LPC or SQE?

nisadee

Valued Member
Oct 9, 2019
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I have recently been offered a 2023 TC from a firm that does not currently sponsor either route and so I will have to self fund. I am leaning more towards the LPC as after calculating the costs of SQE prep course + exam fees, they are roughly the same as a full LPC course. My firm is giving us the option to do either but they have said I would only require passing SQE1 to be eligible to start the TC with them. I am leaning more towards doing the LPC as the style of assessment is more suited to me and the SQE high-pressured MCQ situation makes me a little anxious, especially considering I will be self-funding the entire thing.

The only benefit I can see of doing the SQE for me, is that I have seen some online courses that are cheaper than doing the LPC by about, say £3-4k. However, I do have some concerns on whether these courses would be appropriate/competent and therefore whether the difference in cost would be worth it.

Would appreciate any thoughts - thank you!
 
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M&A

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Oct 5, 2019
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I would do the LPC. You could do it as LLM and get a government loan and although it is a demanding course it is possible to do it alongside a part-time job. Several in my cohort had paralegal jobs, others worked in bars. I did a small amount of self-employed work from my previous career.

The SQE is new, there are going to be hiccups and if the exam style does not fit you.. the LPC seems a better fit and you have the choice.

Regardless, good luck and CONGRATULATIONS!!!
 

OB

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  • Feb 10, 2020
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    I have recently been offered a 2023 TC from a firm that does not currently sponsor either route and so I will have to self fund. I am leaning more towards the LPC as after calculating the costs of SQE prep course + exam fees, they are roughly the same as a full LPC course. My firm is giving us the option to do either but they have said I would only require passing SQE1 to be eligible to start the TC with them. I am leaning more towards doing the LPC as the style of assessment is more suited to me and the SQE high-pressured MCQ situation makes me a little anxious, especially considering I will be self-funding the entire thing.

    The only benefit I can see of doing the SQE for me, is that I have seen some online courses that are cheaper than doing the LPC by about, say £3-4k. However, I do have some concerns on whether these courses would be appropriate/competent and therefore whether the difference in cost would be worth it.

    Would appreciate any thoughts - thank you!
    Just to caveat, you can also do the SQE with the masters add on and also get the government loan. The SQE seems to take slightly longer than the LPC too so that could also be a factor to consider!
     

    AvniD

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    Oct 25, 2021
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    I have recently been offered a 2023 TC from a firm that does not currently sponsor either route and so I will have to self fund. I am leaning more towards the LPC as after calculating the costs of SQE prep course + exam fees, they are roughly the same as a full LPC course. My firm is giving us the option to do either but they have said I would only require passing SQE1 to be eligible to start the TC with them. I am leaning more towards doing the LPC as the style of assessment is more suited to me and the SQE high-pressured MCQ situation makes me a little anxious, especially considering I will be self-funding the entire thing.

    The only benefit I can see of doing the SQE for me, is that I have seen some online courses that are cheaper than doing the LPC by about, say £3-4k. However, I do have some concerns on whether these courses would be appropriate/competent and therefore whether the difference in cost would be worth it.

    Would appreciate any thoughts - thank you!
    @nisadee you've got some great responses already from the forum and the only thing I'd say is if you're self funding, really just go with the option that 1) makes you most comfortable re the prep/testing mode 2) makes most sense financially. At this point, there's no real difference between either option for your firm so just choose what suits you best. Please do keep us in the loop with what you needing up doing!
     

    nisadee

    Valued Member
    Oct 9, 2019
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    I would do the LPC. You could do it as LLM and get a government loan and although it is a demanding course it is possible to do it alongside a part-time job. Several in my cohort had paralegal jobs, others worked in bars. I did a small amount of self-employed work from my previous career.

    The SQE is new, there are going to be hiccups and if the exam style does not fit you.. the LPC seems a better fit and you have the choice.

    Regardless, good luck and CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    Great advice! And thank you so much!!!
     
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    nisadee

    Valued Member
    Oct 9, 2019
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    @nisadee you've got some great responses already from the forum and the only thing I'd say is if you're self funding, really just go with the option that 1) makes you most comfortable re the prep/testing mode 2) makes most sense financially. At this point, there's no real difference between either option for your firm so just choose what suits you best. Please do keep us in the loop with what you needing up doing!
    Thanks so much, completely agree!
     
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    OB

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    Jessica Booker

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    I think you have to take comparing pass percentages with a pinch of salt.

