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BPP offering its BPTC graduates who fail to secure a pupillage within six months of completing the course the opportunity to take the LPC for free.
It is an extension of the law school’s ‘employability guarantee’, first announced in May, in which it revealed that it would allow Legal Practice Course (LPC) students unsuccessful in their search for a permanent legal role to undertake another qualification worth up to £16,500 for free.
As well as the LPC, the offer also extends to various other courses, including the LLM and the New York bar course
BPP bills the offer as a reflection of its confidence in the employability of its graduates.
It is also, however, reflective of the declining availability of pupillages. According to Bar Standards Board statistics, the number of pupils commencing first sixes has dropped from 700 in 2000/01 to fewer than 500 in 2010/11.
“Would I recommend anybody go into a career at the criminal bar?” BPP’s dean and chief executive, Peter Crisp, told Lawyer 2B in September. “Well, I might if they have a private income and want a nice hobby. Otherwise, forget it.
“This is a personal view, but I can’t see why you would recommend anybody to go down that route. I suspect that the chancery and commercial bar will remain quite healthy, but the reality is that at the junior criminal bar, it’s over, isn’t it?”