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Will it, wont it? When it comes to legal education and training reform its impossible to know what the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is going to say or do next. But it seems the regulator is finally getting its act together.
As we reported yesterday (12 September), the SRA has at last given the green light to split the compulsory courses on the LPC from the electives (optional subjects). So from September 2009 it should be possible for a student who successfully completes the compulsory part of the LPC to start a training contract and to do their electives at the same time.
The biggest advantage of splitting the LPC in two is, of course, the opportunity for students to start employment six months early. It will also enable students who fund the course themselves to spread the cost as they could take the electives at a later date or wait until they secure a training contract.
However, the impact of these changes on the training contract remains a mystery. Indeed, Im not entirely convinced that the SRA even knows the answer to this one. Although the opportunity to combine the LPC electives with a training contract sounds like an attractive proposition, Im not sure I would like the idea of mixing work with study. Can you imagine spending 10 hours carrying out due diligence and then coming home to your text books?
Accountants have combined their training with study for years. But having seen how hard my sister, a trainee accountant, works, Im not sure thats the best way forward for the legal profession.
This saga may have moved to the next chapter but its a story thats going to continue to drag on. And though its very tempting to switch off when it comes to stories about the SRA, I suggest you keep a close eye on this one especially if youre in the second or first year of your degree, as by the time you graduate these changes will have become reality.
If you disagree with the SRAs plans or are simply confused about what they mean for you, then please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
PS Congratulations to Michael Waithe and Brony Rees who emerged as the winners of the Lawyer2B.com/John Lewis makeover competition.