Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme

Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme


card image
Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme

The US legal market has become too competitive. New law graduates and experienced lawyers seeking legal jobs need to aggressively compete with the growing number of other law practices nationwide, thus most law firms hire Attorney SEO Services USA.

To be ahead of the competition, many American lawyers opt to take the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme to become a dual-qualified lawyer and have cross-referral relationships with law firms from England and from all parts of Europe

Reasons to Become a Dual-Qualified English Solicitor

As a lawyer, you are a well-trained, hardworking, trusted, and a well-regarded professional.  These are the traits that a Lawyer SEO Agency USA can work to promote your practice.

These days though, your primary professional qualification of being a licensed lawyer in your jurisdiction is not enough to have a secured career.

It has always been emphasized that licensed lawyers need Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to continuously hone and develop their legal knowledge and skills.

Smart lawyers aim to build their portfolio of professional expertise and services to advance and expand their law practice. It also makes SEO for Lawyers SA better optimize their websites to generate more clients.

Many law graduates and licensed lawyers choose to take a Master of Laws degree. There is however an increasing number of licensed lawyers who want to demonstrate a new way of working and thinking based on enhanced expertise and skills which can benefit their law practice, law firms, and clients.

Many licensed lawyers want to qualify in more than one jurisdiction. They believe this is one of the best ways to advance their legal careers and offer more legal services to their clients. Many licensed lawyers, therefore, choose to be dual-qualified lawyers.

You may be wondering though why many licensed lawyers want to be dual-qualified English Solicitors.

Lawyers and law firms whether based in the United Kingdom, the United States, or in other countries should realize that becoming a dual-qualified English Solicitor improves their professional profile so they can offer more legal services to their clients. This makes it easier for SEO Law Firm USA to promote their law practice.

There are many reasons licensed lawyers from the United States aim to be part of the Roll of Solicitors in England and Wales:

• Prestige

The privilege of being an English Solicitor is more than just an addition to your resume. There are many benefits of being a dual-qualified English Solicitor. Being an English Solicitor is synonymous with having the mark of global excellence.

English law has a significant role in influencing the development of international regulatory and legal regimes. The best SEO Marketing Law Firm USA better optimized websites of lawyers or law firms with lawyers that are dual-qualified English Solicitors.

• To Generate More Business and Revenues

Most lawyers who want to become dual-qualified English Solicitors do not actually intend to practice law in London. They prefer to practice in their home jurisdiction but utilize the knowledge, skills, and qualification they gained in qualifying to become English Solicitors. Law Firms SEO in USA can better optimize websites when lawyers have more credentials.

• More Employment Opportunities

The abilities and skills of dual-qualified English solicitors are highly in demand in business dealings all over the world giving those more opportunities to work and live anywhere in the world.

Dual-qualified English solicitors are also highly sought after by employers and recruiters especially by large international and UK law firms.

• English Law is the Preferred Jurisdiction of Global Business

Being a dual-qualified English Solicitor also means you can represent clients in arbitration proceedings or negotiate cross-border agreements in matters pertaining to a state law or English law in the United States and London.

The qualification process in England and Wales for Solicitors are highly regarded internationally. Conversely, English Law is the preferred jurisdiction for global businesses because of its protection, fairness and impartial application.

• Global Businesses Seek Global Law Firms

Since global businesses want to work with global law firms, many law firms are now expanding globally. Some of the largest law firms in the world have a major presence in emerging and major markets. These law firms have either expanded into many geographic areas or have entered into mergers and acquisitions.

Top law firms always compete for excellent talents thus there is an increasing demand for dual-qualified lawyers.  The complex demands of several clients requiring legal representation in different jurisdictions have led many law firms to pursue global expansion.

Due to global expansions, there has been a rise in the demand for dual-qualified English solicitors to handle global transactions in London as well as in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

• Globalizing the Legal Profession

In the past, most law schools have remained focused on uni-jurisdictional legal education. This means training would-be lawyers to practice in their locality. As such not too many lawyers chose to get qualified for admission to foreign Bar Associations and Law Societies. There was no need for licensed lawyers to have any cross-jurisdictional expertise.

Today lawyers are part of a world that is increasingly interconnected with diverse legal systems and jurisdictions. This development has resulted in the need for licensed lawyers that can seamlessly practice law on a global level.

In simpler terms, dual-qualified English Solicitors are needed to offer legal services to clients from different parts of the world. Additionally, since more companies are setting overseas operations and engaging in cross-border activities, dual-qualified lawyers play an important role in protecting and enabling global competition and trade.

