UK lawyers push to do away with training contracts

November 23, 2011 As US law firms grapple with the question of how to train lawyers when companies refuse to be billed by inexperienced associates, the profession in the UK is considering scrapping its training model in favour of the more ‘accessible’ US system.

In the UK, graduates must complete a two-year training contract with a law firm in order to be qualified. And while this system provides much needed practical training for lawyers, leading figures in the UK legal profession are pushing to remove the training programs and make their system look more American.

“Young lawyers will shop around for the best jobs and for the more accessible of the two global qualifications,” said Nigel Savage, chief executive of the College of Law in the UK. “Under the current regulatory regimes the U.S. model wins hands down given the relative ease of access that enables global students to sit the New York Bar exams.”

Savage says training contracts should be scrapped for students who want to go into transactional work, but those interested in advocacy would still require special preparation.

Read more at blogs.wsj.com.

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