College LPC 'weak' says leaked report

The College of Law is suffering from poor staff morale and deficiencies in both buildings and facilities.

An internal investigation leaked to The Lawyer reveals the college's London branch recognises that its reputation as a provider of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) is “weak”.

The Store Street Plan report, which was published last year, says: “The London branch's reputation as a provider of the LPC is currently weak among students and key firms. Turnover among academic staff re-mains too high, and there are significant deficiencies in our buildings and facilities.”

The revelations have come to light as the college is being snubbed by the top eight City firms – which have opted to use BPP Law School in London, Nottingham Law School and the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice to develop a new LPC.

Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Herbert Smith, Linklaters & Alliance, Lovells, Norton Rose and Slaughter and May this week announced plans to work with just three providers to enhance the content and provision of the existing LPC.

The College of Law had tendered for the work, but was ultimately rejected.

The report cites one of the major deficiencies of the London branch as “information and research facilities, which are too dispersed and spatially disorganised to allow them to be comfortably used or effectively managed”.

The move is seen as a vote of no confidence in the College of Law, which will lose between 250 and 600 potential trainees a year.

Simon Davis, graduate recruitment and litigation partner at Clifford Chance, refuses to comment on the findings of the report, but says: “Any course must have a balance and we were concerned that insufficient attention may be being given to the use of the law and problem solving.

“We wanted it to be more in the context of the City – working with examples that will be relevant to our work.”