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Organising your QWE

Make recording your experience easy with our upcoming LawQWE eJournal or download the SRA QWE recording template today where you can collate your experience against your competencies.

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How is QWE different?
QWE helps aspiring solicitors by providing them with real-life legal experience and the opportunity to develop some or all of the competencies required to be a solicitor.

What is qualifying work experience (QWE)

QWE must be providing legal services and be for two years of full-time (or equivalent) QWE. The two years can be split across up to four different organisations, as long as a qualified solicitor/Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) confirms the experience, typically the candidate's supervisor. Each QWE experience must meet at least two of the required SRA competencies.

DID YOU KNOW? QWE does not apply to qualified lawyers. However, if you are a foreign lawyer seeking to practice in England and Wales, please look at the SRA's website for guidance. 
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There is no limit on how far back a candidate can claim QWE.
You can take as long as you need to in acquiring the QWE, however, it is best practice to make sure your experience is recent to support your SQE2 preparation. For example, if you are using prior legal experience, we recommend no longer than five years ago. Remember, you will still need a supervising solicitor/COLP to confirm your placement. 

What counts as QWE?

In paid or volunteer work, and could include time spent: on placement during a law degree working in a law clinic at a voluntary or charitable organisation or a law centre working as a paralegal on a training contract.

TOP TIP Start doing your QWE while you are studying for your SQE 1 and 2.

...and what is not QWE?

While undertaking voluntary and pro bono work is a fantastic opportunity for you to develop skills and give something back to your community, some roles may not be eligible, or ideal to use, as QWE. Providing general legal information to community groups, giving legal advice to someone as part of a clinic simulation, or providing mediation, does not count as QWE.

You need to be providing specific legal advice and services to specific people in line with the definition of provision of legal services. When working for law clinics or law centres, check with your supervisor if the work you are doing meets this definition.

When to start QWE 

Although QWE can be at any time, it is best to start doing QWE as soon as possible, ideally before preparing for the SQE 2 assessments because you may find it will help you with your studies.

SQE1 consists of two examinations of 180 questions. It tests 'functioning legal knowledge' (FLK) through single-best-answer, multiple-choice questions. SQE 2 is a single, uniform assessment for all candidates, consisting of 15 to 18 exercises that sample across the skills and practice areas.
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What does confirming QWE mean and who does it?

QWE must be confirmed by a solicitor of England and Wales or a Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP). They do not have to hold a practising certificate. It can also be a solicitor that works for a different organisation than the trainee but is willing to confirm. They will need to have reviewed your work during the relevant period of work experience and provided you with some feedback

Once you are ready to submit your QWE block to the SRA, simply log into your MySRA account and follow the instructions to upload your QWE. The SRA will only notify the confirming supervisor to log into their mySRA once the candidate has officially logged their QWE.

Need to get your prior QWE confirmed?

We are launching our in-house confirming service

We believe, in order to get the most from your QWE, you need to reflect on all the work you've done and it’s great to start thinking about this now and get into the habit of thinking about your work in this way.

Reflective learning

Reflective learning is a continual process that asks candidates to get into the habit of thinking about their learning and experience. The idea is that regularly reflecting on new experiences and situations creates stronger connections and enables much deeper learning.

WHAT'S THE THREE-STEP PROCESS? Retrieval practice involves actively and continuously trying to remember what you have learned. Elaboration is a learning strategy that clarifies the relationship between new and old material in memory Spaced learning is the idea that learning should be completed consistently, over time.

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