Ab initio...

Posted on June 27, 2011 by Raquel Rodríguez

QLTS is an acronym for Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme and is the process that any internationally qualified lawyer seeking to practice as a solicitor in England and Wales must go through.   

I am a Spanish Law graduate and have always aimed for a career in international commercial law. To do well in this area of law the knowledge of English language is an advantage and in some cases an out and out requirement. Here it is again… a topic that makes most Spanish people shake. Although we study English throughout our school years we do not seem to learn it. This is a fact and very sad indeed. Apparently after completing what we call bachillerato (two years of school before enrolling university) all Spanish students achieve an upper intermediate English level. Well the truth is that this level tends to be quite mediocre.  

So here I was, a Spanish señorita who had just finished her degree in Law and wanting to work in an international environment. The plan I had for my future forced me out of Spain. In my third year of university I did an Erasmus in Italy which made me realize how efficiently you learn a language if you immerse yourself in that culture. After my graduation I booked a one-way flight to London, where I planned to stay for as much time as I needed to become fluent in English.

While my fellow graduates were starting their careers as lawyers I was taking an alternative path. This consisted of English classes, jobs in stores and restaurants (getting paid to practise speaking) and watching shows like Friends over and over with the subtitles switched on. When I finally felt confident enough I thought why don’t I stay here? London is a great city, especially when it comes to business. I started doing some research and found out that there is a process called QLTS that you need to go through. This used to be called QLTT until 31 of August 2010 when they modified it to make it more accurate and up to date.  

It is interesting that at university none of us were told what to do in order to practice in another country. A little unusual especially since we all claim to be part of this big organization called the European Union. It is not my intention to start an argument on this issue but it does not hurt to give it some thought once in a while.

Before going into more serious matters I would like to be clear, I am not an expert. I am just a foreign student who like many others, wants to make my future here and very often feels lost. I hope this blog will help people who may feel this way to open up themselves and share their thoughts, concerns and experiences.  

This is my second attempt to write this entry. I thought the first one was too boring and technical. Hopefully I made this one more interesting and useful.

Having said that I am committing myself to a weekly update about how my experience through the QLTS is going. The next entry will be about how to find the right resources and support to prepare for the Exam.

I will be writing to you very soon!  


  1. very inspiring , keep up the good work ;)

  2. Raquel,

    Me llamo Víctor y la verdad que me ha sorprendido que una Barcelonesa este también preparando el QLTS. Yo también soy de Barcelona y estoy preparando los trámites. Como tu, también tengo pensado hacer carrera en London.
    Después de haber hecho un LLM en UK volví a Barcelona pero me di cuenta que me sitio está ahí.
    La verdad es que te estaría muy agradecido si me pudieses dejar un email de contacto para poder comunicarnos de manera más rápida. Si tienes la bondad, puedes escribirme a coloradotp@gmail.com
    Muchas gracias y enhorabuena por tu iniciativa con este blog.
    PD: los materiales los has comprado del Central Legal Trainning?

  3. Hi....well I am studying on my own and have not applied for the QLTS Course..as I have studied in a common law country India and have practised there as will.and now work in a London based law firm.....but I would feel more comfortable if I did some practice tests...can any one help with any suggestions regarding that...thanks