CoL: modified LPC should replace training contract

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  • A student who excels at degree and LPC level can still lack the common sense to excel in the practical world. On the job experience ahead of full qualification is essential.

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  • Why, when there are more LPC grads than training contracts available, do we need to "widen access to the profession"? It's all about widening the size of the CoL's bank balance. The above proposals will weaken the profession. It should be (reasonably) difficult to become a solicitor, what is wrong with that? And your average 23 year-old has no clue when it comes to drafting or commercial instinct. Solicitors need to be trained before being allowed to practice.

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  • The training contract is "significant bottleneck in the qualification process".

    I'm sorry, but I just don't understand this at all.

    The reality is that there are more people wanting to become lawyers (both barristers and solicitors) than there are available pupillages or training contracts. In addition there are more trainees taken on by firms than Newly Qualified Solicitors and a similar story is true at the Bar.

    The reality is that the process of the two year training contract helps firms select the best candidates for their available permanent positions. The fact that the contract is well remunerated is a disincentive for firms to excessively over-recruit at the training contract stage. It also means that trainees aren't paying for their continuing education, and are in fact, at last, earning a wage.

    If there is a bottleneck in the profession then it is caused by the fact that there are fewer jobs than there are would-be lawyers, and I doubt that the College of Law is able to solve that problem, no matter how well qualified its graduates.

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  • We only call people who finish the BVC barristers as the vast majority of them will never practise as barristers, so its nice to give them a tiny consolation prize for having forked out so much money in vain.

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  • OK, it's a stupid proposal, but you've got to admire them for setting up a 'think tank' (was it composed of CoL staff, by any chance?) to pretend that this impartial and disinterested recommendation is anything other than a sales pitch by a massive vested interest. Actually, no you don't - it's pathetic.

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  • Training contracts/articles have always been a form of indentured bondage primarily designed to winnow out the less desirable candidates. How many occupations have a 2 year job interview?
    First, one had to pay to be trained, then a miserly salary was eventually instituted. And now a proper employee relationship ought to exist. If a lawyer is hired then it shouldn't be on a conditional basis of this length.
    I suspect that training is rather variable in many places and with that I wouldn't exclude the big firms. In principle the College of Law is right. It is time for law firms to move from the 19th century to the 21st. We'll let them skip the 20th. There is nothing extraordinary about law that marks it out for this kind of distinctive treatment.

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  • "We only call people who finish the BVC barristers as the vast majority of them will never practise as barristers, so its nice to give them a tiny consolation prize for having forked out so much money in vain."
    Why don't we call LPC graduates solicitors as a consolation prize for their hard work and the money spent? Is it not true to say that to qualify as a barrister you have to pay for you law degree/CPE/GDL and BVC? Exactly the same applies to those who wish to qualify as a solicitor with a difference of LPC instead of BVC. On completion of their BVC so called 'barristers' still have to go through the final stage of training - pupillage, LPC graduates are in a similar position. So why should not they be called solicitors, having done the same amount of work as those who choose to be a barrister. It would only be fair. Whether they will ever practise or not is irrelevant.

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  • For the reasons that have already been put forward in earlier comments, I perceive the LPC to be largely parasitic in nature and, therefore, I should think it more constructive to abolish the LPC, not the training contract! Might not sir well with Nigel Savage's outlandish remarks; however, the the training contract is good for prospective solicitors (experience, etc.) and good for the profession and, at any rate, much more useful than the LPC. I still wonder why should I ever have paid £10k to CoL.

    From a conscientious trainee, /LPC 2008

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  • Legal training provider's think tank advocates more work for legal training providers non-shocka.

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  • I agree with Mr Lebowski that the LPC should be abolished instead of the Training Contract. Hands up everybody who was ready for practice after the LPC. Now hands up everybody who found that they only really started to learn the job during the Training Contract.

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