Mishcon de Reya is partnering with BARBRI, a leading legal global education provider, to prepare lawyers qualified outside of England and Wales for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).
As part of the partnership, Mishcon de Reya and BARBRI are working with Breaking Barriers, one of the UK’s leading refugee charities, to offer a number of fully funded SQE 1 preparation courses each year to lawyers with a refugee background, in order to help widen access to the legal profession.
Samantha Kakati, Partner at Mishcon de Reya and Co-Training Principal, said: "Refugees have a valuable contribution to make to both the profession and to our society. However, without proper support, that potential is overlooked and we squander experience, knowledge and skills that could otherwise enrich the operation and progress of not only the profession and legal systems as a whole, but the experience of each of us as participants in it and beneficiaries of it. The legal profession should reflect and represent our society. That means continuing to improve access to, and equity in, the profession, particularly for those who are currently underrepresented. This was one of the drivers of a fundamental change in the qualification process by the introduction of the SQE. This partnership is one of the ways in which we have committed to practical change in the right direction."
Matthew Powell, CEO and founder of Breaking Barriers, said: “There is no national strategy to support refugees in the UK to take their first steps into work. This leads to unemployment, exclusion and untapped potential. With support from partners such as BARBRI and Mishcon de Reya, we can support people from a refugee background to access the legal profession and acquire the knowledge, confidence, experience and qualifications they need to gain stable, fulfilling employment matching their skills and aspirations.”
Victoria Cromwell, Senior Director of Business Development at BARBRI Global said: “The introduction of the SQE ensures that all qualified solicitors, irrespective of their route into the profession, will meet the same high standards consistently; and integral to this will be robust and rounded preparation. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Mishcon de Reya to train its lawyers qualified outside of England and Wales for the SQE, and we are particularly proud of the partnership we have established with Mishcon de Reya and Breaking Barriers to support refugee lawyers to become qualified as solicitors in England & Wales.”
Law Society Gazette