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Last week everyone in the legal profession was talking about Acculaw’s training programme, which is aimed at tackling the oversupply of wannabe trainees by hiring graduates and seconding them to law firms on an ad hoc basis.
This week a new debate has surfaced and this time the focus is on ILEX, which has partnered with Pinsent Masons so the firm can offer a legal apprenticeship scheme (see story).
Yet when the story broke on Lawyer2B.com on Tuesday some readers were less than impressed that it had chosen to partner with ILEX, with one commenting that the difference between the average training contact and the legal executive qualification was akin to the difference between the qualification of doctors and nurses.
Is it a fair comment? ILEX CEO Diane Burleigh thinks not. “In the future businesses will reward talent where they see it, regardless of professional label,” she says. “With the advent of alternative business structures there will be a greater appreciation and awareness of legal executives’ skills.”
Any effort to widen access to the profession should be seen as a positive move, especially with the rising costs of legal education. With many legal executives having achieved partnership status, and one even serving as a deputy district judge on the South Eastern Circuit, does it really matter how they got there?