SQE2 is a practical legal skills assessment of about 14 hours across five days. The exam includes both oral and written tasks which test both practical legal knowledge and skills, such as client interviewing, advocacy, legal writing and drafting, legal research and case and matter analysis. Professional conduct issues are assessed throughout the exam.
The skills are assessed in the context of several practice areas: dispute resolution, criminal litigation, property practice, business law, and will and the administration of estates.
Altogether you will be tested across 16 assessments known as ‘stations’. The stations in the SQE2 exam will sample across the range of skills and practice areas. Candidates will not be able to choose the practice area for their skills assessment.
The client interviewing and advocacy assessments involve role-play tasks. An assessor, playing the role of the client, will assess your performance. You will also be asked to complete an attendance note following the interview, which will be marked by a solicitor.
The advocacy assessment will be made by way of submission to the court and be assessed by a solicitor.
The legal writing, legal drafting, legal research, and case and matter analysis stations are completed on a computer and are marked by a trained assessor.
The exam is offered by a sole assessment provider, Kaplan, in several locations in the UK, several times a year. The costs of sitting the SQE2 exam are £2,493. These costs do not include preparation courses for SQE2.