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Nottingham Law School (NLS) has become the first postgraduate law school to announce its decision to split the Legal Practice Course (LPC) in two.
The move follows the decision by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to overhaul postgraduate legal education in a bid to improve standards and make the qualification process more flexible.
Students applying to start the LPC at NLS in September 2009 will be able to study the compulsory and elective (optional) subjects at different times. The new course is subject to validation by the SRA.
It is, however, still unclear whether or not it will be possible for students to start their training contracts after completing just the compulsory stage of the LPC. This will be determined once the work-based learning pilot, which started last month (TheLawyer.com, 12 September), is completed in two years time.
College of Law chief executive Nigel Savage said: "I think providers who are splitting the LPC in two are jumping the gun, especially Nottingham which should know better as it's part of the SRA's work-based learning pilot.
"I don't think they're doing students any favours and frankly causing more confusion over what is already a very complicated area. We won't know whether there's any benefit in splitting the LPC until the SRA confirms that it will be possible to start a training contract before students complete the electives."
If you have any questions on the changes that are being introduced to postgraduate legal education then email us - Lawyer2B.com has put together a panel of experts to answer all your questions, however obscure: Husnara Begum, Lawyer2B editor