Will British legal education be left behind?

Here is an interesting article about the relative strength in the market for British legal education. The article points out that London the world's top destination for international companies to settle disputes, that English law is the system of choice in the drafting of international contracts, and that the "magic circle" law firms come close to dominating the global commercial legal scene. At a debate about legal education held on Tuesday at University College London, participants discussed the preference, among the growing number of dual qualified Asian lawyers, for law degrees from the US rather than the UK. The speakers at the debate canvassed some concerns with the UK system, under which students can do a law degree as an undergraduate or can shift over to law via a 10 month postgraduate diploma. Students from both streams then complete a further year of professional skills study, followed by a two-year training contract with a law firm. Academic and lawyer Philippe Sands QC opined that law should not be studied at an undergraduate level because it is inherently conservative, and can stifle creativity in young students: "law closes the mind and causes you to think in a particular way", he said. Others said that the 10 month postgraduate diploma is too hurried, and lacks the rigour of a US JD.

Will British legal education be left behind? guardian.co.uk guardian.co.uk Fri, Oct 21, 2011