Eversheds to offer condensed LPC and training contract

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  • The Sheds already has some of the weakest NQ's in the City. I guess it the regions it probably matters less anyway but if you end up taking this TC, most other city firms wont be touching you if you decide that Eversheds is too much high volume, low quality etc.

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  • The comment above is very pompous – I’m not sure it’s possible to determine the “quality” of a diverse group trainees; let alone characterise them as the “weakest in the city”. The comment does reveal something about the author – a degree of professional introspection and (frankly) insecurity. Perhaps a more worthwhile point is that this type of scheme will broaden access to the profession and import a level of focus and practicality that is lacking in the current three year arrangement.

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  • Agree with Paul, either "dude" is trolling for replies or can't really see that people of his ilk are the real scourge of the city. No doubt another over priced idiot looking for a way they can show some "value" to me.

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  • Accountancy firms have been using this approach for years and there is no reason why it should not be used for solicitors. Not a massive fan of the 'Shed, but I do applaud them for taking the initiative on this and for implementing a sensible way of dealing with the debt issues faced by law graduates and trainee solicitors. The "quality" point at 10.34am above is irrelevant - passing the LPC at the same time as completing a training contract will be challenging and trainees will have to be smart and efficient to do both, that said, will be interesting to see what approach Eversheds take to trainees who fail LPC exams.

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  • All firms should be considering this approach!!!

    I'm undertaking my LPC part time(weekends) at the moment and working full time. I would of preferred to already be in my TC but I have to wait until LPC is complete.

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  • any ability to combine practical, hands on experience to make sense of the 'academic' element of training is surely a good thing. My own GDL and LPC, in hindsight, were fairly redundant. the skills I needed as a lawyer were all picked up on the job and not at law school.

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  • The fact that this is a 'pilot' makes me suspect that if any Eversheds trainees do fail the LPC (and frankly I'd be shocked if they did) then they would be given a lot of support and second chances. I agree with the general theme though, GDL and LPC do seem limited compared with what you pick up on the job, however.... I can remember many a transaction where I referred back to LPC training books to give myself an early steer, so they aren't without value.
    This just looks like it's going to bring the whole process more in line with a rebalancing of academia and practicality, in itself no bad thing.

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  • Dude appears to have "small boy in big boy pants" syndrome and probably works for a regional firm with a presence in the City that have the same syndrome, so his comment can pretty much be ignored as irrelevant.
    The common opinion above seems to be that this is a logical, practical approach to the LPC/TC which, at 3 years, is far too long and drawn out. 95% of what students learn on the LPC is not used in practice and the skills needed in the profession (such as dealing with individuals like "Dude" above) are picked up while doing the TC.

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  • I think this new scheme is an excellent idea and agree that more firms should be considering it.
    As a part-time LPC student I know many people who have not wished to undertake the LPC for fear of having a large debt with no promise of a training contract afterwards, this is the kind of encouragement that many students need.

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  • Why not just admit that the LPC would be better if it was taught by City Lawyers?

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  • Another nail in the coffin for professionalism. I don’t recall having enough spare time during my training contract to fit in a year’s worth of LPC study, so this is diluting training. A core identifying trait of professions is ‘long’ and specialised education and training. Six years to qualify as a doctor, six years as a solicitor are what traditionally have placed them ahead in status terms of school teachers, nurses etc. The CPE undermined this by cutting the minimum legal training down to 4 years and this ‘initiative’ shaves another year off that (presuming that CPE qualifiers will be eligible) - three years is one year less than the training needed to teach at primary school. So we’ll have solicitors using that title after just one year of full-time classroom study and then two years serving an apprenticeship with some study intermingled. Seems that the SRA have made clear how they intend to respond to the threat of ‘Tesco Law’ - and it certainly isn’t by insisting that solicitors can stand tall as much better educated providers of legal services. Wonder how I would react if a surgeon told me, just before prepping for an operation, “I followed the fast track route, a degree in Media Studies - much easier access than medicine - and then a one year conversion course, two years on the job training in hospital and now here I am about to undertake your operation - now just relax, please”.

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  • Actually i am a big boy in small pants with deep pockets.

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  • "with deep pockets"

    ha!

    thank you for proving my point...

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  • Anonymous | 13-Dec-2011 11:39 am
    Why would it matter as long as the surgeon was good enough to do his/her job? If someone is talented enough, they'll have a good career. If not, then they won't. The path taken to get there is irrelevant.

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  • Surely the best strategy would be to use the ILEX system?

    I'm sure I read that ILEX solicitors are better at their jobs than anyone else. Therefore why doesn't Eversheds become the first 100% ILEX firm?

    I suspect I'm about to get pelted with rotten fruit.

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  • "Three years is one year less than the training needed to teach at primary school".

    No it's not. The PGCE and GTP can both be taken with no previous formal training in education and both take one year- the GTP is also training on the job from day one. So the minimum training needed to teach in a primary school is one year less than the Shed's new LPC/TC combo.

    And don't get me started on the fact that your comment is rather derogatory of primary school teachers- I have a feeling that you would flounder, Anon at 11.39, if faced with a room full of 32 7 year olds for a day.

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  • Have to ask yourself how do you find out that the surgeon or lawyer isn't very good? See how many operations/cases are messed up? Surgeon incompetence would probably show up quite quickly, but negative impact may not be reversible. Lawyer, may take much longer for errors to show up, depending upon the nature of the work. So let's experiment - see how short we can make training to be a solicitor before the skill base of the profession is fundamentally undermined?

