Emerging scandal in legal education
The Guardian reports on the ‘emerging scandal’ in legal education, which is churning out thousands of aspiring lawyers in the face of declining job prospects. The legal practice course (LPC - a mandatory qualification for new solicitors - has significantly increased in size over the past decade, offering 70 per cent more places now than it did ten years ago. In the same period, the number of training contracts available for newly qualified lawyers has increased by only 20 per cent, and that figure falling in the recession.
In the 1990’s the Law Society tried to respond to an industry job-shortage by freezing the number of LPC places, but it had to back down in the face of legal threats from training providers that the move was anti-competitive. The Solicitors Regulation Authority – now responsible for the LPC – will not attempt to curb the numbers by the same means.
The article suggests that one answer may be to end the compulsory minimum salary that firms are required to offer to trainees (£18,590 in central London and £16,650 elsewhere).
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