As the College of Law’s energetic chief executive Nigel Savage enters his eleventh year at the helm, he’s got plenty of reasons to celebrate.
As The Lawyer reports today (page 1), the college made history after becoming the first privately run post-graduate law school to be granted degree-awarding powers. From September 2006, students studying the GDL and the LPC at the College of Law will graduate with an LLB instead of a diploma. That’s great news for non-law students, who will now finish the academic stage of qualifying as a solicitor with two degrees.
The move follows a decade of radical change at Store Street, during which time the college has gone from strength to strength. Indeed, the meteoric rise of the College of Law has left its rivals playing catch-up. As the college celebrates its new status, arch-rival BPP Law School is still waiting for the Government to grant it with degree-awarding status.
The College of Law was left in the cold in 2001 following the launch of the City LPC, which was introduced in response to concerns that the course was failing to provide trainees with the skills needed to work in a commercial environment. But rather than sit back and concede defeat, Savage embarked on a strategy that heralded the first of many groundbreaking moves by the College of Law. In a major victory for Savage, the college signed up former City LPC consortium members Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters for its radical bespoke LPC.
Not content with bagging three-quarters of the magic circle for its bespoke City LPC, the College of Law now has its sights on smaller City firms. As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (3 March), the college has now teamed up with Berwin Leighton Paisner to launch the LPC+, a watered-down version of the bespoke LPC.
The College of Law is also leading the way in the classroom as well as outside. In another first, the college is planning to ditch all of its LPC lectures in favour of e-learning. The so-called ‘i-tutorials’ will be available both online and on DVD. In a copycat move, BPP is putting all its GDL lectures onto DVDs and MP3 players. From September, all the law school’s GDL students will be issued with a complete DVD box set of all lectures.
Thanks to Savage, the College of Law has transformed itself and, indeed, the entire legal education market. It’s been a momentous decade.