This article is an opinion piece by Alex Jorosz, for information purposes only

 

UPDATE - 20 JUNE 2020:


It has come to my attention that the current wait times for admission overseas have now been delayed for up to a year. One of those jurisdictions is New York where, from the moment of application for admission, the processing takes between 6-12 months due to the pandemic, therefore, disadvantaging MCT-exempt individuals who were unable to attempt the Bar exam in 2020.

It will be impossible for those taking the Bar in February 2021 to be sworn in before the current SRA deadline of 31/08/2021 (if MCT-exempt). Furthermore, considering the situation in the US at the moment and the uncontrollable spread of the virus, MCT-takers might be affected as well.

 

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Background

The QLTS is an exam for foreign lawyers wanting to cross qualify in England. It is administered by Kaplan and is made up of two parts: MCT (Black letter law) and OSCE (Practice). 

Most aspiring solicitors have three options to qualify in England; options that all of us see at the law fairs and networking events every time that we attend one. These are: 

a) the traditional training contract which, for many, is impossible to secure due to very high demand and not enough available places; 

b) equivalent means for which one must do specific work under the direction of another solicitor for 2 years, and 

c) pass NY or CA Bar followed by the QLTS to become dual-qualified. 

Equivalent means route is difficult due to the high burden of proof and the fact that most who did not obtain a training contract are mature students who, like me, hold the most senior legal position in their company and not working under the direction of a solicitor. This is why the QLTS is the only option for many of us. Option, which due to the delays caused by the pandemic and the arbitrary policy of the SRA, is being more difficult to achieve.

My story

I am an LLB and LPC graduate. My intention was to pass the New York Bar in July 2020, QLTS in November 2020 and qualify in England and Wales by January 2021. I started my bar prep with Barbri in September 2019 with 200 other participants, many of whom intended to qualify in England. 

Due to the global pandemic, the NY Bar exam was postponed to February 2021. Bearing in mind the introduction of the SQE in September 2021, I suspected that there may be issues passing the QLTS in time. This situation led me to my own little investigation into deadlines.

MCT-exempt

The last MCT will be administered in the summer of 2021. Those who attempt it then will have an additional year (until summer 2022) to pass OSCE (“Transition Period”). However, the Transition Period DOES NOT apply to those exempt from the MCT requirement such as LPC graduates. MCT-exempt applicants have to complete their OSCE in the summer of 2021, the latest, which leaves us with two sittings in November 2020 and summer 2021. Those MCT-exempt individuals MUST apply for admission by 31 August 2021 and in order to do so, one must be fully qualified and admitted overseas.

This creates an issue for those of us who are unable to pass the Bar in 2020 due to the pandemic. This means that our last chance to qualify in England will be the bar exam (for NY and CA) in February 2021. If we fail or if due to the pandemic the exam is postponed till July 2021, we will be unable to qualify in England at all as our results won’t come in before 31 August 2021, therefore we will not be qualified foreign lawyers before the deadline for admission application in England. This means that we will be out of pocket for the cost of the LPC, Bar preparation course, and the OSCE exam (this is in excess of £40,000).

Those exempt from the MCT requirement are already put at a disadvantage as we are not allowed to benefit from the Transition Period and have only until 31 August 2021 to apply for admission. However, even the MCT-takers are in trouble as due to the delays and cancellations of the exams abroad, they do not have an opportunity to prepare for the MCT unless they study for both, overseas bar examination and the MCT, at the same time which is not feasible because most students have full-time jobs and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to prepare for 2 life-changing exams in two completely different jurisdictions all whilst going to work, vulnerable, shielding and taking care of other family-related obligations. Furthermore, studying for 2 exams is unlikely to result in success in either one which will increase the already challenging time commitment and financial and mental pressure.

This information is not easily accessible to the applicants and the QLTS providers do not seem to be aware of this either and keep advising students that they can apply for admission at any time after passing QLTS. Having spoken to a few of them, despite numerous meetings and guidance from the SRA, I was informed that all were informed of the long stop rules being given to students but there was no mention that LPC students would not be treated the same as all the rest of the applicants. For example, I decided to have a one-year break between completing the LPC in 2018 and starting the NY Bar prep course. Had I known that there is a deadline, I would not have done that. Only in my own Barbri course group, there are at least 25 affected individuals who were not aware of this situation.

