QLTS for US Attorneys
As an active lawyer, you are constantly on the lookout for ways to advance your career. With your experience, you already know that the world is a small place – all aspects of business cross national boundaries and continents. You need to make yourself more marketable within a competitive profession and offer services that suit our global village – and this means gaining the necessary skills and qualifications.
The US legal market is extremely competitive not only with respect to new graduates or experienced lawyers seeking jobs but also for law firms who must aggressively compete with the increasing number of other practices nationwide. Many American law firms look to establish cross-referral relationships with other law firms from England and the rest of Europe.
At the same time, there are many British companies, businesses and other interests in the US, and mutually beneficial networking opportunities are abundant.
In addition, an increasing number of US corporations are expanding into EU markets, and as a result require legal counselling and advice concerning the doing business overseas.
All these latest developments have made law firms to step up their demands for dual qualified lawyers.
What is the QLTS?
The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) is a fast-track route that enables US attorneys to qualify as English solicitors. It replaced the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTT) in September 2010.
Becoming an English solicitor will opens new horizons for your career and will enable you to:
- Open a variety of career opportunities
- Enhance your professional profile, reputation and marketability in your home jurisdiction
- Offer a wider range of legal services to your clients
- Advise your client on matters on English law
- Gain a foothold in the EU market
- Work as a solicitor in England and Wales
- Get more business and increase your revenues
The assessments are administered by Kaplan QLTS on behalf of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which is the regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales (the equivalent organization to a State Bar Association in the US). Kaplan is a sole assessment provider and is not permitted to offer training for the assessments.
Unlike the QLTT, there is no experience requirement or training to complete! All you need is to pass three assessments (written and practical) before you can gain admission to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales.
The first assessment (which must be passed before attempting the two practical assessments) is the MCT – Multiple Choice Test. This format is very similar to the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). The MCT includes 180 questions with five possible answers covering several practice areas in English law. The test is divided into two periods of three hours and 90 questions each. The MCT is a standardized test with no pre-determined pass mark.
The purpose of the MCT is to measure the examinee’s knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a newly qualified solicitor in England and Wales. Upon successful completion of the MCT, you will be eligible to attempt the practical assessments of the QLTS:
- OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) – tests interviewing and advocacy skills. The assessment runs across 3 consecutive days.
- TLST (Technical Legal Skills Test) – tests the skills of online legal research, drafting and writing. The TLST runs across 3 consecutive days as well.
The OSCE and TLST assessments are conducted in the context of the three practice areas of Business Law and Practice, Litigation and Property Law.
All the three assessments of the QLTS are closed-book exams – no materials are permitted to be used during the assessments.
In order to be eligible to take the QLTS assessments, you must be a qualified attorney in one or more of the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York State, North California, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington State and Wisconsin.
In addition, before taking the assessments, you must obtain a QLTS Certificate of Eligibility from the SRA. This certificate simply confirms that the you are competent to practice law in your State and have no criminal record, disciplinary actions or other problems related to your background. The criteria for obtaining this certificate are not demanding, so most candidates commence their studies and at the same time apply for their Certificate of Eligibility.
There is also an English language requirement you need to comply with, however if you have obtained your law degree in a university or college in the US or in other country where all higher education takes place in English, you are exempt.
Your Certificate of Eligibility will be valid for five years from the date it was issued. You are allowed to attempt each assessment three times during this five-year period.
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 Website: http://www.sra.org.uk
Exam Dates and Fees
All the assessments are offered in the UK. The MCT is also offered in New York City. The next assessment is set for June 25, 2013 – fees are £305 + VAT (at the rate of 20%) and £500 in NYC. The exact location will be announced in due course.
The next OSCE and TLST assessments will be offered in October/November 2013. The fees for the OSCE are £2,100 + VAT and for the TLST – £825 + VAT.
Bookings to sit for the assessments close four weeks before an assessment date. You can register your details with the assessment provider before you have obtained a Certificate of Eligibility but must have the certificate in hand when you book a specific assessment date.
QLTS School is the premier course provider of the QLTS assessments today. We offer the Ultimate Preparation Course for the QLTS assessments – which is the most comprehensive, affordable and flexible way to prepare for the assessments. We have a dedicated department to serve US attorneys.
