The City of London Law Society – “Commercial Law for Social Welfare”
About the Fund
The SWSQF is an initiative by the City of London Law Society, BARBRI and Young Legal Aid Lawyers (‘YLAL’) to provide financial assistance to aspiring solicitors working in social welfare law for organisations serving disadvantaged communities. The SWSQF funds the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) preparation courses and assessments. The fund works alongside other initiatives to provide greater access to justice and widen access to the legal profession.
The City of London Law Society, BARBRI and YLAL are working with the following 18 law firms and the City of London Solicitors’ Company Charitable Fund and benefits from their generous financial support of this initiative:
Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Clifford Chance, Clyde & Co, Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Macfarlanes, Norton Rose Fulbright, Shoosmiths, Simmons & Simmons, Stephenson Harwood, Travers Smith, Towers & Hamlin, Weil Gotshal & Manges, White & Case.
The December edition of the City Solicitor Magazine provides more information on the background to the scheme.
Guidance on Applying for the Fund and Supporting Documents
YLAL have recorded this short FAQ video for applicants.
Please read each of the three documents below before completing the online Application Form.
- Eligibility Criteria – To be eligible for the SWSQF, applicants will need to be able to confirm (and, where stated, provide evidence) that they meet all the Eligibility Criteria.
- Guidance for Applicants – Contains information on the criteria, process and timetable and provides guidance on completing the online Application Form.
- Employer Support Letter – Your employer (or your prospective employer, if contracted to work in the future) must confirm all the matters outlined in section 6 of the Eligibility Criteria 2022. This document sets out the matters requiring your employer’s confirmation and support and provides guidance to your employer on what we are asking of them. A solicitor or COLP in your organisation should complete the letter, sign and print it on letterhead paper. The letter must be uploaded with your online Application Form.
In this short video, YLAL answer everything employers might want to know about the SWSQF – who the Fund is for, how it will work, and how employers can use it to support their paralegals, caseworkers and more to qualify as solicitors in their organisation:
This is the first year of the fund. The CLLS reserves the right in its absolute discretion to make appropriate enhancements and amendments to the SWSQF in line with its experience of operating the SWSQF and in line with sponsor financial commitments.
Any queries not dealt with in these documents may be emailed to SWSQF@citysolicitors.org.uk.
How to Apply and Application Timetable
To apply for the SWSQF, please complete this online Application Form.
Please note the timetable for the application process below:
|6 December 2021||Applications open|
|17 January 2022||Applications close at midnight|
|w/c 7 February 2022||All applicants notified whether shortlisted for interview|
|w/c 21 and 28 February 2022||Interviews with shortlisted applicants|
|w/c 14 March 2022||All shortlisted applicants advised whether they have been successful|
About the SQE
Our SQE Partners
The CLLS is working with BARBRI, Young Legal Aid Lawyers, the Legal Aid Practitioners Group and the Law Centres Network to deliver this programme, including promoting the programme and deciding eligibility of applicants. BARBRI will also provide the SQE preparation courses.
BARBRI are experts in supporting those studying for professional exams alongside full-time employment and, in support of this initiative, are offering discounted programmes.
About BARBRI’s SQE Preparation Programmes
BARBRI’s flexible SQE preparation programmes are designed to support you on your qualification journey, whilst studying around your employment commitments. Their innovative courses are built on decades of experience in exam testing (US Bar, QLTS and SQE) and learning innovation. Unique learning technology provides a structured and supportive environment that gives transparent learner progress and instantaneous feedback.
BARBRI’s Personal Study Plan (PSP) is powered by ISAAC, the Intuitive Study Assistant and Coach, which combines AI with real-world exam intelligence to produce SQE preparation programmes that are uniquely tailored to you as an individual. Throughout the programmes, ISAAC monitors which topics you are mastering, and which topics you are less familiar with. It then adjusts your learning path to shore-up strengths and remediate weaknesses.
The substantive learning for the course (on-demand lectures, bespoke SQE study guides, multiple choice question sets and practice assessments) is delivered flexibly on the PSP. For SQE1, this learning is supported by regular guidance from your dedicated 1:1 learning coach, tutor ‘office hours’ drop-in sessions and live online ‘Prep for Success’ workshops covering e.g. systematic problem solving, exam guidance, wellbeing and mindfulness.. For SQE2, weekly assignments (skills tuition and practice exercises) are delivered via the PSP with 1:1 tutor support and practice with feedback sessions.
Further information about BARBRI’s SQE programme is here: https://barbri-prep.com/sqe/
SQE1: 40-week part-time (10 hours per week study) or 20-week full-time (20 hours per week study), plus time preparing for the assessment.
SQE2: 12 weeks part-time (15 hours per week study), plus time preparing for the assessment.