The College of Law (CoL) and Kaplan Law School have bowed to market pressure and disclosed statistics on the final destinations of their LPC students.
CoL revealed that 84 per cent of its full-time LPC students who graduated in July 2010 secured work in the legal profession. Sixty two per cent obtained training contracts while 22 per cent were working as paralegals or in other law-related roles.
CoL added that overall 91 per cent of its LPC graduates were in permanent employment and only 1 per cent described themselves as unemployed. Eighty-one per cent of the cohort, or 1,925 students, took part in the survey.
CoL chief executive Nigel Savage said: “To have such extremely positive employment figures is all the more impressive considering that the 2010 graduates were the worst affected by the recession across all industry sectors.
“In the legal sector specifically, the deferral by law firms of substantial numbers of training contracts from the previous years into the 2010 trainee intake made it particularly challenging for this cohort to secure jobs.”
Kaplan Law School said that 82 per cent of its 2010 LPC graduates had work lined up in the legal sector, with 71 per cent bagging training contracts and 11 per cent becoming paralegals.
CoL’s arch-rival BPP Law School was unable to provide comparable figures because until now it has not collected such data.
“We welcome the fact that providers such as Kaplan and CoL are able to demonstrate high levels of employability of their graduates, which is positive news for the profession,” said BPP dean Peter Crisp. “BPP’s recently implemented a dedicated research resource, and we’re in the process of conducting a comprehensive survey on employability across all our programmes.”
The results follow conflicting claims last month concerning the ratio of LPC students and training contracts. The Law Society’s latest statistics, published in early April, found that 14,510 LPC places were available across two modes of study in 2009-10, but only 4,874 training contracts were registered from 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2010.
This situation, according to the society, was expected to be exacerbated, with the number of LPC places set to rise by 5 per cent to 15,166 during the current academic year (2011-12) – 12,142 full-time and 3,024 part-time places.
Two weeks later CoL warned of a shortfall of LPC graduates. It claimed that a drought could arise as early as 2011-12, with 14 per cent more available training contracts than students passing the LPC in the period (Lawyer2B.com, 14 April).
Using figures published by the Law Society, CoL forecast the number of full- and part-time students passing the LPC in 2010-11 will be around 4,405, 28 per cent lower than in 2009-10.
This, argued the law school, is based on the percentage decline in full-time enrolments this year compared with last, using Central Applications Board figures, and takes into account an historical average LPC pass rate across all institutions of 74 per cent.
But CoL predicted that the number of trainees registered in 2010-11 would fall by just 5.8 per cent compared with last year, based on data for the first six months of the year from the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This means there will be around 4,591 training contracts – more than the number of new LPC graduates.