    For the LPC, you have to complete a full academic course as part of the process to sit the assessments. Technically, that course should prepare you for the assessments, although as referenced above, it still only has just over a 50% chance of passing.

    In contrast, anyone with a degree or degree level qualification can sit the SQE. I could go and sit it if I wanted to, having not studied law and have not completed any form of prep course. People think this won't really happen or the numbers for it will be particularly small, but reality is there will be a significant proportion of people who sit SQE1/2 having studied for far less than 7 months and also potentially much more privately tutored or even self-taught. You saw this with the QLTS system (the way that international qualified lawyers used to be able to cross qualify into England and Wales), which the SQE is very much based on.
     
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    Jane Smith

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    Sep 2, 2020
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    nisadee

    Valued Member
    Oct 9, 2019
    100
    123
    I think you have to take comparing pass percentages with a pinch of salt.

    For the LPC, you have to complete a full academic course as part of the process to sit the assessments. Technically, that course should prepare you for the assessments, although as referenced above, it still only has just over a 50% chance of passing.

    In contrast, anyone with a degree or degree level qualification can sit the SQE. I could go and sit it if I wanted to, having not studied law and have not completed any form of prep course. People think this won't really happen or the numbers for it will be particularly small, but reality is there will be a significant proportion of people who sit SQE1/2 having studied for far less than 7 months and also potentially much more privately tutored or even self-taught. You saw this with the QLTS system (the way that international qualified lawyers used to be able to cross qualify into England and Wales), which the SQE is very much based on.
    Very true but I have heard awful things about the SQE from those which have taken it such as testing centres not being fit for purpose and lack of checks and balances causing unnecessary stress. Rooms having no fans while sitting a 5 hour exam and exams being cancelled while students wait in the centre for 8 hours. People left the centres crying and stressed. It's the uncertainty and lack of regulation in centre standards that worries me the most. I would much rather do the tried and tested LPC, offered by institutions that know what they're doing.
     

    Abii

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    Feb 1, 2021
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    Very true but I have heard awful things about the SQE from those which have taken it such as testing centres not being fit for purpose and lack of checks and balances causing unnecessary stress. Rooms having no fans while sitting a 5 hour exam and exams being cancelled while students wait in the centre for 8 hours. People left the centres crying and stressed. It's the uncertainty and lack of regulation in centre standards that worries me the most. I would much rather do the tried and tested LPC, offered by institutions that know what they're doing.
    Had to laugh at the last comment ‘institutions that know what they are doing’. The two biggest providers, ULaw and BPP, are renowned for exam mistakes and poor admin etc.
     
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    Jane Smith

    Legendary Member
    Sep 2, 2020
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    Although to be fair to BPP and UoL even if the admin is not always very good they do seem to hold exams on the days agreed, starting on time, even during the pandemic and even when the PGDL moved 100% online in 2020.

    Enhanced SQE2 does indeed have electives which is required by firms sponsoring people. The problem for those not sponsored or the person here has been told they can start after SQE1 is passed only, that just means exams later in the TC. The LPC means they are over and done with . It does depend on the person and their stage but for someone with a TC in 2023 I think the LPC rather than the SQE would be a lot more straightforward.
     
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    OB

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    Although to be fair to BPP and UoL even if the admin is not always very good they do seem to hold exams on the days agreed, starting on time, even during the pandemic and even when the PGDL moved 100% online in 2020.

    Enhanced SQE2 does indeed have electives which is required by firms sponsoring people. The problem for those not sponsored or the person here has been told they can start after SQE1 is passed only, that just means exams later in the TC. The LPC means they are over and done with . It does depend on the person and their stage but for someone with a TC in 2023 I think the LPC rather than the SQE would be a lot more straightforward.
    If you take a SQE course provided by ULaw for example, you do it all together like you would the LPC? Also with the LPC you have to do the PSC often during the TC which is again more exams.
     

    Abii

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    Feb 1, 2021
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    Never heard of them making people wait for 8 hours whilst they stress over whether the exam is even going to happen only for it to then be cancelled.
    I have heard of assessors not showing up for skills assessments then telling students they have to apply for a concession and resit months later, not giving students access to online exams and again making them resit months later and questions not matching across papers, and examining them on things they haven’t been taught amongst others. All of these happened to me on my LPC and I certainly wasn’t unique in my cohort.

    I’m not disagreeing that in your situation I would do the LPC, it makes more sense however saying it’s due to institutions that know what they are doing may set you up for quite a surprise.
     

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