SRA Challenge

In the light of my findings, on 16 May 2020, I have written an official letter to the SRA (CC: Kaplan and the Law Society) challenging the current policy. I have asked for a general extension of the QLTS due to the pandemic and in the alternative, to allow MCT-exempt individuals to be treated equally and fairly and benefit from the same Transition Period allowed to the MCT-takers. 

Three weeks later, I received a letter from the SRA. Unfortunately, they are unwilling to consider a policy review, in respect of the QLTS extension and those exempt from the MCT negatively impacted by the unavailability of the Transition Period, due to the global pandemic and the inequality of the current policy respectively.

The SRA proposed that the MCT-exempt individuals apply for the MCT anyway in order to benefit from the Transition Period. This idea is unreasonable as it would result in additional studying and expense from which we are exempt under the SRA’s own policy. Such a move should not be necessary under any circumstances.

The SRA has stated that they allowed the MCT-takers to benefit from the Transition Period because they made a “financial commitment” by paying the exam fee (approx. £700). I have completed the LPC with a view of passing the NY bar and subsequently completing the QLTS. This will cost me in excess of £40,000 in total and I consider this a financial commitment to the QLTS even without paying the £700 for the MCT exam specifically. Furthermore, I believe that by submitting an application for the MCT exemption we are showing our commitment to the QLTS - it is not something that we would have done without having the intention to go down that route. 

The whole reason that the SQE was set up was to provide access to legal qualification to all and therefore it is not reasonable to now be disadvantaging one group over another. According to the SRA, the introduction of the SQE meant to ensure that all trainee solicitors, no matter which route they take, have the same opportunities and to ensure consistency and high standards across the board and silencing the notion that one route to qualification is better than another. The SRA also said that the SQE will make the law profession more accessible by lowering the cost of study (in comparison with the GDL and LPC.) In reality, not only not every applicant is treated the same and the only proposal by the SRA to cure that lack of equality involved spending more money by taking an exam from which many are exempt.

The extension does not have to result in the postponement of the SQE. I understand that the SRA have an obligation to roll out the SQE as soon as possible, which I note has not yet been signed off by the LSB, but there is no reason why both can’t run consecutively for a year especially as the SRA already planned for the OSCE to be available at the same time as the SQE for the MCT-takers. Furthermore, OSCE exams will continue under the current policy until 2022 for those that completed the MCT, therefore, those exempt from the MCT should be allowed to attend also. Such an allowance will not result in any additional effort for Kaplan/SRA. On the contrary, it will have commercial advantages to both, as there will be more OSCE applicants spending almost £4,000 each for an additional year.

I have further replied to the SRA setting out those points on 15 June 2020 and I currently await their response. Kaplan, the Law Society, Barbri, and leading QLTS course providers have been made aware of this situation.

Conclusion

QLTS route has been established to provide international lawyers with the ability to qualify in England and Wales. This has been a viable option to qualify for years and many students embarked on this path already just to face delays and barriers during the process due to the pandemic. 

At this difficult time, when the exams and qualifications around the world are being postponed, there is uncertainty surrounding traveling restrictions and the fact that the NY is prioritising their own students, it would seem reasonable for the SRA to prioritise us - those who want to qualify here and those who spent a lot of money on the LPC in England already, to consider an extension of that route to qualification or at least to ensure that everyone has the same chance of success and ensuring that their regulation applies to MCT-exempted individuals.

yesLet’s keep our fingers crossed that the SRA listens to our pleadings and makes the right decision.yes

Category

Comments

WSG 15 June 20 13:16

Let’s hope SRA helps aspiring lawyers by changing their policy. 

Seems like unfair treatment for those who are exempt, makes it very difficult to trust what they say.

Anonymous 15 June 20 16:22

I feel sorry for you. 

Back in 2009 I was another BVC graduate unable to obtain pupillage. Fortunately there was the old QLTT loophole of being a paralegal for 2 years and doing a DIY training contract (contentious and non-con). The exam to pass was ethics and accounts. 

There was the fear of having spent money on law school going down the toilet along with many years of my life. The QLTT changed to the QLTS during my time covering 2009-2011 and there was a lot of stress.

Fingers crossed for you my friend. All the best. 

If you get turned over with this then I recommend doing the Cilex route and then cross qualifying to solicitor as that route remains open. 

Alex 15 June 20 18:00

To qualify using CILEX you must work under the direction of another solicitor. Same problem as the equivalent means as discussed in the article. 

John 16 June 20 01:10

So take the MCT and then do the NY Bat and OSCE. It's better than to hope for the SRA to fulfill your wishes or to pursue the SQE.

