Debt forcing trainees to quit high street

THE NUMBER of trainees entering high street practices is diminishing as student debt forces graduates to look to City firms for financial support during the year of their Legal Practice Course (LPC).

And the College of Law warns the reduction in high street trainee numbers may mean members of the public will find it increasingly difficult to get legal help in areas such as family law, personal injury and crime.

College chair Richard Holbrook has issued the warning following a study into the funding of 571 students undertaking the 1993/94 LPC.

The study found students are moving away from the high street and into the City as a result of cuts in local education authority (LEA) grants. The report says only 3 per cent of students received full LEA grants compared with 13 per cent in 1992/93.

The percentage of people receiving any help from their LEAs dropped by approximately 50 per cent, while 46.6 per cent of students are currently believed to be receiving help from firms with which they have arranged training contracts.

Nearly half are receiving full fees – between u4,500 and u4,750 – in addition to u2,000 in maintenance costs.