Trainees to face additional tests in Law Society review

The Law Society is planning to introduce an external test for trainees that they must pass before gaining a practising certificate.

Speaking at a BPP Law School graduate recruitment conference, Law Society education and training officer Melissa Askew revealed there were concerns that the ‘signing-off’ of trainees at the end of the training contract sometimes happened regardless of whether partners or the trainees themselves felt they were ready for practice.

“There’s always been a feeling that the training contract ends with a whimper and not with a bang,” she commented.

To address these problems Askew said the society wanted to bring in a pre-admission test, one that theoretically could be failed. The test would “also have some externality” for greater robustness, she added.

Askew said the society was looking into the feasibility of the test. Other research being undertaken for the review includes work on ethics and the cost implications of new routes to qualification. The society wants to implement the new system in 2006.