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.
There is no formal procedure you need to follow in order to be eligible to take the QLTS assessments. You can even take the assessments before you qualify as an attorney. However, once you have passed the assessments and will move on to apply to become a solicitor with the SRA, you will need to provide evidence that you are licensed to practice law (with good standing status) 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.
You should also make sure prior to embarking on the QLTS assessments that you have no criminal record, disciplinary actions or other problems related to your background, as these may prevent you from becoming a solicitor.
There is no restriction on the number of assessment attempts you may take at each of the MCT or OSCE, nor a time limit for completing the two assessments within a certain time period.
There is also no experience requirement or training to comply with under the QLTS route.
Questions about your eligibility to become an English solicitor should be directed to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN, 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.
Watch this video presentation to learn more about our QLTS training for US attorneys:
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 2011 through 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 in total). QLTS School is the only provider that offers textbooks in a hard copy format for the MCT assessment. The textbooks are sent by special courier
- 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 -over 80 video lessons with professional presentations, spanning 35 + hours of lectures and providing a broad overview of the entire syllabus
- Revision notes with the key points and main legal principles on each subject area
- MCT Question Bank with 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 material sent directly to your email
- 2 hours of tutor support to answer any questions you have about the subject areas
- An initial guidance and customized study plan with a senior MCT tutor
This program gives you everything you need to pass the MCT assessment successfully.
The mock exams, MCT Question Bank with over 1,000 practice questions, revision notes and updates for the course material are available on our MCT Online Training System, with 12 months access from the date of your registration or until you have passed the MCT, whichever comes first. You will be provided with a unique username and password to login to the online portal.
The are three course packages available for the MCT program:
- MCT Basic – $1,390
- MCT Advantage – $1,890 (includes access to the MCT Video Library)
- MCT Premium – $2,290 (includes access to the MCT Video Library, initial guidance and customized study plan, and 2 hours of tutor support)
MCT Course Packages
You can sign up online for the MCT preparation course by choosing one of the packages offered in the table below:
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 known as OSCE ‘stations’, 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
- Exam-type practice questions and mock exams with points to note and answer guides for self-assessment
- Mock practice stations with tutor 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 inquiries 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 – $2,090 (5 mock stations)
- OSCE Advantage – $2,825 (7 mock stations plus access to QLTS Skills Online)
- OSCE Premium – $3,575 (10 mock stations 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).
If you have any questions about the QLTS, please call us today on 888-593-8222 or email us at email@example.com.