Qualifying work experience

At the Freedom Law Clinic we have spent the past five years delivering first class legal education. Now we’re bringing our expertise to the SQE, helping you to kickstart your career in criminal law.

Our students work on real cases under the guidance of expert lawyers, gaining access to fascinating pro-bono casework, whilst simultaneously helping us to deliver vital pro bono assistance to clients who might otherwise be denied access to justice. 

We believe that the aim of legal education is to prepare students for practice, but ultimately it should also give them a sense of vocation. So, if you care passionately about criminal justice, civil liberties, access to justice and due process then read on… we want to hear from you.

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Our new course, which will foreshadow the introduction of the SQE itself, is broken down into theoretical and practical strands, providing students with a comprehensive opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills and experience so that you can secure further qualifying work experience with a law firm.

The price for the online programme, either 6 or 12 weeks, is £350. For the in-person (hybrid) programme it is £450.

Full time, part time and online options
Choose to complete the programme over 6 or 12 weeks, in person or remotely from anywhere in the world
Expert teaching
12 hours of tuition over the course of the programme to help you develop focussed and in-depth knowledge of specific areas of criminal law
Skills workshops
Designed to help you think and act like a professional criminal lawyer and be able to respond to client needs
Your own client file
Take responsibility for your own client work and managing your client file
Learning with our digital school
A concise reference source, helping you to carry out your client work as well as enhancing your knowledge relevant statute and case law


All students will be expected to complete at least 60 hours of qualifying work experience hours. More hours may be available depending on the needs of the client, in which case these will be agreed in advance. Please remember that this is not intend as a long-term placement, but will give you the vital skills and experience to secure future placements in criminal law.

No, the clinic has extensive experience of running programmes online using the latest digital tools. You can participate from anywhere in the world.

All of the clinic’s clients have been convicted of serious criminal offences such as murder, or the supply or importation of drugs. The majority of our work consists of supporting active applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

That depends on your exact circumstances. There is a total of four hours ‘teaching’ or contact time per week (or per fortnight if you are on the part time programme) and these will eternally be scheduled during the day and you will need to attend, potentially remotely via Zoom. You are then free to undertake your actual working hours around your other commitments. Students will need to dedicate at least 10 hours per week to client work.

No, you can start whenever you like and ‘bank’ your experience. We provide comprehensive learning materials so even if you have not yet studied criminal law, you will be able to access the knowledge you need to start the programme.

On completion of the programme we will discuss future opportunities, both inside and outside the clinic, with individual students.

We have students starting throughout the year. When you sign up you can state a preference. We will contact you with a suggested start date and you will be allocated to a team of students who you will work alongside.

Yes. All students will be expected to maintain a case file which will be assessed by their supervising solicitor at the end of the programme. There will also be a short exam style assessment, containing multiple choice questions, similar to the way the SQE1 exam operates. Topics will range from issues arising from the client’s case to substantive law and criminal procedure.

Casework varies depending on the needs of the client, so you could be drafting correspondence with the client to request additional papers or information, be assessing the merits of the clients case, researching and instructing an expert, or setting out basic grounds of appeal. There is no exhaustive list…we encourage all students to take initiative and ensure that their client’s needs are met.

Yes, absolutely. However, although the experience will still help you to gain further placements or a training contract, it will not count towards the training contract requirement. This is where the SQE and LPC routes differ.

Yes. The programme will still provide you with useful knowledge and experience that could support future pupillage applications or inform a decision to change direction to the solicitor route.


Apply for the programme

Apply now. We'll get back to you within one working day.

Are you currently studying?
Are you currently working?
When would you prefer to start the programme?

Please upload your CV in either PDF or .docx format.

Freedom Law Clinic is a Community Interest Company registered (10227294) in England. That means that any profit we make goes straight back in to providing more legal education and assistance to clients in line with our mission statement.


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