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Preparing for SQE can be your UK passport

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) for lawyers wishing to practice in England and Wales is a difficult hurdle to overcome, and requires focused preparation. 

However, not only are the rewards worth the effort, but preparing for the SQE actually gives you the knowledge and insight to build an international career in several other ways. And that career pays far, far more than what an average lawyer earns in India. 

Before taking this further, I would like you to think about what a legal career based solely in India can give you. You needn’t think too hard, simply Google ‘lawyer salary in India’. It can be quite hard for an average lawyer in India to cross the income threshold of INR 1 lakh per month. 

A survey has shown that only about 2 percent of Indian lawyers earn INR 5 lakh per month or more while around 16 percent earn above INR 1 lakh per month. Of course, this group includes mostly lawyers who have invested decades to build their practice. Young lawyers find it exceedingly difficult to make their place in an overcrowded legal market.

As a result, many talented Indian lawyers have begun to explore opportunities to practice internationally, given the international legal markets in countries like the UK or USA are significantly larger than the Indian market, which means bigger and more lucrative opportunities for many Indian lawyers.

In an earlier email, we discussed the earning potential of a solicitor in the UK. In this email, let’s focus on how, in the process of qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales, you also pick up the ability to deliver multi-jurisdictional legal work. 

Here are a couple of examples of our learners doing UK work

While neither of our students below were preparing for SQE, the work they performed for UK clients is what SQE preparation equips you for. And I want to give you an idea of the benefits of such work. 

This is Sachin Mayekar (LawSikho, July 2019), a 2020 graduate of GLC Mumbai, who took up our courses when he was graduating. 

Today, he has worked on lease agreements, website terms and policies, work-for-hire agreements, powers of attorney, and service level agreements for several UK clients, and is earning an average of INR 60,000 per month just through remote freelancing. 

Here is one of the testimonials he obtained from a UK client on his Fiverr profile

Parul Chaudhary, a student of Symbiosis Law School Noida, received her first remote freelance opportunity through Fiverr from a UK-based client to draft media and entertainment contracts – and she got it within five days of a mentoring session with our freelance team! Read what she had to say on her LinkedIn post

What this means for you

Even before clearing the SQE, therefore, you can begin taking on remote freelancing work from UK clients, since the preparation itself will enable you to serve UK clients and thereby increase your earning opportunities. Moreover, this way you are building valuable UK experience, exposure and track record, which goes a long way in securing high quality jobs later.

And the great thing is that LawSikho will scout the best placement opportunities for you at no extra cost. We will also help you create profiles on job platforms like Fiverr and Upwork so that you are visible to genuine, relevant clients. 

We have preferred relationships with numerous organisations, including many law firms and in-house legal teams, of multinational corporations in the UK. This gives us access to a network of opportunities, and we know when and where there is a need for talent. 

It isn’t only about the money. Working for and with UK clients will also give you priceless practical experience about the country’s legal system that will be extremely useful as you write the exam.

Also remember that once you qualify the SQE, your practice area will cover both India and the UK, which exponentially increases your income and network-building potential. Needless to add, your credentials, skills and experience in the UK will contribute hugely to your legal career in India. 

Do you see how you can benefit in multiple ways from your SQE preparation? 

Do you want to build a successful career as an international legal professional as you work on your exam prep?

Even if you need to take more than one attempt at SQE, don’t you want a solid back-up plan that takes care of all your expenses and adds to your portfolio of international assignments?

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