CoL: modified LPC should replace training contract

  • Print
  • Comments (34)

Readers' comments (34)

  • A student who excels at degree and LPC level can still lack the common sense to excel in the practical world. On the job experience ahead of full qualification is essential.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Why, when there are more LPC grads than training contracts available, do we need to "widen access to the profession"? It's all about widening the size of the CoL's bank balance. The above proposals will weaken the profession. It should be (reasonably) difficult to become a solicitor, what is wrong with that? And your average 23 year-old has no clue when it comes to drafting or commercial instinct. Solicitors need to be trained before being allowed to practice.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The training contract is "significant bottleneck in the qualification process".

    I'm sorry, but I just don't understand this at all.

    The reality is that there are more people wanting to become lawyers (both barristers and solicitors) than there are available pupillages or training contracts. In addition there are more trainees taken on by firms than Newly Qualified Solicitors and a similar story is true at the Bar.

    The reality is that the process of the two year training contract helps firms select the best candidates for their available permanent positions. The fact that the contract is well remunerated is a disincentive for firms to excessively over-recruit at the training contract stage. It also means that trainees aren't paying for their continuing education, and are in fact, at last, earning a wage.

    If there is a bottleneck in the profession then it is caused by the fact that there are fewer jobs than there are would-be lawyers, and I doubt that the College of Law is able to solve that problem, no matter how well qualified its graduates.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • We only call people who finish the BVC barristers as the vast majority of them will never practise as barristers, so its nice to give them a tiny consolation prize for having forked out so much money in vain.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • OK, it's a stupid proposal, but you've got to admire them for setting up a 'think tank' (was it composed of CoL staff, by any chance?) to pretend that this impartial and disinterested recommendation is anything other than a sales pitch by a massive vested interest. Actually, no you don't - it's pathetic.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Training contracts/articles have always been a form of indentured bondage primarily designed to winnow out the less desirable candidates. How many occupations have a 2 year job interview?
    First, one had to pay to be trained, then a miserly salary was eventually instituted. And now a proper employee relationship ought to exist. If a lawyer is hired then it shouldn't be on a conditional basis of this length.
    I suspect that training is rather variable in many places and with that I wouldn't exclude the big firms. In principle the College of Law is right. It is time for law firms to move from the 19th century to the 21st. We'll let them skip the 20th. There is nothing extraordinary about law that marks it out for this kind of distinctive treatment.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "We only call people who finish the BVC barristers as the vast majority of them will never practise as barristers, so its nice to give them a tiny consolation prize for having forked out so much money in vain."
    Why don't we call LPC graduates solicitors as a consolation prize for their hard work and the money spent? Is it not true to say that to qualify as a barrister you have to pay for you law degree/CPE/GDL and BVC? Exactly the same applies to those who wish to qualify as a solicitor with a difference of LPC instead of BVC. On completion of their BVC so called 'barristers' still have to go through the final stage of training - pupillage, LPC graduates are in a similar position. So why should not they be called solicitors, having done the same amount of work as those who choose to be a barrister. It would only be fair. Whether they will ever practise or not is irrelevant.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • For the reasons that have already been put forward in earlier comments, I perceive the LPC to be largely parasitic in nature and, therefore, I should think it more constructive to abolish the LPC, not the training contract! Might not sir well with Nigel Savage's outlandish remarks; however, the the training contract is good for prospective solicitors (experience, etc.) and good for the profession and, at any rate, much more useful than the LPC. I still wonder why should I ever have paid £10k to CoL.

