CoL: modified LPC should replace training contract

  • Print
  • Comments (34)

Readers' comments (34)

  • It is ridiculous that pple that complete the BVC are called barristers! incredibly pathetic, why giving them a title?
    I have completed my LPC and I do not have a tittle, does that make me a loser? or less important than the so-called barristers? does that mean that I have not worked hard or that I do not deserve to qualify?
    The path to qualification is useless!
    I have also passed the NY Bar as I really want to practice as a solicitor and I am trying not to give up! I am almost completing the 2 years legal experience required to qualify as a solicitor.
    For 2 years I worked and trained at the CAB. the training is recognised by the sra but if it is not run by a solicitor is not enough to qualify!! 2 years i gave of my time and brain! and now.....what do i get? A big NOTHING!!
    The work at the CAB, plus the training (2 years!) we get is incredibly hard plus all the rubbish we have to put up with from people that are offered free legal advice and are stupid enough not to appreciate it!
    this system is so frustrating! if the sra does not change the way to qualify it is pointless to study law, I am now running out of money and options to qualify!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A large number of those undertaking the BVC and called as barristers at the end are from overseas: the earlier comment regarding a 'consolation prize' is at best ill informed.
    However, the CoL suggestion sounds very much like empire building: it would produce an end product with lots of book-learning and little of the practical experience necessary: even 'work experience' placements would be a poor substitute for the present two year contract despite the quality of firms providing such to be highly variable (as equally would any work placement obtained by the CoL). Besides, Training Contracts are available throughout the country whereas the CoL and approved universities are concentrated in far fewer centres.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Here is an idea!!!
    1. Leave things the way they are!!! BUT....
    2. ONLY allow admission to the LPC if you have an offer of a training contract.
    3. Seeing as the LPC is Post Grad degree minus a dissertation, give us some letters after our name.
    This is not going to go down too well with Mr Savage as he has a vested interest in having as many people doing the LPC as possible. Not so much a bottle neck as over saturation of students and we can lay the blame squarely with LPC providers, CoL included. Just because you have passed your LPC does not mean a firm is obliged to employ you. They are a business, same as everyone else and looking after their interest. If you get a TC then great, but don't think you have a god given right to one. I should know, took me ages to get one.
    Plus, there is no substitute for practical experience. The TC in some form or other should stay. It is only after you have gone through it that things will start to click and you are then on the road to becoming a Solicitor. Before that you are simply a processor.
    I know some people will question the logic above, i.e. only people who have an offer of a TC should be allowed on the LPC and therefore reducing the opportunity to some people but surely this is better then the current situation where after the trauma of building debts with other students at University and then further on the LPC with no prospects.
    P.S. being able to call yourself a barrister after the BVC - what is all that about??????

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I would agree with Nigel Savage. Doing away with training contracts and enhancing the LPC would make the legal profession more accessible to all law graduates. After spending considerable money and years in law school, it is a shame that UK law graduates do not gain meaningful and internationally competitive qualifications. Qualifying as a Solicitor should not be limited to whether one can secure a training contract or not. It may sound strange to lawyers in the UK but Nigel Savage's proposal is quite common in other jurisdictions. For example to qualify in the US, one only needs to complete law school and pass a state bar exam (both quite challenging). After that, the market forces come into play and one gains further experience whilst working. Yes, there are more people qualifying in law than there are spaces for Training Contracts and Pupillages, but having a legal qualification would make law graduates competitive in other fields for example in-house, in consulting and even as business administrators. UK legal practioners need to become competitive like other 21st century professionals and not dwell on how things have been in the past. The MBA is another example where professional graduates enter working environments without additional training yet the MBA is one of the most versatile and rewarding qualifications at present. Granted the MBA is a graduate degree and most MBA students would have some experience under their belts. However, so do many GDL students. Maybe there is a case to be made for the law being limited to a post-graduate degree. That way only students who are serious about the profession and have some maturity/ experience would enter the profession.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • After paralegalling, doing the CPE, LSF and the training contract, it wasn't difficult to conclude that the practical aspects of my training were the most useful pieces of it. Having worked in a US practice where people arrived straight from the Bar exam and become partners 5 years later, the difference in quality between those who had had early practical experience, and those who hadn't, was acute. The training contract gives lawyers space to learn how to practice, without too much pressure. It also enables them to sample different work areas and to use that experience to make a more informed decision on the speciality into which they want to qualify.

    I agree with the comments that it would be much more useful to include the LPC within the training contract. Presumably this wouldn't help Mr Savage's profitability

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I quite agree that the training contract for a potential employee is more useful to a law firm than the LPC. However, that training contract is only offered to students who have or will complete the LPC. If the training given by the Law firm is at such a low level that LPC courses are not necessary ( and it can all be outsourced to India), then the LPC should be abolished and firms can then compete for students who don't know the difference between a transactional process and a litigation. However, if the LPC continues, there is absolutely no reason why someone who completes this course should not be able to call him/herself a solicitor. Of course they are - just as engineers or pharmacists who complete their university degrees or teachers who complete a teacher training course. What I find interesting in all of the comments on various articles in this magazine is that the contributors,for the most part, think that lawyers are a special breed of intellectuals. It seems that there is no "History of the Solicitor" taught anywhere. It was/is a vocational career. It does not require much intellect - it is the perfect career for those students who diligently wrote down everything their teachers told them and wrote it back, word for word in an exam.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I think the training contract should be scrapped. Why should people spend so much money obtaining a qualification and not given the chance to enjoy the benefits. Surely you cannot tell me that UK lawyers are better than American lawyers? that will be a real laugh and a joke of the century. The QLTT was introduced and you have a no of foreign qualified lawyers now take the place of people who actually work hard to gain a qualification in the UK; this is totally unfair. The profession is simply too elitist and should be opened up more

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The College of Law is not exercising self-interest - and the moon is made of green cheese.

    Training is essential before you let people loose on the public. If that means there is a "bottleneck" - tough.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Students on the LPC come straight from an academic environment and find themselves on an intensive course with exams to pass. Despite the attempt to recreate practice, the setting is a classroom setting with students focussing on just what they need to know to pass the exams. This is far removed from practice. Compare this scenario to that of a trainee solicitor actually working on transactions who is released to attend training sessions. In my experience, a three hour training course in the midst of doing the actual work is worth an entire term of learning in a classroom setting and trying to learn the format needed to maximise marks in the exam. I, therefore, agree with those who advocate scrapping or reducing the LPC and replacing it with accountant-like training on the job and by releasing trainees to attend training sessions. This does mean that students cannot become solicitors unless employed and will limit access to the profession. But is this necessarily a bad thing?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • There should be a top up course for LPC graduates. LPC graduates should be able to get a loan to complete their training and qualify as solicitors. They can then apply for jobs. The number of year’s experience of a solicitor will be obvious on an application form. The legal profession is just undermining the education of law and LPC graduates. The legal profession, SRA and colleges of law should show more innovation in order to manage the output of lawyers. It not necessarily true that the market will be saturate with lawyers. We still need to be interviewed for jobs and employers will still specify credentials on job advertisements. Perhaps applicants need to demonstrate other qualities such as work experience; a facility with language or other abilities which would interest the firm. In addition, some LPC graduates are interested in small high street firms. Anyway, this would put less pressure on firms and probably create a more effective service in firms. Any new employees should be part of an induction programme. This training contract idea should be abolished because it is no longer fit for purpose, in my opinion.

    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)