The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) provides an opportunity for international lawyers to qualify as solicitors in England and Wales. The scheme is administered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales.
The QLTS came into force in September 2010 and replaced the previous regime, the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT) exams.
The QLTS consists of three assessments:
Part I – Multiple Choice Test (MCT) – tests the knowledge and understanding of Outcomes A1-A11. The MCT consists of 180 multiple choice questions, each with five possible answers. The assessment is divided into two periods of three hours each, with 90 questions each.
Part II – Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – tests interviewing and advocacy skills. The assessment runs across 3 consecutive days.
Part III – Technical Legal Skills Test (TLST) – tests the skills of online legal research, drafting and writing. The TLST runs across 3 consecutive days.
Parts II and III are conducted in the context of the three practice areas of Business Law and Practice, Litigation and Property Law.
- You must first pass the MCT before attempting the OSCE and TLST, which can be taken in any order.
- You are allowed to take three attempts at each of the three parts of the assessments during the 5 year validity of your Certificate of Eligibility.
- There is no experience requirement or training to complete
- All assessment are closed-book – you cannot bring with you any supporting materials into the examination centre
- EU and Intra-UK lawyers may be eligible to obtain exemptions from some of the elements of the assessments
To be eligible to apply to take the QLTS assessments, you must be a Qualified Lawyer in a Recognised Jurisdiction. A list of Recognised Jurisdiction is published at the SRA website. The list includes amongst other countries the USA, Australia, all EU countries, Turkey, Nigeria, Canada, South Africa, Japan, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil and Israel.
Before you can sit the assessments, you must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the SRA. The certificate will confirm that you are entitled to practise law in your jurisdiction, and have no criminal record, disciplinary actions or other issues related to your background.
Some international lawyers have to satisfy an English language requirement and to demonstrate that they have achieved the Common European Framework for Reference (CEFR) Level C2. This can be done by taking an English language test. Exemptions can be granted to native English speakers or to those who have gained their legal degree in English.
The fees to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility are £400 if you are qualified in the EU or Switzerland, or if you are an intra-UK lawyer (such as Irish or Scottish solicitors). All other international lawyers should pay £200.
To apply for your Certificate of Eligibility, please download and complete the appropriate form below (all forms are directly linked to the SRA website):
The application form should be sent directly to the SRA, together with the fee and a few documents certifying your academic and professional qualifications and experience. The issuing process takes between four weeks to four months. Once the eligibility criteria have been satisfied, the RSA will issue your QLTS Certificate of Eligibility so you could sit the assessments.
Your QLTS Certificate of Eligibility will be valid for 5 years for the date it was issued. You must pass all the assessments within this 5 year period. No more than 3 attempts for each assessment are allowed during the validity of your certificate.
Questions about your Certificate of Eligibility should addressed to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN, UK
Tel: + 44 (0) 1527 504450 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.sra.org.uk
QLTT Candidates: If you have a valid QLTT Certificate of Eligibility, and you have passed the QLTT exams, you can now complete the OSCE and TLST assessments of the QLTS, in lieu of satisfying the two years’ experience requirement of the QLTR.
Sitting the Assessments
The assessments are administered by a sole assessment provider, Kaplan QLTS, which has been appointed by the SRA. Kaplan is not authorised to offer preparatory courses for the assessments. All the assessments are held in the UK.
MCT – 25th June, 2013 – exam fees are £305 + VAT. The assessment will also be offered in New York City (exam fees are £500).
OSCE – 23rd-25th October, 2nd-4th November, 2013. The fees for the OSCE are £2,100 + VAT.
TLST – 6th-8th November (9th), 2013. The fees for the TLST are £825 + VAT
Assessment results are normally released a few weeks after the assessments. Once you have passed all the three assessments and fulfilled any other outstanding requirements set by the SRA, you may apply for admission to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales and get your practising certificate.