City coalition slates Law Soc’s planned education changes

City law firms have joined the chorus of opposition to the Law Society’s proposed changes to the training of lawyers, lobbying Law Society council members ahead of this month’s crucial vote on the proposals.

The City of London Law Society Training Committee (CLLSTC) – which counts training experts from Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith, Linklaters, Lovells and Norton Rose among its members – is approaching Law Society council members in a bid to stop the proposals being passed in the absence of further consultation.

The council is set to vote on the recommendations on 23 February.
The Law Society’s Training Framework Review (TFR), established four years ago to bring flexibility to the qualification process, wants to abolish the requirement for a law degree or vocational training, such as the LPC, to qualify as a lawyer.

However, the CLLSTC is concerned about threats to the quality of lawyers that would come out of the changed system, as well as the administrative burden and cost of implementing aspects of the changes, including the ‘learning log’ for trainee lawyers.

Last week, The Lawyer polled visitors to its website and subscribers to its email newsletter, Lawyer News Weekly, on the issue, receiving a record response rate. Of the respondents, 96 per cent expressed resounding disapproval for the scheme, saying the Training Framework Review Group’s proposals do threaten the quality of lawyers.