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Kaplan Law School’s radical move to introduce admissions test for its Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course (LPC) has received mixed reaction from would-be lawyers.
The controversial decision, exclusively revealed in the Autumn 2010 issue Lawyer 2B magazine, means that aspiring lawyers will have to endure a rigorous selection day with a presentation, written examination topped off with a 10-minute interview.
Sheffield University’s law society vice president Jennifer Sugden is against the tests. She argued: “If you’ve got your A-levels and achieved your degree by working very hard for so many years, then it’s pretty tough for someone to end up falling at this last hurdle. I think you go through so many hurdles for education, and if you’ve worked hard throughout your degree, you have got that grade for a reason.”
But Miranda Mannering who after completing the LPC at the College of Law two years ago has decided against a legal career favours such a move as she claimed it may make students think more carefully about doing the £12,000 course. She said: “Students need to be more aware that they may not get a job and having to do a test may dissuade people from doing the course.”
A current LPC student who did not want be identified agreed with Mannering. He said: “I think LPC providers should be more selective. I don’t want to be elitist but if there’s some kind of academic testing and if you’re a good student you should be able to pass it.”
“If you can’t do a decent presentation or pass an interview how would you expect to get a training contract anyway,” he added.
University of Kent’s law society president Zainul Jussab also welcomed the introduction of an admissions test arguing that presentation and interview skills are essential for a solicitor. He claimed: “This test will both deter people and lead to better qualified, better trained and generally better lawyers.”
Jussab continued: “Yes it will make my life harder, but if I don’t have these core skills by the end of my degree then I would need to think long and hard whether I am really cut out to be a solicitor.”