The Law Society has expressed ‘disappointment’ at the failure of the Legal Education and Training Review to discuss social mobility and diversity in its final consultation.
Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said: “It is disappointing that the LETR team decided not to address equality, diversity and social mobility… These issues are central to any discussion around routes into the profession and to any serious consideration of how to make legal education and training more accessible. Equality, diversity and social mobility are fundamental factors for all the options and recommendations and have informed the Law Society’s response.”
The society did however endorse the development of alternative routes into the profession, emphasising the benefits of a modular, work-based learning approach in an environment in which costs for graduates continue to rise.
It cautioned that although flexibility in training is essential, high standards must be preserved and reasoned that the current route to qualification “serve[s] as an effective way of enabling people to become solicitors within a relatively condensed period of time.”
Scott-Moncrieff drew attention to “the underlining priority”, warning “required standards must be consistent across all routes to qualification.”
Last month, the Legal Services Consumer Panel urged the review to ‘be bold’ and promote client-focused reforms. (25 October 2012)
The final review is expected to be published on 13 January 2013.