Anyone who commences a law degree, GDL or LPC before September 2021 can qualify through the old system. They will have until 2032 to complete the route and qualify as solicitors. However, they may choose to qualify through SQE if they prefer.
However, City law firms have indicated that they won’t cater for the old route until 2032 – they are likely to require all candidates to take the SQE from 2022.
This is because firms don’t want dual streams of SQE and LPC graduates in the same trainee intake.
In turn, if firms only want their trainees to do SQE, law schools will stop teaching the LPC as it will no longer be profitable. This means that LPC teaching could end before the old route officially expires in 2032.
If you are a GDL or LPC student or are planning to start one of these courses in 2019 or 2020, don’t worry. The introduction of SQE is still at least a couple of years away at least and nothing will change until it is introduced.
Candidates who start a university degree after September 2021 will have to take SQE.