CoL: modified LPC should replace training contract

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  • 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.

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  • 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?

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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).

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