Posted by Law Campus Admin on the 14th December 2011.
As many of you are preparing for exams after Christmas and also starting to think about applying for training contracts and vacaation schemes, I thought I would draw your attention to a couple of interesting developments.
The Legal Services Act and a change to the regulatory environment means that law firms are looking at different ways of doing business and getting trianees into their organisations. Two interesting alternatives to the traditional route to qualification are being offered by Northumbria Law School and Eversheds.
Northumbria Law School is now offering a 5 year combined law degree, LPC and training contract. However, as the course information makes clear, 'Students who successfully complete this route are entitled to apply to the Solicitors Regulation Authority for entry onto the roll of solicitors and then to enter practice as a fully qualified solicitor. They do not need to complete a separate training contract. Entry onto this route is not guaranteed and there are a limited number of places available. Students will be permitted to proceed onto this route only if they succeed in obtaining an approved placement.' This is I think an intersting development as there are increasing concerns being voiced about the reductions in legal aid budgets and the impact on access to justice. Will a number of other UK universities consider delivering this type of course to fill the justice gaps in their cities?
Another alternative has just been put on the table by Eversheds. It is rolling out a groundbreaking two-year pilot that will blend the LPC and the training contract. It will allow Eversheds to run a training contract in conjunction with part-time study over two years instead of the normal three and will also let trainees undertake the Professional Skills Course before full completion of the LPC.
So here you have two alternatives - one delivered by an academic institution and one by a law firm in conjunction with an LPC provider. It will be interesting to see whether these new structures do proliferate, especially after the Legal Education Training Review committee reports at the end of 2012 with its recommendations for changes to legal education in the UK.