Clinical Legal Education as Qualifying Work Experience for Solicitors

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority (the “SRA”) is proposing radical changes to solicitor education and training. The Solicitors Qualification Examination (“SQE”) has been extensively debated, but less attention has been paid to the proposed changes relating to qualifying work experience (“QWE”). In future, a much broader range of work experience, including that gained through clinical legal education, will potentially be able to count as QWE. This article addresses the key questions arising from the proposals, as yet unchartered in any depth in journals and scholarly writing. The background and detail of the SRA’s plans is analysed, before consideration is given to both the arguments for and against clinical legal education counting as QWE. The practical challenges are then deconstructed. Who will be able to supervise and sign off clinical legal education as QWE? What type of clinical legal education could count? How much time should students be credited for? What policies will law schools need to put in place? Practical advice is offered based on the authors’ experience and knowledge. The discussion is intended to stimulate further debate and the development of consensus on best practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-452
JournalLaw Teacher
Issue number4
Early online date22 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
EventThe Legal Education and Training Review - Five Years On - Leeds
Duration: 25 Jun 201825 Jun 2018


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