuned program that is sure to teach you all you need to know to pass the QLTS and get qualified to practice as a Solicitor of England & Wales right now.