Law Soc, Bar Council stand firm over strike

As the university lecturers’ strike rages on, the Law Society and Bar Council have rejected law schools’ demands to relax rules so that students unable to graduate can gain entry onto the LPC and BVC.

The College of Law and BPP Law School have written to the Law Society and Bar Council calling for students to be permitted to start the LPCs and BVCs on the basis that, on successful completion, their diplomas can only be recognised once their degree classifications are confirmed.

Both the Law Society and Bar Council have refused to relax their rules and have told the law schools that they cannot exercise such discretion. The Bar Council said in its correspondence that it can only exercise discretion on a case-by-case basis.

In its response to the law schools, the Law Society said it “will not compromise” the training regulations.

The lecturers’ pay dispute has affected universities across the country, with academics refusing to mark final exams. The University of Birmingham has postponed 16 exams and cancelled one, while the University of Nottingham has also confirmed that it has cancelled exams (The Lawyer, 22 May).

Some universities, including Cambridge, Durham, Nottingham and Warwick, expect students to graduate this summer, but in some cases they will not receive a degree classification. The minimum entry requirement to start the BVC is a 2:2, while most law firms expect their graduates to obtain a 2:1.

BPP chief executive Peter Crisp called for flexibility. “I think it’s important students aren’t prejudiced for something that isn’t their fault,” he said.

The Bar Council declined to comment. A Law Society spokesperson said its position remains unchanged.