• London is the Business and Legal Center

London is the hub of many business transactions and negotiations, a distinguished forum for the resolution of disputes, and one of the centers of the global economy. Five of the Top 10 Law Firms in the World have their headquarters in London. Over 75% of the Fortune 500 companies have a major presence in London.

London offers a major international location and a business-friendly environment for almost any kind of business (banking, finance, trading, insurance, advertising media, or professional services). A growing number of American corporations are expanding their businesses into the European Union markets and need legal advice and counseling.

English Law is recognized as the supreme law of business thus London is the preferred venue to resolve disputes (arbitration and litigation.

Choices in International Arbitration, a study conducted by the Queen Mary, the University of London in 2010 revealed that 40% of corporations use English Law while only 17 % of corporations surveyed use New York Law as the basis for cross-border transactions.

The Qualified Lawyers' Transfer Scheme allows lawyers from other jurisdictions (recognized by the SRA) as well as barristers from Wales and England to be qualified English Solicitors. Passing the QLTS also allows you to practice law in many other countries making it easier for Lawyer SEO USA to promote lawyers’ websites.

How to be a Qualified Solicitor in England and Wales

You do not need to be an experienced lawyer or undergo any additional training to be a Solicitor in England and Wales. You only need to satisfy these requirements of the SRA.

1. You must be a qualified lawyer from an SRA recognized jurisdiction

You need to be a licensed lawyer in good standing in the jurisdiction that is recognized by the SRA.  The SRA accredits jurisdictions whose qualifications, legal education, and training are more or less equivalent to the Bachelor’s Degree in England or Wales.  In the United States, these jurisdictions include:

• Alabama

• Arizona

• Arkansas

• California

• Colorado

• Connecticut

• Florida

• Georgia

• Illinois

• Iowa

• Kentucky

• Louisiana

• Maine

• Maryland

• Massachusetts

• Michigan

• Minnesota

• Mississippi

• Missouri

• Montana

• Nebraska

• Nevada

• New Hampshire

• New Jersey

• New York State

• North Carolina

• Ohio

• Oklahoma

• Oregon

• Pennsylvania

• South Carolina

• Tennessee

• Texas

• Utah

•  Virginia

• Washington DC

• Washington State

• Wisconsin

2. Meet SRA’s requirements on character and suitability

When you apply for admission, the SRA will conduct a full check on your character and suitability. You will need to submit a Certificate of Good Standing from your home Bar Association.

3. Pass the Qualified Lawyers' Transfer Scheme Assessments

The Qualified Lawyers' Transfer Scheme Assessments consist of the written exam and the practical assessment.

What is the Qualified Lawyers' Transfer Scheme?

It has long been the dream of many licensed lawyers in the United States to seek work or to be able to practice law in London.

The Qualified Lawyers' Transfer Scheme (QLTS), introduced in September 2010, allows US and other foreign lawyers to be qualified English Solicitors (in England and Wales).

This fast-track program is administered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) who regulates the Law Society of England and Wales. The Law Society of England and Wales is equivalent to a State Bar Association in the United States.

The United States is a recognized jurisdiction of the SRA thus any practicing US lawyer can register for the QLTS assessments. You need to be a qualified lawyer with good standing in your local American Bar Association.

You do not need to go through any training or internship to qualify for the QLTS. It does not have any experience requirement, either.

After passing the QLTS, lawyers can apply with the SRA to be admitted to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales. You will need to submit your admission eligibility.

Qualified Lawyers' Transfer Scheme Assessments

The Qualified Lawyers' Transfer Scheme Assessments consist of a written examination and practical assessment. The assessments aim at making sure practicing lawyers who qualify to become solicitors in England and Wales are equipped with the ability, skills, and knowledge to perform their duties ethically and competently.

The Qualified Lawyers' Transfer Scheme Assessments are administered by Kaplan QLTS, the only authorized assessment provider of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Kaplan is not permitted to engage in any training activities for the assessments.

• Written Exam

You must first pass the written exam before proceeding to the practical assessment. The written exam is a Multiple Choice Test (MCT). It consists of 180 questions and you are to choose the best between five possible answers. The questions are about the practice areas in English law.

The written exam is divided into two sessions. Each session consists of 90 questions.  You will be given two hours and 45 minutes to complete each session.

The MCT aims to measure your knowledge and understanding of established standards about being a qualified solicitor in England and Wales.

• Practical Assessment

After completing the MCT, you will then proceed to take the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) or practical assessment to test your practical skills as a lawyer.

The OSCE aims to test your several skills on:

OSCE Part I: Interviewing and Advocacy or Oral Presentation

1. Client Interview

• You will receive an email from a secretary or a partner detailing who your client is and what he wants to discuss with you.

• The email will indicate the legal issue you will deal with in the interview with the client and the subsequent case analysis.

