Return of the Phantom Menace review

LSB: what the world needs now is lawyers, more lawyers 

The Legal Education Training Review (LETR) is to legal educators, and some very keen students, what The Phantom Menace was to hardcore Star Wars fans back in 1999 – a great flop.

With the same sense of crushing disappointment that rang out in cinemas across the Western world, so LETR has failed to do many of the things it promised. Billed as the biggest review of legal education since 1971’s Ormrod Report, LETR was cautious in the extreme in its recommendations.

The Legal Services Board’s  (LSB) recent consultation paper on the subject of the review is, too, peppered with the dampest of damp squibs. The principal squib is its proposal not to limit the number of lawyers entering the profession.

The reasoning for this is that “given the regulatory objective to promote competition and protect and promote the interests of consumers it would be very difficult to accept any attempt by regulator to use its regulatory arrangements to restrict numbers.”

Instead, the board believes, the solution “lies not in further restrictions but in fewer restrictions to the way that people are able to qualify”.

The world, the LSB believes it seems, does indeed need more lawyers.

This is the view from an organisation which, in its own guide to its role, states: “Choosing not to act is not an option for us.”

Choosing the wrong course of action, however, is always an option.