The Trainee Solicitors Group (TSG) has slammed providers of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) after a survey revealed it costs over twice as much as the previous Law Society Finals (LSF).
Average LPC fees are now #5,600, compared to #2,790 for LSF when it last ran in 1992. The TSG also says LPC fees rise at twice the inflation rate.
Nick Armstrong, TSG chairman, said: "These figures are extremely worrying. The fees translate into crippling debt for students and trainees. They require explanation."
He singled out the College of Law - the largest LPC provider, accounting for just over half of all students - for extra criticism. It charges the highest fees at #6,605 and its accounts, last published in 1996, showed fee revenue was #4m more than costs. "That's #1,000 per student. They should reduce fees or justify the excess," Armstrong said.
Nigel Savage, College of Law head, said: "They spoke to just 16 out of 31 providers, and claimed our last rise was 11 per cent. It was 7 per cent. All businesses need an excess for re-investment. The TSG has an aversion to business."