Solicitors Qualifying Examination

New law school launches conversion course at quarter the price of GDL

A newly-formed law school has launched a conversion course which is roughly £9,000 cheaper than the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).

The College of Legal Practice, the UK spin-off of Australia’s largest law school, The College of Law Australia, will deliver a conversion course priced at just £3,250.

The new online programme, dubbed the Graduate Foundation in Law (GFL), is specifically designed to equip non-law graduates with the legal knowledge and skills required to start their preparation for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). The first full-time course starts next October and runs for 20 weeks, while the part-time option takes 40 weeks to complete.

Giles Proctor, CEO of The College of Legal Practice, said:

“We strongly believe that students who have not studied law cannot take a SQE1 preparation course straight away. The SQE1 syllabus covers 13 areas of legal knowledge and requires a solid foundation in understanding legal concepts and principles. This solid foundation in concepts, principles and critical thinking cannot be developed just by a standalone 10-20 week SQE1 preparation course, if non-law students are engaging with the law of England & Wales for the first time.”

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Although no longer a regulatory requirement, many law schools and law firms are encouraging (even insisting) non-law grads undertake a conversion course prior to commencing their SQE studies. Law schools will therefore continue to offer the course in some shape or form, although many have ditched the GDL title to reflect the changes brought in by the SQE. It’s also worth noting a conversion course remains a necessary step for non-law graduates seeking to qualify as barristers.

Today’s news means the CoLP is now offering one of the cheapest conversion courses on the market.

The University of Law and BPP University Law School both offer Post Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) courses priced at £12,250 and £11,938 in London, as well online offerings at £9,850 and £11,938. Elsewhere, Nottingham Law School’s conversion course comes in at £8,890, while BARBRI runs an SQE1 prep programme with built-in conversion for just £2,999.

The Legal Cheek SQE Providers List shows CoLP’s SQE prep courses are also priced at the cheaper end of the market: £1,800 for SQE1 and £2,300 for SQE2.

The launch of the conversion course comes just weeks after it unveiled a training deal with Accutrainee, in a move that will see the flexible training contract provider fund its lawyer hopefuls through both their SQE prep with CoLP.

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