Wilde Sapte partner in charge of training Judith Mayhew says she is pioneering training in basic grammar skills with LPC students at Nottingham Trent University.
Mayhew says: “The pendulum has swung from everything being paper-based, and the LPC needs more emphasis on letter-writing, basic grammar and drafting of contracts skills.”
Mayhew also wants the LPC curriculum to emphasise writing and research skills, and teach students “how to find things out”.
She says: “I wouldn't like to see the LPC being more practical – non-law graduates with the Common Professional Examination, especially, need training in commercial areas and theory.”
Mayhew is “satisfied” that the LPC is keeping up to date with developments in the profession, saying: “The LPC has improved quite considerably after a lot of input from City firms.”
However, she says there is “a lot of advocacy in the LPC and they are trained in the adversarial system” whereas “the vast majority of lawyers are transactional and their training can be prejudicial to the smooth handling of a deal.”
Mayhew says she is confident the schools are adapting to the new legal culture of mediation, conciliation and dispute resolution, although she says it is too early to tell this from the work of Wilde Sapte recruits.
New Zealand-trained Mayhew completed a common professional course for both solicitors and barristers and supports a similar initiative in the UK. She says: “It is very important for barristers to understand the way solicitors work.”