We welcome applications from qualified lawyers from all over the world who are interested in requalifying into Scotland.

We are here to guide you through the qualification process from beginning to end. We can also give advice and information about working in the Scottish jurisdiction, to help you identify what career options might be available to you. If you would like some assistance in relation to career options, please contact careers@lawscot.org.uk.

COVID-19 UPDATE AUGUST 2020

We are closely monitoring official advice and updates from the Scottish Government and NHS to ensure that we are acting in accordance with the latest guidance to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, members and stakeholders.

It is likely that the May 2021 exam diet will be held remotely, however a decision will be made closer to the time. Further information about the arrangements of the remote exam diet can be found in the drop-down list below. Any updates will be added to this page.

Candidates are asked to submit an enrolment form no later than 6 weeks prior to the exam diet. Late enrolments will not be accepted.

Qualified Lawyers Assessment (QLA)

As of 1 November 2019, all solicitors re-qualifying from another jurisdiction can apply to undertake the Qualified Lawyers Assessment. This is a universal set of exams, which will attract various exemptions for solicitors already qualified in certain countries.

Commenced a requalification route before the introduction of the QLA?

For anyone who has already commenced re-qualification before 1 November 2019 by any of the previous routes available (Intra-UK Transfer Test, Aptitude Test for EU-qualified lawyers or the route for solicitors from other non-UK/EU jurisdictions), please get in touch with us about whether and how the new regulations will affect you. Any person who has commenced training under the 2011 or 1994 regulations may request permission to qualify under the 2019 regulations.

Please contact legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk for more information.

Application and qualification process for the QLA

Any lawyer qualified in another jurisdiction can apply to requalify as a Scottish solicitor via the Qualified Lawyers Assessment. As well as undertaking our exams, there are several essential pieces of paperwork prospective applicants must complete. 

 

Certificate of eligibility

A Certificate of Eligibility is the first document you must obtain as part of your application.

To apply for a Certificate of Eligibility there are various items of supporting information that you must provide (no less than four months before the date of the first examination of the qualified lawyers assessment the applicant intends to sit):

These are:

  • completed application form
  • Certificate of Good Standing from Home Bar Association (for details of what this must show, see the Schedule to the Admission as Solicitor (Scotland) Regulations 2019).
  • Disclosure Scotland application, including copies of relevant documents (you can request an application form at the bottom of this page)
  • Non-refundable administration fee of £500 plus a £25 charge for your Disclosure check
  • completed Learning Portfolio application form, where candidates are required to outline their academic and professional qualifications and experience and also apply for any exemptions which have not been automatically granted (see exemption information below)

Your application to be permitted to commence the requalification process will be considered only after we have received all of these documents.

Once you have been granted a Certificate of Eligibility, you should enrol in the required examinations using this form. Enrolments for the examinations must be made no later than six weeks prior to the relevant exam date. Late enrolments will not be accepted.

 

Law Society of Scotland's exams

 

There are 11 subjects that you may be required to pass, however solicitors from some jurisdictions have been granted exemptions by right.  It would also be open to you to apply for exemptions from any of these examinations on the basis of past study and qualifications.

The Society's examinations are held in Edinburgh and there are two diets each year, in May and November.

Exam calendar for 2020 / 2021
Exam enrolment form

 

Exam Timetable and Issue of Paper

The exam timetable will be published as normal, a copy can be found above. Exam papers will be sent to candidates, by email, 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of each exam.

 

Format

The exam paper will be in broadly the same format as would have been supplied in the exam hall setting.  It will comply with the terms of the syllabus for each subject in terms of numbers and types of question etc.

 

Time

The duration of the exam will be the standard duration, as per the timetable.

 

Return of Exam Scripts

Completed exam answers must be emailed back to the Society within 10 minutes of the scheduled finish time.

 

Form of Submission

In principle, exam answers should be Word-processed. If you will be unable to comply with this requirement, you must arrange, in advance, to handwrite your answers and submit photos of each page within the 10-minute period allowed for this at the end of the exam.

 

Word Count

Excessively long answers should be avoided.  Quality is more important than quantity.  Remember that this is an exam. The aim is to write the best, not the longest, answers which can be given to the question asked.