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  • Two points : (a) why does every string of comments turn into a slanging match (personally I think it is characteristic of lawyers being bullied over achieving school kids with a chip on their shoulder) and (b) lawyers in the City work alongside very experienced business men and bankers, making them younger when they are doing this (by cutting out the LPC year) would not seem to me to be what clients would want. A year to mature and learning to hit the ground running is a good thing in my book. I'm no massive fan of the LPC, but it has a role. Further, considering gdl students don't study corporate law until the LPC, they will lack the necessary tools doing it this way until the end of their training contract.

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  • The GDL was hard and demanding and took brain power, hard work and grit. The LPC was a waste of time. I had an attendance rate of about 30% and got a distinction without too much effort, because it was easy.
    Then I came to work and realised that I could forget everything I didn't know anyway, get down to it and learn on the job - properly.
    What law did you learn at uni you use today? Or that you haven't supplemented immeasurably on the job?

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  • To anonymous @ 11.39. I agree that there is a hypothetical risk that quality declines, but quality itself isn’t dependent upon duration of training. Reducing the duration may simply arise from greater efficiency (improved tuition, more focussed/practical experience, experiential learning) which could result in cost savings (to firm and student) but also improved output (i.e. trainee quality). I don’t think comparisons with other professions really assists unless you could actually benchmark the quality of training over the industries and demonstrate the effect of duration on quality. What will be interesting is to see how Sheds intend to monitor performance of the “guinea pig” trainees and how they plan to compare any ‘results’ with those trainees following the traditional route. The fear is that at the end of the experiment no one really understands what the pros or cons are of both routes (other than financial).

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  • So when Eversheds assure me that they'll be giving my work to one of their Associates, they could be meaning some kid who got his LLB results 2 years and a month ago?

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  • To the poster at 0.28am, hate to say it, but a lot of LLB grads do not study corporate law until the LPC as well.
    An interesting point that has yet to be considered is whether Eversheds will have a separate charge out rate for this new batch of trainees. Two things suggest it should: (i) they will cost Eversheds less (obvious saving is not paying an LPC maintenance grant, but there should be other cost savings as well); (ii) they will not have completed the LPC (and in an industry full of time or qualification based pricing thresholds, completion of the LPC surely should be a threshold to being charged out at a standard trainee rate).
    Can leave that question to their clients to ask, but will be keen to see how that plays out.

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  • I think a few of you need to re-read the proposal. This is not cutting out the LPC year ... It is only the three ELECTIVES that will be studied during the training contract - Stage 2. Stage 1, comprising all of the 'heavy' stuff such as BLP, Civil Lit, Crim Lit, PLP, the course skills (Advocacy, Interviewing and Advising, Drafting, Writing and PLR) and Prof Conduct and Regulation, Taxation and Wills and Admin of Estates will all happen before they join the Shed, at classes on the LPC as it currently exists. They then do one elective per seat, and that elective will be same subject as the seat being studied - so six months per elective, with built-in study leave and learning which is directly relevant to the work environment.... explain to me how this is diluting professionalism or dumbing down?

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  • Strange how ignorant some lawyers are regarding the process of education. At university, even on the LPC, the student learns ‘how’ - how to read a case, how to compare legal subtleties etc etc. Just because you don’t now use the actual legal material you learned doesn’t mean that the process of learning wasn’t well spent. You don’t read exactly the same words you read when learning to read, do exactly the same sums when learning maths etc but that doesn’t mean that the skill isn’t present. The fact that you probably can’t remember not being able to read or add up doesn’t mean that the skill came quickly. No wonder Tesco etc will find it easy to muscle in when lawyers themselves are so quick to undermine the value of their lengthy education.

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  • The problem is that the LPC needs changing. It's not fit for purpose and bears little relation to actual legal practice. However, trying to merge it into a TC and then compress the two is just dumbing down pure and simple. There should still be an LPC year but not in its current format.

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  • This is a good idea.

    Not sure what LPC Dude did, I did the BBP course and do not believe a year spent in activities such as memorising the boxes in a TR1 form and board minutes as well as reviewing criminal law added much to my commercial quality, training contract and non law at Cambridge was much better for that.

    We should give the students a break, they have already done their degrees, which are much more important and will need to save up to buy a house - if lucky enough to be in the regions/ have family/ ever retire...

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  • Both the LPC and PSC are a fantastic waste of time and money, merely providing nerds an extended window of opportunity to show off their academic-pedantry in front of a classroom of individuals who, in the main, don't want to be there. Having gone through the LPC, PSC and TC, I have found that almost everything I was taught on the LPC is either not the way it's done in "real life" or is just simply irrelevant. There is so much subjectivity in law, you only really begin to learn how to operate in the practical field when you actually do it for yourself, picking up tips along the way which you either find useful or you don’t. Being lectured by people on how to do it their way without the real work in front of you is simply boring – especially when almost all of the lecturing is not useful.
    The law degree is the theory, the TC is the driving test. Why do we need this c*ap in the middle?

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  • Anonymous @11:34, Eversheds has several level of lawyers and an associate is about 3-4 PQE. If you are told your work will go to an associate then that's the level you'll get. NQs are referred to as solicitors - if my memory serves me correctly.

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  • Please see the last para of this Lawyer Article:

    http://www.thelawyer.com/eversheds-offers-alternative-to-partner-with-director-role/1009672.article

    From 1 May 2012 all assistants will be called associates at Eversheds.

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