Flex Legal, the award-winning online platform that connects organisations to on-demand paralegals and lawyers, has today announced that its free online tool, Flex Journal now supports legal supervisors to more easily fulfil their responsibilities under the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). Supervisors can now use the simple, digital platform to seamlessly manage the approval of candidates’ work experience in one, secure, centralised location.
From September 2021 SQE will be phased in as the route to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. Under SQE candidates are required to evidence two years of qualifying work experience (QWE) that fulfils criteria specified by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Flex Journal is the UK’s first digital record of QWE, offering SQE students the means to digitally record work experience, matched directly against the SRA’s specified criteria. Candidate work experience journals recorded on the platform are submitted directly to supervisors for approval and feedback, with all QWE managed simply and securely online.
Now, using Flex Journal, supervisors can use the platform to view and provide feedback on candidates’ journals, ensuring simplicity and maintaining an audit-proof record of all approved and declined SQE submissions. A subscription-free service, supervisors simply create an account, and can immediately start receiving QWE journals from their candidates.
Similarly, Flex Journal is open to all SQE candidates, regardless of whether or not they are registered on the Flex Legal platform. In its guidance on how candidates can gain qualifying work experience the SRA has advised that candidates can start gaining the necessary experience now and ‘banking’ it for when SQE comes in on 1 September 2021.
Mary Bonsar, CEO and Founder of Flex Legal is urging those currently gaining experience not to miss out on logging valuable criteria,
“The fact that candidates can already start logging qualifying work experience for supervisors to assess on Flex Journal gives them a fantastic head start on their journey to qualification. I would strongly encourage candidates to start logging experience now, and for supervisors to consider how best to support them right now.”
“We’ve always been huge supporters of SQE, which will carve through the existing training contract bottleneck. The new route breaks down the barrier of access to the profession and create a fairer and more open path to qualification. We are committed to supporting the SQE and what it represents, which is why we’ve been hard at work on the journal, which will allow candidates and supervisors to easily manage qualifying work experience in an amazing range of diverse roles. We’ve already helped over law graduates obtain training contracts and can’t wait to help thousands realise their ambitions through SQE.”
Candidates have already begun their qualifying journey using Flex Journal, with over 500 now registered and over 29.5k hours of work experience registered.
Daniel Onafuwa, 21, Paralegal, who recently graduated from Cardiff University and has undertaken various legal placements including at the UK Parliament, National Assembly of Wales and Allen & Overy said,
“I am 100% committed to the new SQE route. After reflecting upon my own personal circumstances, I do believe that SQE will pave the way to a more accessible and diverse legal profession.”
“I have been using the Flex Journal for a few months now. I have been a very strong advocate for the journal and have been sharing it with all my friends and colleagues. I especially appreciate the supervisor function where you can directly send your journal to your supervisor thus making the admission process less intimidating. My supervisors have been very appreciative of the journal. It takes a lot of the stress away from them as they themselves are still trying to familiarise themselves with this new process of qualification.”
Hateema Zia, 25, Paralegal said,
“I definitely think SQE is a change for the better. It’s allowing many people to work flexibly, and at their own pace. I’m opting to take the SQE route and am excited if it allows me to qualify with the experience I already have. I’ve worked as an in-house paralegal for Zuto, Gazprom Energy, and EasyJet. Most of the experience I have gained is through Flex Legal and I’m already using the Flex Journal. It’s really easy to use, you get pointers as to what you should be noting down and matches to the skills that you need to acquire for qualifying. It’s very useful.”