 

Writing the Exam Answers

As soon as you receive the exam paper, save it to your own desktop so that it will not matter if you lose internet connectivity.  Create a new Word Document (or equivalent) into which to type your answers.  If possible, apply a header to this answer file containing your candidate number (which will be provided to you prior to the exam) and the name and date of the exam. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME.  If you can’t create a header, type your candidate number, etc at the beginning of your paper.  Save the answer document in a number of places so that it can’t be completely lost or accidentally deleted.  You can write your answers offline provided that you complete them and email them back to the Society within 10 minutes of the exam ending.  Save your work frequently, and make sure that it has been saved.

 

Open Book

Exams are now open book.  In answering them, students may consult any material available to them.  The questions will take some account of the fact that all materials are accessible.  Essay questions might, for example, ask you to come up with particular examples of your own creation.  Problem questions will concentrate on application of legal principles to fictional case studies.  Do not rely on being able to find the material required during the exam.  Access to materials can serve only as aide-memoire so that, for example, it may be possible to check a detail such as a case name. 

 

Referencing

Full referencing (OSCOLA etc) is NOT required. You should still use supporting evidence for your points as you would in an exam. For example, ‘as the case of Smith v Smith (2018) demonstrates…’ or ‘Smith, in her book What is Law? argues that…’  If you quote another source directly, you must still put that quotation in inverted commas and give a brief citation of the source (eg “Chalmers, (2015), p 8)”.

 

Avoiding Academic Dishonesty

Exam answers must be students’ own, individual, original work.  Students must answer the exam on their own.  Markers will be looking for any indication of collusion or of assistance from others.  Do not cut and paste large chunks of material from other sources.  Examiners will be checking for plagiarism.

In principle, your answers should be as they would be in the exam hall.

In marking, examiners will recognise

  • the novelty of these arrangements for students and the possible difficulties presented
  • the fact that students can access other materials in preparing their answers

 

Troubleshooting

If you do not receive the exam paper at the start of the exam, immediately contact thr Society (contact details will be provided when you enrol in an exam). It is advised that you have a generic email address as a back-up, in which the exam paper can be emailed back to you. If you have no internet access, please let the Society know ASAP. If you cannot email your completed script back at the end of the exam, follow the same instructions.

 

Students with Reasonable Adjustments

In general, these can be dealt with for online submission but please discuss in advance with the Law Society.

Exams and exemptions

            (1)        Legal system and legal method

            (2)        Public Law

            (3)        Obligations

            (4)        Criminal Law

            (5)        Evidence

            (6)        Procedure

            (7)        Conveyancing

            (8)        Trusts and Succession

            (9)        European Law and Institutions

            (10)      Professional Conduct

            (11)      The Accounts Rules

English and Welsh solicitors and barristers, Northern Irish solicitors and barristers and solicitors and advocates from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are exempt from sitting examinations in:

  • public law
  • obligations
  • European law and institutions
  • professional conduct

Lawyers qualified in non-UK European Economic Area jurisdictions or Switzerland are exempt from sitting an examination in European law and institutions.

Lawyers qualified in other common law jurisdictions are exempt from sitting part of the examination in legal system and legal method.

If you believe that you are qualified in a common law jurisdiction which is not included in this list, please indicate so on your application and explain your reasons.

Please read these guidelines before submitting your Learning Portfolio if you intend to apply for an exemption you are not already automatically exempt from (as stated above).

Guidelines

Additional information


Exams must be completed within four years of first presentation for examination. No more than four attempts are permitted. You must ensure that you have enrolled for your first exam within a year of being granted your Certificate of Eligibility.

Under Regulation 16(4) of the Admission as Solicitor (Scotland) Regulations 2019, applicants must apply for admission within five years after passing the Qualified Lawyers Assessment.

If you'd like to discuss submitting an application or you would like further guidance, please email us at legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk.

Disclosure Scotland check
If you are looking to make a Disclosure Scotland application, please note that paper versions are not being accepted during the COVID-19 outbreak period.

Please follow the link below to find a Word Document version of the application form.

Coronavirus disclosure application form - mygov.scot

You should complete the form up to and including section five, then email it as a Word Document along with your application for a Certificate of Eligibility to martynrobinson@lawscot.org.uk for us to complete the Countersignature section. We will then submit the form to Disclosure Scotland on your behalf.  Please do not send it directly to Disclosure Scotland.

Payment of the £25 fee should be made to the Law Society by card payment or bank transfer only. Please indicate in your email which method you are using.

Career support and advice

We have a dedicated careers team, who provide advice on employability skills, entry to the profession and career growth.