College of Law faces legal action over fees

Former student considers suing after having to drop out of law school

A former College of Law student is facing a 3,750 bill for just three weeks of teaching after she was forced to pull out of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) prematurely.

Sophie Javed, 22, started an LPC at the College of Law’s York branch last September, but was forced to leave after her father was made redundant and could no longer afford to pay the fees.

Javed, who attended lectures for three weeks and two days, wants to warn others and is now considering legal action to claim some of her fees back.

College of law: ‘sensible’

She said: “I asked them to review the decision but they said the chief executive’s decision was final. I didn’t expect to get all the fees back, but I thought in this case they might consider a goodwill gesture. They probably filled my place straight away and so they’ll have the fees paid twice over.”

A few days after she quit, Javed received a letter saying she was liable for the full cost of the fees, but that the college would waive the second instalment of 3,750. It also offered to credit the fees she had alrea-dy paid to a block-release weekend course so she could “earn and learn” simultaneously.

“The whole point of leaving was to get the money back, not to transfer,” said Javed, who is seeking legal advice and is considering representing herself in the small claims court. “My family has given me a lot of grief about this,” she added.

The college’s chief executive Nigel Savage said it had not refilled Javed’s place because the course was “too intensive”.

“We explain the financial commitment when students start and we tell them that, if they leave beyond a certain date, they’re liable for the full fees,” he explained.

He added that giving full fees back to every student who left would mean higher fees for others. “We try to exercise discretion and I think we came up with an eminently sensible suggestion in this case,” he said.