    From a conscientious trainee, /LPC 2008

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Legal training provider's think tank advocates more work for legal training providers non-shocka.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree with Mr Lebowski that the LPC should be abolished instead of the Training Contract. Hands up everybody who was ready for practice after the LPC. Now hands up everybody who found that they only really started to learn the job during the Training Contract.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • In most countries, access to the profession is "filtered" by way of a bar exam - if you are good enough, you will qualify and the only obstacle is really yourself - no structural constraints. In the UK you may be very good but never qualify - maybe because you don't interview brilliantly, or because you have an unusual background and firms didn't know what to make of you, or maybe simply bad luck. Training contracts are a relic of a not too distant past when the only way to get in the profession was to have the right connections - their demise is very much overdue.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The thinking that just because BVC students get to call themselves barristers means that LPC students should also be able to call themselves solicitors is ridiculous. How about scrap calling people barristers after the BVC and instead move it to the end of pupilage?
    Also how about only allowing those students with a training contract offer/pupillage offer to undertake the LPC/BVC.
    Bold?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree with Karim above. The US and Australia are two examples of where a training contract does not exist post legal training. Is anyone suggesting that their lawyers are of less quality than their counterparts in the UK. I think not.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This is just a way for CoL to earn more money surely? I dont see how getting rid of 2 years of training will make everyone better trained? Also it will now become more elitist - atm firms will pay LPC fees if you have a TC, therefore even the poorer students can do it. Take away the TC then the firms wont fund the LPC and therefore only rich people will be able to do it. Presumably the CoL 'thinktank' was the finance officer, the pr officer and Mr Savage!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It is not correct to say that Australia has abolished the training contract/articled clerkship. It is possible to qualify in this manner or by further study, typically designated as Practical Legal Training (PLT) which requires on the job training as part of the course (albeit for only a few months).
    It is neither elitist nor undesirable to restrict access to the profession to the best and the brightest, and the suggestion to allow LPC grads to call themselves solicitors is ludicrous as is allowing BVC grads who have never completed pupillage and have no rights of audience to refer to themselves as barristers.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree that the training contract should be scrapped. I think that if someone has the determination and ability to obtain a law degree and then to also to complete an LPC ,then why on earth should employers then have the power to basically stop that person from becoming a Solicitor by granting a training contract.or not. Let employers deal solely with employing people! and leave the role of who can become a solicitor or not. down to the results and ability of those those who have passed their legal courses. Then the employer can decide whether they want someone or not . This would have the advantage of giving the person closure and satisfaction. Closure in that they have completed their degree and LPC and have something to show for it i.e. They are a legally qualified Solicitor and the satisfaction of having achieved that , to which no one can take away, whereas it stands now, without a training contract that person has basically studied for years, for nothing.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Surely it would make more sense to scrap the LPC and incorporate it into a training contract (as per accountancy)?

    Studying to become a lawyer, particularly if you have to undertake the GDL, is time consuming and expensive; even if you have a training contract looming on the horizon.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree with the comments that it should be the LPC that is scrapped. I think most people would agree that it is during the training contract that they actually learn how to be a solicitor. The LPC gives a bit of information on what you can expect but does not give the skills to actually start doing the job.

    The training contract is no different to an apprenticeship, or to the training on the job that accountants and doctors do. To suggest that someone could start practicing as a solicitor with just the LPC is ridiculous. Who is going to want to instruct anyone whose only experience is out of books, and a couple of mock interviews at college?

    I agree that diversity is needed, but not through abandoning the training contract. All that would happen is that you would have too many qualified solicitors for the positions available and the probelm would simply have moved from people struggling to get training contracts to people struggling to get nq positions.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A firm offering good training with good supervision standards is clearly helping furture solicitors to develop. The real is issue is that so many firms, not simply small high street firms but many US firms too, do not invest in training as they should, and allow people to supervise who simply do not care. The problem is quality control, and as usual the SRA has far from covered itself in glory here.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The LPC should either go or be incorporated into a 3-year Training Contract (i.e. work and study at the same time). As a current LPC student, with one year experience as a paralegal, I can not see the benefits of spending a year away from practical law.

    I feel my experience puts me ahead of many in my class and you can't get experience by sitting in a classroom.

    The LPC is too expensive and this undoubtedly puts competent people off if they can not get a TC which pays for them to study.

    To prevent the problem of those simply with connections but lacking competence getting jobs the SRA could set an exam in each core subject, if you pass you can apply for a LPC-TC your degree grade and the SRA exams would be a clearer indication than A-Levels (currently taken about 5/6 years before a TC is commenced).

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 per page | 20 per page | 50 per page

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (34)