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 two 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 practical assessment) 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 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 assessment of the QLTS – the OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination).
The OSCE tests several skills: interviewing and advocacy (known as OSCE Part I), and online legal research, legal drafting and legal writing (known as OSCE Part II). The OSCE runs across several days and is conducted in the context of the three practice areas of Business Law and Practice, Litigation and Property Law.
The two elements 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, 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 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 London, UK. The next MCT assessment is set for July 9, 2015 – fees are £500 + VAT (at the rate of 20%). The next sitting of the MCT after July 2015 will take place on February 10, 2016.
The OSCE assessments will be offered in June and November 2015. The fees for the OSCE are £2,925 + VAT.
Bookings to sit for the assessments normally close 4-6 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 most comprehensive, affordable and flexible QLTS training, with a dedicated department focused on US attorneys.
Our tutors and administrative staff attended the SRA seminars for QLTS providers in May 2011, July 2012 and September 2013 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 assessment. 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 numerous US attorneys who successfully passed all QLTS assessments on their first attempt. Candidates who prepare with QLTS School pass at more than double the rate of non-QLTS School candidates – results validated by ICF International (NASDAQ:ICFI), an independent and unbiased research firm. ICF International, which conducted a comprehensive study which covered three consecutive sittings of the MCT, has also concluded that about 3 out of 4 candidates who pass the MCT assessment, study with QLTS School, and that most of those who passed did it 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
- Access to the MCT Video Library
- 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 a 20-Question MCT Practice Test
- Free periodic updates for the course materials sent directly to your email
- 2 hours of tutor support
- Initial guidance and customized study plan
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 MCT Online Training System, with 12 months access from the date of your registration. You will be provided with a unique username and password to login to the online portal.
MCT Course Packages
Study packages are delivered in the US within 3-4 business days from the date you have placed your order.
OSCE Preparation Courses
Once you have passed the MCT, you can then attempt the OSCE assessment. Our course for the practical assessment 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 assessment tests 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 assessment is the most personalized preparation course available today. From day one an expert tutor will be guiding you through a program customized for your particular needs and goals. Our expert tutors are drawn from Qualified Solicitors and Barristers, University Law Lecturers and SRA External Examiners on the Legal Practice Course (LPC), which is the domestic route for qualification in England and Wales.
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?
Our preparation program for the OSCE 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 designed specifically to meet your personal needs and requirements
- OSCE practice area summaries
- A skills textbook with access to an online resource, including video and audio lectures
- Exam-type practice questions with answer guides for self-assessment
- Mock tests 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
- Access to QLTS Skills Online - an innovative and interactive online tool to prepare for the OSCE assessment (Advantage and Premium packages only)
- 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 mock assessments with the tutor will be conducted over a period of several months at mutually agreed times.
The course fees of the OSCE program are as follows:
- OSCE Basic – $2,225 (5 mock tests)
- OSCE Advantage – $3,025 (7 mock tests plus access to QLTS Skills Online)
- OSCE Premium – $3,825 (10 mock tests plus access to QLTS Skills Online)
Course fees are converted from GBP. Actual prices are subject to currency exchange rates. The costs of the LPC textbooks are in addition to the course fees (approximately $260 plus delivery).
Note that you cannot use your QLTT Certificate of Eligibility to 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.