• You will be allowed to interview the client for 25 minutes. Your main objective is to gain the confidence and trust of the client and to make sure that the client continues to work with you.  You should try to get all pertinent details about the legal issue and have a full understanding of the client's concerns.

2. Case analysis

• You will be given 25 minutes to write a case analysis and attendance note based on your interview with the client. You should also include your advice to the client and the next steps that need to be taken.

3. Oral Presentation/ Advocacy

• You will be given 45 minutes to prepare for an oral presentation on a separate case study. You will be sent an email asking you to make the advocacy /presentation and before whom these will be made.

• You can make notes and refer to them when making your presentation.

• You will be given 15minutes to make your presentation to a decision-maker. He may ask you questions.

OSCE Part II: Legal Drafting, Online Legal Research, Legal Writing, Online Legal Research

1. Legal Drafting

• You will be given 45minutes to draft a legal document.

• You will be given access to Westlaw UK and Lexis Library however you will not have so much time to use them.

• You are to write your legal draft on Microsoft Word using MS Office Professional 2010.

2. Online Legal Research

• You will be given 60 minutes to complete this task.

• You will be asked to research an issue the partner will report to the client.

• You will write your answers on an electronic template divided into the advice to be given to the client, and legal reasoning. You need to mention key authorities and sources.

• You will be given a computer with Westlaw UK and Lexis Library databases.

• You are to write your answers in Microsoft Word using MS Office Professional 2010.

3. Legal Writing

• You are given 30 minutes to complete this task.

• You will be required to write an email or a letter acting as a solicitor.

• You will be provided with an electronic template.

 •You will be given access to Westlaw UK and Lexis Library databases.

• You are to write your answers in Microsoft Word using MS Office Professional 2010.

You will not be allowed to bring along any of your materials or books during the MCT and OSCE.

The OSCE will run for several days and covers three practice areas namely Litigation, Business Law and Practice, and Property Law.

Your skills will be assessed through simulated legal environments. Different techniques (OSCE ‘stations’) will be used such as keyboard skills, professional legal databases, and actors as interview clients.

You first need to pass the MCT before you can apply to sit for the OSCE.  The qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme MCT and OSCE are conducted every November and May.

Preparing for the QLTS MCT

To do well in the Multiple Choice Test (MCT) of the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS), you need to have a positive attitude, a solid understanding of the course content and have a strategic thinking plan.

• Set a realistic goal.

• Use a study guide and make sure to stick to it.

• Identify your weak areas and concentrate on them.

• Read and review your books.

• Make sure to take breaks so as not to stress yourself.

• Exercise.

The MCT is a closed-book test so you are not allowed to bring with your books or any materials to the exam room.

Past exams are not available for you to review. No one can also predict the questions. There are, however, mock QLTS MCT that you can try to take. These mock tests will help you assess your level of thinking and your degree of correct and incorrect responses.

If you know of anyone who is also reviewing for the QLTS MCT, you can talk and brainstorm with them similar to how you had study groups at law school.

During the Test Day

On the day of the QLTS MCT, be sure you are prepared physically and emotionally. This is a 5 ½ hour examination divided into two sessions with 2 hours and 45minutes per session.

• Make sure you have all the identification documents, letters, and certificates required by the assessment provider.

• Make sure you know all the procedures, policies, and protocols of the test.

• Arrive early at the examination center.

• Select your seat and try to relax.

• Bring along your lunch as the one-hour lunch break may be shortened because of some logistical issues that may arise.

• Refrain from talking with other examinees during the break as you might feel anxious, too.

Preparing for the QLTS OSCE

Many lawyers who have taken the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme assessment say the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) or practical exam is more difficult than the MCT.

In the OSCE, you will be assessed in six areas –Property Law and Conveyance, Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation, Business Law, Probate and Tax Law.

In the MCT, you are given a question and you have the time to think of the best answer. In the OSCE, the questions will be asked orally and you will have to immediately respond to the examiner client.

Bear in mind that you are a lawyer and you need to win the trust and confidence of the examiner client so you are expected to be able to immediately answer all if not most of his questions.

The OSCE tests your knowledge and skill. You will not be able to acquire your skills through reading and studying books. You, therefore, need to rely on the training you got in law school or your actual work experience.

Your skill performance will comprise 50% of your marks. So make sure you come in prepared and confident.

Passing the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme assessment will make you a dual-qualified Solicitor for England and Wales. Being an English Solicitor will open many opportunities for your legal career

Related Articles: 


The U.K. Paralegals

Can Money Buy A Lawyer Happiness?

Paralegals in The Us


Subscribe to Our Newsletter