The Nottingham Law School has won a solicitor-advocate training contract on behalf of a consortium of top 20 law firms.
`It beat the Inns of Court School of Law and the College of Law to win the work for Ashurst Morris Crisp, Slaughter and May, Norton Rose and Simmons & Simmons.`The main reason for forming the consortium was to enable lawyers to be trained more quickly as advocates than they would be if law firms were carrying out the work independently.`Roz Buckingham, professional support lawyer at Simmons, said: "We are all wanting to put people through as quickly as possible. For this sort of training you can have six or eight trainees being taught at one time, while there doesn't seem much point in having just two or three. They can more easily bounce ideas off each other this way."`Last year the College of Law beat the Nottingham Law School to land the advocacy training for Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith. It is understood that deal was worth about £50,000 for the college.`It is estimated that the Nottingham Law School will receive a similar sum to train at least 24 juniors or trainee solicitors over two 'development route' courses, each about one year long.`As distinct from the 'accreditation route' for lawyers with three years' experience in the higher courts, development route courses cost about £2,000 a person. Each trainee must complete a portfolio of advocacy experience over 12 months and take exams.`The dean and chief executive of Nottingham Law School Peter Jones said: "Since the London school was opened last year the demand for higher rights has been growing rapidly.`"We have long-standing individual relationships for advocacy training with each of the firms."