Nottingham Law at Kaplan Law School is hoping to significantly boost its student intake in 2008/09 after student numbers for its first year in London dropped below expectations.
Speaking exclusively to Lawyer2B.com almost a year after its launch chief executive Giles Proctor said Nottinghams fledgling London arm was hoping to start the 2008/09 academic year with 116 and 45 to 60 Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) students respectively.
This is a massive improvement on the 2007/08 academic year, which saw just 53 LPC and 12 GDL students successfully enrol with the law school. Of these, however, 12 were Mayer Brown LPC students. Mayer Brown is the only law firm signed up for Kaplans LPC and will be sending 21 students to the law school next year.
Proctor conceded that the student numbers for Kaplans first year were slightly below expectation. At the time we thought wed get around 100 students but given the fluidity in the market we had to settle for 65 students. But when we recruited those students we hadnt even opened in London. Now we have a building, teaching staff and a top ranking from the SRA [Solicitors Regulation Authority], explained Proctor.
The SRA has validated Kaplan to admit up to 300 LPC and 100 GDL students. Proctor admitted Kaplan has a long way to go before reaching such numbers but insisted this is a four to five year target.
Indeed, in a show of renewed confidence Kaplan is bringing forward plans for a second lecture theatre and is taking a third floor in its Borough Market premises.
Kaplan is still significantly smaller than top London players the College of Law and BPP Law School. Proctor argued that this should not be treated as a negative. Its good that the market has a clearer choice in London now. We feel our size has real advantages in giving students smaller classes, tutors who know their names and an experience thats a little bit different from the 100s who pass through our rivals doors, said Proctor.