SQE2 Welsh Pilot

We are holding a pilot to test the operational aspects of conducting SQE2 in Welsh. It will involve written and oral legal skills assessments.

Applications have now closed and applicants will be contacted by a member of the SQE Team no later than 20 August to confirm whether they have been successful in their application.

The pilot will take place on 25 September 2021 in Cardiff, and candidates will be sitting written assessments in the morning and oral assessments later in the day.

Candidates that complete the entire pilot will receive an ex gratia payment of £350. If their assessment marks are in the top 50 percent, they will receive an additional £100.

The SQE is a new common assessment for all would-be solicitors.

In the future, all those wishing to qualify as a solicitor will need to:
  • pass the two stages of examinations (SQE1 and SQE2)
  • have a degree or equivalent qualification or experience
  • complete two years’ qualifying work experience
  • meet our character and suitability requirements.

Kaplan is a global education and assessment organisation which has been appointed by the SRA to design, develop and deliver the SQE.

Kaplan will design and run the pilot.

The pilot is to test the operational aspects of conducting SQE2 in Welsh. It will involve written and oral legal skills assessments.

We were looking for candidates that are fluent in Welsh (spoken and written) and, as far as possible, be representative of those who will sit the SQE.

This could include:

  • students
  • paralegals
  • chartered legal executives
  • trainee solicitors
  • solicitor apprentices.

They should have at least one of the following education and experience criteria:

  • completed Stage 1 (the compulsory element) of the Legal Practice Course (LPC); or
  • completed a period of study and/or work experience equivalent to Stage 1 (the compulsory stage) of the LPC.

Individuals that fell into the categories below are not be eligible to take part in the pilot:

  • qualified Solicitors of England and Wales
  • those who are able to apply to the SRA for qualification by the time of the pilot (25 September 2021)
  • those sitting the QLTS OSCE assessments in July 2021 and therefore will be awaiting their results at the date of the pilot.

They will not be at the same stage of qualifying as candidates who will eventually sit the SQE.

If the pilot is oversubscribed, we will select people on the basis of seeking a group to sit the pilot who are as representative as possible of the candidates who will sit the SQE. Preference will be given to those who apply early. We encouraged applications from minority groups protected under the Equality Act 2010 to take part in the pilot.

Everyone will be assessed against the same standard.

However we will make reasonable adjustments to the way they are assessed in line with the Equality Act 2010. You were asked to complete the application form and include details of any reasonable adjustments needed.

You will be advised of the registration time and assessment commencement time closer to the start of the pilot.

However, it is expected that you will need to be available from approximately 7.30am until approximately 4.30pm. More exact timings will be given before you sit the pilot. However, if there are unforeseen circumstances, such as technical difficulties, the day may be longer. There will be appropriate breaks during the day.

The pilot will take place on 25 September 2021.

Those selected to sit the pilot will need to attend all assessments.

The written assessments will take place in the morning at Cardiff Pearson test centre, Cardiff PPC: 3rd Floor, Limerick House, 23 Churchill Way, Cardiff, CF10 2HE and will be followed by the oral assessments which will take place at Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa, 24 26 Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0DD.

Refreshments will be available at the assessment venues but lunch will not be provided and food and water are not permitted inside the test rooms.

You should make your own arrangements for lunch.

Evidence of your performance. You will receive a transcript with detailed results including an indication of your result compared to other candidates. You can show these to any future employer.

Career development. Taking part in the pilot is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your commitment and enthusiasm for the law to employers and others.

Ex gratia payment. Those that complete the entire pilot will receive an ex gratia payment of £350. Candidates in the top 50 percent will receive an additional £100. To receive payment, you must complete the entire pilot. Payment will be made after the pilot is completed and before the results are provided. A member of the SQE Team will be in touch to organise payment at the appropriate time.

Help develop the SQE. This is an opportunity to be directly involved in the development of the SQE and help shape the assessment for future solicitors of England and Wales.

Please note: Taking part in the pilot will not exempt you from any elements of the SQE once it comes into force. You cannot qualify by doing the pilot.

