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M Law (Solicitor) - The UK's first fully qualifying law degree

Northumbria Law School is pleased to announce that it has been approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to deliver a pilot academic programme where students can graduate as fully qualified solicitors.

This groundbreaking programme enables students to combine traditional study with skills development, clinical legal education and placement in practice in order to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities required to work as a solicitor.

The programme is an Integrated Masters Degree incorporating the Qualifying Law Degree. Graduates are exempt from the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and complete their Work Based Learning (equivalent to the Training Contract) during the course of their studies. Upon completion of the programme, graduates will have completed all of their work based learning and will be able to apply to the SRA for enrolment as a solicitor.

The full-time, five year degree has been developed in consultation with the legal profession and is intended to meet the training needs of future lawyers, as well as business needs of legal firms across England and Wales. It is designed to open up access to the legal profession, while preserving the rigour of the training experience.


Advantages for firms

  • Flexibility - over timing and duration of placement
  • Efficiency - the University is responsible for reviewing and assessing the work based learning. The SRA minimum salary regulations are not applicable.
  • Highly skilled fee earners - students entering the placements come with existing professional experience and responsibility. They have developed legal skills competencies and professional awareness throughout their studies and particularly in the Student Law Office.
  • Working in partnership with a leading Law School - Northumbria University Law School has a reputation for excellence and innovation in legal education.
  • Input into the knowledge and skills development of student trainees - firms offering full placements will be consulted about student trainee's education.
  • Staff development - provides non-solicitor fee earner route to qualification.
  • Niche/Specialist firms - no requirement for full training infrastructure and minimum three "seats". Specialist placements may be combined in different organisations enabling achievement of the work based learning outcomes.
  • Ongoing support and resources - student trainees continue to have access to excellent university facilities (including databases) throughout the placement.
  • Innovative - the firm participates in a unique programme that for the first time combines the academic and training stages of qualification as a solicitor.
  • Rigorous - the training experience is incorporated into a rigorous academic framework ensuring clear planning and measurable outcomes.
  • Accredited - the programme is fully approved and supported by the SRA as a pilot alternative to the training contract.

The key to the Law School's ability to offer this programme is the award winning Student Law Office. This pro bono community legal service has 18 qualified practitioner supervisors and c.180 enthusiastic and talented student representatives. They offer a full legal service for clients from first interview through to settlement or court hearing.


"The Student Law Office is the Jewel in the Crown of the Law School" Judging panel, Attorney General's Pro Bono Awards

"Outstanding, exemplary and truly inspirational" Judging panel, National Training Awards

For further information, please contact Caroline Foster or Paul McKeown on 0191 227 3909.