This examination is offered by the Law Society twice every year usually in June/July and October/November. Each examination paper may comprise problem or essay type questions or a combination of both. The pass mark for each examination is 50%. Every candidate for the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Education Committee to sit the Test. The Education Committee will also determine on receipt of the appropriate application form and documentation, what subject or subjects the applicant is required to take.
Since there is no knowing of past questions, it is unwise to do selective study and frankly I found it impossible.
Conduct features, heavily in probate, probate and not to mention both the litigations. Whereas the SRA outcomes tell you what the conduct points are, it is imp to know how to apply them and I found the conduct sections in the oxford books highly beneficial. There are also QLTS OSCE online courses which you can relate with the books, answers and guidance. These resources are great. I think a lot has been said about practice and this group is great to find mates to practice with. The different assessments require different kind of practice.
1st the interview – you absolutely have to manage time as you will have only 25 mins. Me and my friends used each other’s partners/spouses, and even children and turned them into distressed clients to get the time management right. Also what helps is preparing questionnaires beforehand and with practice you will get the hang of what to ask naturally. For e.g. for a probate interview your questionnaire should feature – client details, deceased details, family members, dependants, wills – when to who and what, assets, liabilities, lifetime gifts, questions from client. You will have 10 mins to prep for the interview and therefore as long as you have the sections in your head you are good and will be able to chalk out the details from the client, however without a basic structure you will fumble, forget or at worst completely lose control of the questioning. Most actors are alright, but some actors, over act and make it extra difficult so when you practice, do so with a structure.
2nd attendance – this is another key time management area. While you practice, divide the lose sheets you will be taking notes on, according to the structure in your head and number the pages. Remember you can incorporate them in your main attendance note, therefore if you have done the sectioning and the questioning right, by the end of the interview your attendance is half ready. This is SO essential because this saves time and then you concentrate on the issue identification and advice in the 25mins you are given to complete the attendance note.
Advocacy/presentation – this is quite a deal for many. Besides the knowledge, which you will already be having, the practice should be focused on the skill of being comfortable with the person before you, your body posture, eye contact and flow of speech. If you are not confident about your language or pronunciation, take time and talk substance. This may mean that you are not finishing everything by the 15 mins. One good idea is to signpost at the beginning, so the examiner knows you at least had the point in your head, but couldn’t get around to it because of time. So e.g. of presentation is ‘greet, introduce, set context (we are here to speak about), these are the queries you raised, so I will be speaking about these three point…1st…, 2nd…., 3rd…… and then take any further questions you have .., so starting with the first issue…’.
Legal research – practice for research should focus on identifying the search words. You need to give the question a good read and break down the elements to identify the exact key words. Also both lexis and Westlaw, have guidance on the search tools in their help section. Most used are the ‘AND/OR, w/p and n connectors’. As long as you know these four you should be more than ok.
Letter writing, drafting – I will start with letter writing. You get 50% on skill and its easy marks if you have the format right. Addressed to, address, file ref, salutation then you have the body and ending. I would quickly type the format even before the exam would start, so in case I ran out of time the examiner will see at least I finished my letter. Simplicity is the key. You do not need to get verbose or show your knowledge of legalese. For drafting we are told we can use template that is when you find out that there is no template for the particular question…lol, which happened for both the lit drafting exams I took. But I really think both these times are exceptions, know your templates in whichever resources you use. For most things I found encyclopedia in lexis very useful, but you need to identify the ones you are most comfy with. So while you are practicing drafting, do know where your sources are. You don’t have time to be searching in the exam.