Heidi Sandy, chair, Junior Lawyers Division

Is the cost of a legal education still worth it?

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  • This is an excellent article highlighting a number of serious issues. There are a number of points I'd like to raise

    (a) You need to be more specific when you say that a 2:1 automatic filter decreases diversity. Are you suggesting law firms should take on people with 2:2s or below? To me that does not suggest diversity but rather decreasing quality. However, if you are suggesting that perhaps that the 2:1 filter fails to take into account candidates with different educational backgrounds (i.e. those who may not have done A level/degree but followed another educational path) then this may be valid.

    (b) Many banks are no longer lending to those without a tc. This creates even more dependency on parental support, meaning those without affluent parents are increasingly going to suffer.

    (c) You are right in saying that advice needs to be given to students before they pay their tuition fees. A number of quite poorly ranking universities are attracting students to law programmes with suggestions that they could become corporate/city lawyers - this is harsh but 99% of the time this will not happen due to poor A level grades etc. With such a glut of students wishing to obtain a tc, should poorly performing universities be allowed to teach law? Are we simply allowing universities (and the BPPs and CoLs of this world) to mug students when they know, realistically, certain students do not stand a chance of obtaining a tc.

    Law is a career that should be for the intellectually elite, not the financially elite. There should be more support for students who have the ability rather than this ridiculous system in which we are all too scared to say to a student "are you sure you are academically up to this? Have you thought about not only the cost of training, but the emotional drain of applying and applying and applying"?

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  • The number of law university places should roughly balance the number required by the profession. Some of the lower ranking universities should not be offering law and certainly should not be allowed to make rash promises about jobs. We all need some honest transparency.

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