1+PQE - UK qualified, awaiting NY admission 18 June 20 09:22

I'm not sure your math works out to be honest.

I sat the July 2019 NY Bar (UBE to be precise), passed my MPRE and NYLE, got a pass notification in Oct 2019, submitted all my paperwork in Nov 2019, but still am waiting for admission in NY because, plainly, that's how long the queue is. You probably will be in the 3rd department (all foreign attorneys are), unless you have a domestic NY address.

Passing the Bar is not the same as "being admitted", which is what you need to apply for QLTS right? I think you should factor in at least a 3-month window after you get your Bar results back and until date of admission; could even be longer.

Anonymous 18 June 20 10:20

There may be a reason why they are closing the loophole. It is important to work supervised by a more senior lawyer in order to better prepare one's self for legal practice. Fingers crossed for you in any event. 

Solicitor who solicits 19 June 20 13:36

The NY bar exam pass rate for foreign students/Barbri (then Kaplan) candidates are like less than 30%. The tight deadline is already very difficult without the pandemic. Seems like OP is putting a lot of faith of passing the NY bar first time.

Mountain 19 June 20 19:18

What is the point getting qualified by the back door - who would want to employ such a person?

The jobs market has been saturated by wannabe solicitors and barristers for at least a decade. As the author concedes, 'the traditional training contract [is] for many [...] impossible to secure due to very high demand and not enough available places'.

The number of training contracts and pupillages reflect the number of jobs available. The people who get those training contracts and pupillages are those who firms want to employ. I don't understand the obsession with people who self-fund their way through the GDL or LPC, let alone some back door route all the way to to qualification. If you're not competitive enough to secure a training contract, you're not competitive to secure a job. Notionally being qualified won't help: employers will see you as (1) having not been good enough to secure a training contract; (2) lacking the self-awareness to realise that; and (3) lacking the broad base of experience which properly-qualified solicitors gain via the two-year process of doing a training contract. (I accept that many of these issues will also doom the prospects of those poor unfortunates upon whom the SQE will be inflicted, but that's a separate issue.)

1. In summary, what's the point of spending all this time and money: who will want to employ someone who qualified by the back door?

Two other questions:

2. You say, 'In the light of my findings, on 16 May 2020, I have written an official letter to the SRA (CC: Kaplan and the Law Society) challenging the current policy.' (emphasis added) What is an 'official' letter, and how does it differ from just a letter? 

3. You say, 'I have completed the LPC with a view of passing the NY bar and subsequently completing the QLTS. This will cost me in excess of £40,000 in total [...] Furthermore, I believe that by submitting an application for the MCT exemption we are showing our commitment to the QLTS - it is not something that we would have done without having the intention to go down that route.' Why does this matter? This sounds like the case study, 'How not to answer interview questions' information you're given by the university careers service: no one cares how much people want to do something, there is no shortage of wannabes. What matters is what unique value you can add. You've had feedback in that respect, by being rejected from training contracts. I simply don't see how any backdoor qualification offers any UK employer any value, compared to properly-trained solicitors.

I'm not trying to be nasty, I'm trying to highlight the very real probability that you're wasting your time and money. There is an unhelpful attitude that 'anyone can achieve anything if they put their mind to it'. It's bulls##t, and it's little better than cowardice from people who lack the moral courage to tell people the truth, and save them from squandering years of their life.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

A few comments 20 June 20 10:40

Alex - your story brings back some vivid memories for me as I did the NYB and QLTS route.  It was quite a few years ago (July 2012 NY bar exam).  I have three comments on what others have said (though keep in mind the length of time since I did it).

1.  For my July exam, results were published in early November and I was admitted in the middle of the following January.  I could then apply to the QLTS.  So I agree with 1+ PQE that you have to take into account this additional period.  There is a lot of paperwork to submit (evidence of qualifications and forms of moral character), for which you will have to rely on others, but you can prepare that in advance of the results so you are ready to submit on receiving your results.  As you say, it sounds like you definitely won't make the deadline if you have to rely on the July 2021 exam, but even relying on the February 2021 exam is going to be very tight.  It would be useful to find out when the February results are generally published and when the first NYB admission ceremony after that will be held.  

