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I was interested and saddened to read of the debate raging among members of the Law Society on restricting entry into the legal profession ('QC's advice revives restricted entry row' The Lawyer, 9 January 1996). I fear the squabbling among the various factions will serve to obscure a vital issue. But I hope most of all that this debate will show up the society for its disorganisation.
Does anyone seriously think now that so many educational establishments are officially running the Legal Practice Course that any of them will simply back down and pull out of a lucrative market? It would be anti-competitive, says one faction of the society. It would be extremely unpopular with the universities, more like.
I find myself agreeing with Martin Mears for once. The bottom line is that thousands of students have saved and gone into debt to complete a course, only to come out unemployed.
If counsel says that it would be illegal to restrict entry into the profession, then we must live by that decision, but it is a great shame that we find ourselves in such a strait-jacket at all. After all there must be other ways of easing the backlog of hopeful young lawyers.
The new president is actually proposing to do something about it - legally. Let's stop the bickering and work together.