Our tutors and administrative staff attended the SRA seminar in May 2011 for QLTS providers and thoroughly understand the SRA and examiner’s requirements. We are in contact with the SRA and Kaplan on a regular basis to ensure our candidates are informed about the latest developments on the QLTS.
Your first step would be to sign up for the MCT course, which you must pass before attempting the OSCE and TLST assessments. Our MCT course is aimed to build a strong foundation in the legal concepts essential for success in the MCT assessment. The nature of this course gives you the flexibility to study wherever and whenever you want – 24/7 – and benefit the on-going support of our customer service team.
We have a proven track record of QLTS candidates who successfully passed all QLTS assessments on their first attempt.
What is Included in our MCT Course?
- 11 comprehensive textbooks covering all areas of practice required for by the SRA (approximately 2,000 pages)
- QLTS Course Handbook explaining the fundamentals of the QLTS assessments, structure of the course programme, suggested study guide and test administration procedures
- Revision notes with the key points and main legal principles on each subject area
- More than 1,000 multiple choice questions, with five possible answers and detailed solutions
- 5 mock exams that will enable you to test your progress and simulate a real test, with intermingled questions and a time limit similar to the formal test – View a Demo of an MCT Practice Test
- Free periodic updates for the course materials sent directly to your email
This program gives you everything you need to pass the MCT assessment successfully.
The mock exams, 1,000 practice questions, revision notes and updates are available on our online MCT Question Bank, with 12 months access from the date of your registration. You will be provided with a unique username and password to login to the MCT Question Bank.
MCT Course Packages
Study packages are delivered in the US within 3-4 business days from the date you have placed your order.
OSCE and TLST Courses
Once you have passed the MCT, you can then attempt the OSCE & TLST assessments. Our course for the practical assessments combines selected LPC books, online resources, mock assessments and 1-2-1 tutor support.
US lawyers are tested on five skills – Interviewing, Advocacy, Writing, Drafting and Online Legal Research. The skills are assessed through various simulated legal environments using different techniques, including actors as interview clients and professional legal databases and keyboard skills. The OSCE and TLST assessments test the skills in the context of three main areas of legal practice: Business Law, Litigation (Civil and Criminal), and Property Law (Conveyancing, Wills and Probate).
You should be able to know and understand the relevant legal principles, foundation law, be able to explain those to the client using accurate and timely advice, which documents to use and also to draft various documents yourself when needed.
Our course for the OSCE & TLST assessments is the most personalized preparation course available today. An expert tutor who is a Senior University Law Lecturer as well as Lead SRA Examiner on the LPC (the domestic route for qualification) will be guiding you from day one through a program customized especially for your particular needs and goals.
With this unique approach, you and your tutor can develop a specifically-tailored study plan to suit your strengths and weaknesses and personal circumstances.
What is Included in our Course?
We offer a combined preparation program for the OSCE and TLST which includes the following:
- QLTS Course Guide
- An initial interview with one of our senior tutors to assess your experience, level of training required and to discuss any initial questions you may have about the assessments and the course
- Customized study plan prepared by our senior tutor desgined specifically to meet your personal needs and requirements
- Selected textbooks with access to online resources of Oxford University Press, covering the three area of practice
- A skills textbook with access to an online resource, including video and audio lectures
- Exam-type practice questions with answer guides for self-assessment
- Five mock exams with 1-2-1 tutor feedback. Each mock test will be personally marked by our senior tutor, who will provide you with substantive feedback based on the SRA marking criteria
- Responses to general enquiries from students re understanding of material and the practical assessments
- Networking opportunities and online peer review for the practical assessments
You do not need to come to the UK to take the course – you can work on your personalized curriculum from anywhere in the United States. Your 5 mock skills assessments with the tutor will be conducted over a period of several months at mutually agreed times.
The fees of the combined program for the OSCE & TLST are $2,190 plus the costs of the LPC textbooks (approximately £160 or $260 plus delivery).
Note that if you have obtained your QLTT Certificate if Eligibility before September 2010 you can still sit for the QLTT exams, however this does not preclude you from obtaining a QLTS Certificate of Eligibility and take the QLTS assessments. There is no experience requirement you need to comply with through the QLTS route.
If you have any questions about the QLTS, please call us today on 888-593-8222 or email us at email@example.com.