2.  Don't be too disheartened by the 30% quoted by Solicitor.  That includes all foreign candidates, for many of whom English is a second language.  The multiple choice exam requires constant intense reading of 200 fact pattern questions over two three hour exams (one morning one afternoon on the same day) each written with carefully crafted wording designed to catch you out if you don't actually know the legal point that it's testing (so you can't rely on intuition).  So having English as a first language is a huge advantage.  On the other hand, don't assume that because it's multiple choice, it's easy.  That was a very tough day.  I recommend doing large amounts of practice of these questions under exam conditions so you build up the mental stamina and awareness of the many traps.

3.   I think what Mountain overlooked was the sentence: "... the fact that most who did not obtain a training contract are mature students who, like me, hold the most senior legal position in their company and not working under the direction of a solicitor".  You are not a new entrant to the job market.  You have an existing legal position which you are trying to fortify with a professional qualification.  For people in this position (which is the position I was in too) the NYB + QLTS route was the only way through, without having temporarily to give up the role you already have, which may in practice mean you can never go back to it.

Best of luck.  I remember vividly the feeling of uncertainty and near despair as it seemed that one door after another was being closed (QLTT ending then Bar Council not being willing to exercise discretion).  But eventually I did find a way through (which for me was the NYB + QLTS).  I hope you will keep persevering, and will be thinking of you.

1+PQE - UK qualified, awaiting NY admission 21 June 20 21:41

Mountain is quite a mean dude, I would ignore him.

There are many people who didn't succeed in early stages of their career and eventually climbed up. I don't think a training contract necessarily define you.

Mountain 24 June 20 16:56

As I said, I'm not being nasty, I'm highlighting the very real probability that a vast amount of people waste their time and money in pursuing legal training.

The cult of positivity, i.e. encouraging people to 'follow their dreams' is selfish and indulgent on behalf of those offering advice. Pointing out that some people make it despite formidable hurdles is a form of survivorship bias: the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions in several different ways, most notably offering totally unrealistic advice to people.

I have seen too many people squandering their 20's as paralegal in low-paid jobs with no prospects, in the desperate hope of a training contract, to inflict that fate on other people, just because it makes me feel good to blow smoke up your ass. Who are we really helping when we offer advice untethered from reality? Usually not the job-seeker, but our own ego gratification.

All that said, I concede the point made at 10:40 above, "I think what Mountain overlooked was [...] you are not a new entrant to the job market.  You have an existing legal position which you are trying to fortify with a professional qualification." That's a fair criticism; I suggest that my underlying point about the value of non-standard entry to the profession remains, though.

Sam 26 June 20 23:20

@ Mountain:

Some of are foreigners with no right to work in the UK. This makes it even more challenging to secure a training contract, as law firms are not willing to sponsor foreigners, and even if a law firm agreed to sponsor a foreign for a work permit, the immigration authorities may refuse the grant of the work permit. It is a very complicated matter for foreigners seeking English law qualifications.

I don't think it is fair to undermine the lawyers who qualify via the QLTS purely because they did not secure a training contract! There is politics when it comes to securing training contracts. It is certainly not all the people who secured training contracts did so because they are smart or where really competitive in any way. In fact, many secure training contracts because they are well connected period!  It is not because they have first call LLB or have really shown interest in law by doing internships or really have any unique qualifications that distinguish them from other unfortunates who were unable to secure a training contract.

I know a person who failed some of his subjects in the LPC and despite that secured a training contract in a big international law firm just because he knows a partner in that firm (note that the policies of that firm required that all subjects of LPC be passed at the first attempt otherwise you don't get the training contract). In addition, this particular TC required language capabilities that were beyond the abilities of the person who secured the TC who actually only spoke English! So basically he was not smart and he was not really competitive enough.   

Some people really have no option but to do the QLTS. A lot have done the QLTS and are now successful partners in big international law firms in London. So no, they are not less than anyone who qulifed via a TC. Thye can even be better as they are also qualified in other jurisdictions in addition to England and Walse. If you think for example that passing the New York bar is an easy task think again! it is very very difficult to pass. Hence, passing the New York bar and also passing the QLTS makes that individual even better than someone who qualified via TC. 

Furthermore, TC does not mean that the training is great. Some trainees spend most of their training printing documents! How does that make them competitive or ready to practice law?

Let me add one more thing,if a law firm will not employ someone because he qualified via QLTS then that law firm is foolish and short-sighted. To really undermines all the qualities of the person simply because he qualified via QLTS is wrong and naive. The real test should be the actual practice of the lawyer, not whether he got the TC or not. Also, passing the QLTS means that the individual is at the same level as someone who did the LPC and the training contract, otherwise the SRA will not admit that person. The SRA will not jeopardise its standers. 

