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The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is planning to cut the length of time it takes to qualify as a solicitor by more than 12 months under radical proposals to overhaul the LPC and training contract.
The SRA was in the final stages of two separate consultations on the LPC and training contract as Lawyer 2B went to press. The SRA wants to introduce changes to the way solicitors receive their training in a bid to make the legal profession more accessible and to ensure standards are maintained.
Professor Scott Slorach, LPC course director at the College of Law, said: Students need to keep an eye on how these proposals develop. But they shouldnt delay their career plans purely because these proposals are in the offing.
One of the most radical proposals is to disengage the compulsory courses on the LPC from the electives (optional subjects), meaning the year-long course would take just six months to complete. All students who successfully complete the compulsory part of the LPC could then start a training contract and do their electives at the same time.
The biggest advantage of this proposal is that students who fund the LPC themselves would be able to split the course, because they could take the electives at a later date or wait until they secure a training contract.
The proposed changes to the training contract are equally radical. Under the new structure the training contract will be replaced with a more flexible period of work-based experience, during which trainees will be regularly assessed against a clear set of standards.
This period of work-based learning can be completed in just 16 months. This will be piloted for a two-year period from September 2007.