Yes. Given the importance of the pilot, you will be asked to agree to a confidentiality agreement.

You must not remove any materials from the test centre. You must also keep the content of the assessments confidential and not disclose or discuss any of the content with any other party.

As this is a pilot to test operational elements of delivering the SQE in Welsh, not all legal skills in the SQE will be examined.

The practice areas tested in the pilot are:

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Property Practice
  • Business Practice

Assessments

The legal skills assessments in the pilot are:

Oral

  • Advocacy
  • Client interview and attendance note/case analysis

Written

  • Legal drafting
  • Legal writing

Read more about the format of the Legal Skills Assessments.

As per the SQE2 Assessment Specification, you will be provided, as part of your assessment materials, with materials that a Day One Solicitor would look up.

You will need sufficient knowledge to make you competent to practice on the basis that you can look up detail later. You will not be expected to know or address detail that a Day One Solicitor would look up, unless you have been provided with that detail as part of your assessment materials. However, legal materials will only be provided where it is considered that a Day One Solicitor would need to refer to those materials. Sample questions and indicative answers are published on the SQE website.

Any other materials, such as books and notes, cannot be brought into or used during the pilot assessments.

Advocacy. You are given a case study on which you will conduct a piece of courtroom advocacy. An email asks you to conduct the advocacy and tells you in which court they are appearing. Where relevant, you are also given a file of documents. You will have 45 minutes to prepare. You will then have 15 minutes to make your submissions to a judge who is present in the room. The judge will be played by a solicitor of England and Wales who will assess you both on skills and application of law.

Client interview. You 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. You have 10 minutes to consider the email and/or documents. You then have up to 25 minutes to conduct the interview with the client.

Attendance note/case analysis (linked to the client interview). Following the client interview (above), you will have 25 minutes to write, by hand, an attendance note/case analysis of the interview you have just completed.

Please note: The client interview and advocacy assessments may be recorded. Any recordings will be deleted at the end of the assessment process.

Legal drafting. This is a computer-based assessment. You will be asked 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. You will be given 45 minutes to complete the exercise.

Legal writing. This is a computer-based assessment. You will be asked to write a letter or an email as the solicitor acting in a matter, which clearly and correctly applies the law to the client’s concerns and is appropriate for the recipient. You will be given an email from a partner explaining what is required. The email may or may not be accompanied by electronic documents. You will be given 30 minutes to complete the exercise.

You will not be tested in the pilot on any changes to the law of England and Wales nor the content of any other legal notices introduced as a result of the Covid pandemic. Furthermore, assessment scenarios and characters in them should be treated as being unaffected by the coronavirus. You are therefore not expected to familiarise yourself with changes introduced into the law as a result of the pandemic, and you should aim to answer questions without taking account of these changes.

You should refer to the SQE2 assessment specification which sets out what will be assessed, and to what standard.

You may also find it helpful to review the format of the relevant assessments in the SQE2 sample questions.

The questions and other relevant pilot assessment materials provided will be in Welsh and you are expected to write and speak answers in Welsh. Note, all administrative information and guidance leading up to the assessment will be in English. Your results will be sent to you in English.

We will make a contribution towards reasonable travel expenses for those that are eligible. The contribution will be up to a maximum of £150 in total, per eligible candidate. To be eligible, you must:

  • start your journey more than 40 miles from the assessment venue they are allocated
  • use standard class travel
  • complete an expense form which we will provide
  • submit valid receipts
  • attend and complete all of the pilot assessments.

Applications have now closed. Closing date for applications was 13 August 2021.

A further round will be held only if necessary. In the event that the pilot is oversubscribed, full details of how candidates will be selected are given above, including that preference will be given to those who apply early.

You will be contacted by a member of the SQE Team no later than 20 August to confirm whether you have been successful in being accepted into the pilot.

Please do not contact the SQE Candidate Services Team, as they will be unable to advise you of your current status regarding the success of your application.

After 20 August SQE Candidate Services will be able to assist you if you have any queries.

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