BPP Law School is to launch an accelerated Legal Practice Course (LPC) for trainee solicitors joining member firms of the City LPC consortium.
In a radical move, the LPC is being slashed from 10 months to just seven-and-a-half months. The new course, which was given the green light by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) today, will have two intakes per year, beginning in February and August. The first cohort will start the fast-track course in August 2009.
Slaughters head of training Louise Stoker (pictured) said that the SRAs decision to adopt a more flexible approach to the way the LPC is delivered and taught provided an opportunity for the consortium to review its options.
If there was one thing we could improve it is the amount of time it takes to complete the LPC. Looking at feedback from students we found that there was a bit of slack, particularly during the electives term, explained Stoker.
Stoker insisted that there will be minimal change to the content of the course and that there will be more face-to-face contact with tutors with both lectures and small group sessions run exclusively for the consortium trainees.
Following the transition period, firms can make their own decisions on whether to make changes to trainee solicitor start dates. Slaughters hopes that its future joiners will start their training contracts immediately after they finish the LPC with any students who wish to take a gap year being encouraged to start the LPC the following February after they graduate.
BPPs fast-track LPC is not being extended to trainees outside the consortium. However, the law school is also launching an accelerated part-time course, which will enable students to complete the compulsory subjects over a year and then the electives over a further six months. Students will have to option to complete their electives with another provider.
The move coincides with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) finally unveiling the official list of institutions which are to launch a new-look LPC later this year (see story).