One last thing, note that some who qualify in other juridcations are fully qualified lawyers who can appear even before the Suprem Court in their justifications and can do all sort of transactional work at the same time i.e. they are both solicitors and barristers. So again, no they are not in any way less than someone who qualified via TC if they can perform both taks of a barrister and a solicitor. 

Peace! 

      

       

Sam 26 June 20 23:21

@ Mountain:

Some of are foreigners with no right to work in the UK. This makes it even more challenging to secure a training contract, as law firms are not willing to sponsor foreigners, and even if a law firm agreed to sponsor a foreign for a work permit, the immigration authorities may refuse the grant of the work permit. It is a very complicated matter for foreigners seeking English law qualifications.

I don't think it is fair to undermine the lawyers who qualify via the QLTS purely because they did not secure a training contract! There is politics when it comes to securing training contracts. It is certainly not all the people who secured training contracts did so because they are smart or where really competitive in any way. In fact, many secure training contracts because they are well connected period!  It is not because they have first call LLB or have really shown interest in law by doing internships or really have any unique qualifications that distinguish them from other unfortunates who were unable to secure a training contract.

I know a person who failed some of his subjects in the LPC and despite that secured a training contract in a big international law firm just because he knows a partner in that firm (note that the policies of that firm required that all subjects of LPC be passed at the first attempt otherwise you don't get the training contract). In addition, this particular TC required language capabilities that were beyond the abilities of the person who secured the TC who actually only spoke English! So basically he was not smart and he was not really competitive enough.   

Some people really have no option but to do the QLTS. A lot have done the QLTS and are now successful partners in big international law firms in London. So no, they are not less than anyone who qualified via a TC. Thye can even be better as they are also qualified in other jurisdictions in addition to England and Walse. If you think for example that passing the New York bar is an easy task think again! it is very very difficult to pass. Hence, passing the New York bar and also passing the QLTS makes that individual even better than someone who qualified via TC. 

Furthermore, TC does not mean that the training is great. Some trainees spend most of their training printing documents! How does that make them competitive or ready to practice law?

Let me add one more thing,if a law firm will not employ someone because he qualified via QLTS then that law firm is foolish and short-sighted. To really undermines all the qualities of the person simply because he qualified via QLTS is wrong and naive. The real test should be the actual practice of the lawyer, not whether he got the TC or not. Also, passing the QLTS means that the individual is at the same level as someone who did the LPC and the training contract, otherwise the SRA will not admit that person. The SRA will not jeopardise its standers. 

One last thing, note that some who qualify in other jurisdictions are fully qualified lawyers who can appear even before the Supreme Court in their justifications and can do all sort of transactional work at the same time i.e. they are both solicitors and barristers. So again, no they are not in any way less than someone who qualified via TC if they can perform both tasks of a barrister and a solicitor. 

Peace! 

      

       

Adele 02 July 20 16:48

@Mountain - your comment was very interesting and I am wondering what your thoughts are about some of my observations (I work in the in-house legal department of a large international company and am in the process of qualifying via a 'backdoor'). 

You state: "The number of training contracts and pupillages reflect the number of jobs available."  My thoughts: well, that is not necessarily true from my experience. My employer would have loved to have offered a training contract but was not able to because 1) they weren't able to provide a mix of contentious and non-contentious seats and 2) they did not have the budget for fees relating to either the LPC or PSC required for qualifying. I think that many law firms/companies struggle with the cost/logistics of training a solicitor and the number of training contracts reflects that fact and not the number of jobs available. When my employer was looking for a 2-5+ PQE solicitor, we were struggling to find candidates! As I said, I think the cost/logistics of training is the problem, not the lack of demand for lawyers and people doing legal jobs. So, I don't think it is correct to say that there are only so many TCs/pupillages because we don't need any more lawyers.

You state: "If you're not competitive enough to secure a training contract, you're not competitive to secure a job." My thoughts: In my experience, competitiveness does not come into securing a training contract. Many law graduates have very competitive CVs, excellent grades and highly relevant work experience and do not manage to obtain a training contract/pupillage because they are not in the right place at the right time or as someone else alluded, they do not have the necessary connections.  I know plenty of people doing training contracts who were utterly undeserving of the opportunity based on their grades, experience, etc. Equally, I know many brilliant people with perfect grades and excellent experience who didn't secure training contracts. The assumption you make that someone who does not secure a training contract is not "competitive enough" is in all likelihood untrue. 

