Who to believe? The Law Society or the College of Law (Col)? That must have been the question on many of yours minds this morning after reading about the law school’s claims that there’s going to be a shortfall of LPC graduates.
In stark contrast to the Law Society, which has been warning aspiring lawyers about the oversupply of law students, CoL is predicting that next year there could be 14 per cent more training contract vacancies than students passing the LPC, a graduate shortfall of around 550 (read more).
As you would expect critics have rubbished CoL’s research arguing that it is in the LPC provider’s interest to publish such information. But it isn’t just CoL who is making this prediction. Professor Richard Moorhead from Cardiff Law School highlighted the problem in some of his recent blogs.
In one of his blogs Moorhead writes: “Figures for full-time LPC enrolments have dropped by 20 per cent from 7,631 to 6,067… a 75 per cent pass rate would lead to just over 4,500 LPC students graduating first time, and I understand about 4,500 training contracts were registered last year (read more).”
Interestingly, CoL’s chief executive Nigel Savage says that there is so much misinformation being put out by different stakeholders it is deterring even the top candidates from pursuing a legal career.
Nigel – I hate to say this but CoL’s research is unlikely to help and is arguably going to confuse students even further.
I am completely in favour of transparency and believe students need as much information as possible to help them make informed decisions.
The problem is that the Law Society figures deal with LPC places as opposed to students successfully completing the course, which is the figure used by CoL in its projections. So as is the case with almost all statistics it very difficult to decide which set is more credible.
The oversupply problem isn’t really going to be much concern to students who manage to bag a training contract prior to starting the LPC – it’s only an issue for those who have to make the difficult choice of whether to self-fund.
So since the CoL is suddenly so keen to ensure students are sent the correct message perhaps it, along with its rivals, will finally be also willing to disclose the final destinations of its LPC graduates.