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The chief executive of BPP Law School has offered a graduate who does not have the funds to undertake her LPC a supported place at BPP Law School, following the discontinuation of the LPC and GDL at the National College of Legal Training (NCLT).
University of Essex graduate and legal researcher Laura Wrixon was dismayed to learn that the NCLT was shutting down its LPC and GDL. Reacting to the news, reported by Lawyer2B, she Tweeted: “Very disappointed to hear this. It was the only affordable London option for me. Now have to rethink career.”
Following the publication of a Laywer2B blog by Wrixon, BPP Law School dean and CEO Peter Crisp handed her a lifeline. He Tweeted: “I can offer you a bursary for LPC at @BPPLawSchool which will reduce fees to same as NCLT rate.”
He told Lawyer2B: “I offered Laura a bursary after reading her blog on Lawyer2B. BPP University College gives away over £500k in scholarships and bursaries ever year to support students who would otherwise be unable to study with us. The criteria for these include many of the characteristics which Laura described in her blog, for example being the first in her family to go to university.
“If we are serious in commitment in access to the legal profession and social mobility then we need to put our money where our mouth is.Quality is expensive to deliver and I am not surprised that cut-price programmes are not sustainable.”
In her blog, Wrixon detailed why she believes that the legal education market has evolved to cater only to law students who are already wealthy or whose fees will be funded by City firms.
She wrote: “I think the legal sector as a whole has lost sight of the fact that it should cater to all backgrounds. There is a massive blindness to the fact that those who want to work for the most vulnerable often have to self-fund; this does not seem right.”
She added: “The kind of firms that I would like to work for often do not offer sponsorship for the LPC, which is why I was looking at self funding. My hope was that I would be able to gain full-time work to be able to self-fund the LPC and pay on a monthly payment plan. I wanted to study part-time at the weekend to enable me to work so as not to build up more debt. The National College of Legal Training (NCLT) offered this option at an affordable price which would mean that I could work at a reasonably paid job and still get by.
“The other London providers’ fees would mean that I would have to be earning quite a bit just to cover tuition, rent, commuting and bills. A graduate development loan only extends to £10,000 so would not even cover the tuition of the London law schools.”