You state:  "I simply don't see how any backdoor qualification offers any UK employer any value, compared to properly-trained solicitors." My thoughts: You would be surprised actually. We have had people through the door who were "properly-trained solicitors" who were really struggling and weren't able to do the work required. We also had people who are experienced in legal work (obtained either in-house as contracts managers or at law firms as paralegals) who qualified via the back-door (e.g. foreign qualification + QLTS) who are absolutely incredible at what they do and some of them are the best legal professionals I have ever come across. (Funnily enough, my boss who is Head of Legal, qualified via QLTS and is one of the highest performing lawyers in the entire company which has a team of circa 100+ lawyers globally.) To me (and my boss), it is a naive assumption to make that someone who did the LPC + a TC is competent, whilst someone who did a foreign qualification + QLTS without a period of recognised training is not. It depends on the person and what kind of experience that person obtained in their previous roles. You need to bear in mind that during a TC, people do max. 6-8 months per department - there is a good chance, certain pieces of work didn't appear during that period, meaning that by pure accident and no fault of their own, they may not have the necessary experience to do a qualified role afterwards. After 2 qualified solicitors did not last with us, we opted for someone who isn't qualified (and also in the process of qualifying via an untraditional route) and we couldn't be happier with the results. 

@Alex: as a fellow legal professional going through an untraditional route, don't let people tell you it's not worth it - it definitely is (as qualification is required to progress at some companies). Your route of qualification is not as important as your experience and personal skills - more and more companies are recognising that. :) 

 

Trust the process 05 July 20 05:12

Hi mate, 

I've done a bit of looking up information on this topic as well. I know the idea of qualifying via the QLTS is entrenched in your brain as your only way of qualifying, but I imagine qualifying via the SQE may not be too much worse for you than qualifying via the QLTS. If you read here, https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/en/career-advice/becoming-a-solicitor/solicitors-qualifying-examination-sqe/qualifying-from-abroad-to-work-in-the-uk

"Qualified lawyers with practice rights will be able to apply for exemption from the SQE on the basis of their prior qualifications or experience. Exemptions will only be granted from a whole component (or components) of the SQE."

"Qualified overseas lawyers will not need to fulfil qualifying work experience requirement or get sign-off on it."

This information is obviously threadbare and not fleshed out, but it appears the SQE will operate a similar system to the QLTS where foreign qualified attorneys may apply for and receive exemptions from components of the SQE. This may mean that you will simply be able to apply for, and receive, an exemption from SQE1 in the same way you have received an exemption from the MCT. If you are equally exempt from the two year work experience requirement as well, this would mean that you would only need to pass SQE 2 in order to qualify in England and Wales. This is not much different from taking the QLTS OSCE to complete your qualification. The fees may be slightly higher, but taking the SQE 2 in early 2022, for example, would not be much different from taking a "time extension" version of the QLTS. 

I am not certain of this interpretation, as there is still only limited information available about the SQE, but it appears that there are considerations in place for foreign qualified attorneys to move through the SQE more quickly than younger domestic legal graduates. 

I think the most important thing has to be focusing on gaining your first qualification. If that is the New York Bar in February 2021, do everything you can to ensure you smash the exam and become qualified in New York. Once you have been admitted, you will find that a whole world of opportunities opens up for you. Even if you are not admitted until late 2021 or early 2022, it will only be a matter of time before you can transfer your qualification to England and Wales. 

Best wishes, and good luck in your studies. 

Challenge the process 08 July 20 10:19

Hi *Trust the process*
 

Just to let you know SQE will be different than QLTS in that you Need to have the RIGHT work experience. The issue here is not the work experience itself but the fact that you must work under a direction of another lawyer which is the same requirement as for the equivalent means route. 
 

As you know those are difficult to come by in-house where often there is very few legal team members and some of us are on the top of the org chart meaning that there is no lawyer to work under the direction of.

Keep trying everyone! Fingers crossed

 

 

Brendan 10 July 20 18:06

Have you considered taking the OSCE before the New York bar? You can’t apply for admission to the roll until you have passed both, but you don’t need to be a qualifying foreign lawyer to sit for the QLTS exams. I haven’t taken the NY bar yet and I sat the MCT this week.

Trust the process 12 July 20 04:45

Hi Challenge the Process, 

If you read the Law Society's website in the link that I posted, you will see that it explicitly states, "Qualified overseas lawyers will not need to fulfil qualifying work experience requirement or get sign-off on it."