Qualifying Work Experience

You will need to complete at least two years’ full-time (or equivalent) Qualifying Work Experience (QWE). QWE is any experience of providing legal services that offers you the opportunity to develop some or all of the competencies needed to practice as a solicitor.

How to complete QWE

You have flexibility to select where, when and how you gain QWE. A range of options are available, including the traditional routes such as a training contract. But other types of work experience will also count as QWE, such as a law degree placement, volunteering in a legal advice centre or working as a paralegal. You can also use experience from a previous job or role.

You can gain QWE in one block, like a two-year training contract, or in stages, in up to a maximum of four organisations. For example, you might spend six months doing pro-bono work in a legal advice centre and 18 months working as a paralegal in a law firm. Counted together, the time spent working in these two different settings would equal the required two years of QWE.

When to undertake QWE

There are no requirements about when to undertake QWE. You can do it before, during or after taking your SQE assessments. You must register your QWE with the SRA. You must have completed your QWE before you apply for admission to the roll of solicitors.

QWE must be signed-off in accordance with the SRA’s requirements. This would usually be the responsibility of the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) or a qualified solicitor within your place of work. But a nominated solicitor from outside the organisation with direct knowledge of your work could also fulfil this role. The solicitor does not need to hold a practising certificate.

Learn more: SRA QWE guidance for employers and candidates

Ready to register for the SQE?

Create your personal SQE account and book your assessments.

Register for SQE 

Have you passed the SQE?

Find out what happens after passing the SQE and admission to the roll of solicitors.

Learn more

Ready to register for the SQE?

Create your personal SQE account and book your assessments.

Register for SQE 

Have you passed the SQE?

Find out what happens after passing the SQE and admission to the roll of solicitors.

Learn more