Legal Practice Course (LPC) students are in for an easier ride following the Law Society's decision to ditch four assessments from the compulsory syllabus. From September, students will have to successfully complete only 14 assessments to pass the course.
After a consultation with LPC providers, the Law Society agreed that students were over-assessed and that the exams should be scrapped.
John Hermann, course director at BPP Law School in London, said: "A balance needs to be struck between assessment and learning."
Nick Johnson, director of the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice, added that although it was a step in the right direction, "it would not be without problems". He added: "We don't want students to arrive at the examinations at the end and find they have not experienced the sort of assessments they are faced with."
Both staff and students have been "overwhelmed" by the demands of the LPC in recent years, according to Johnson. "The huge volume of assessment marking is always the first point mentioned whenever we have a staff meeting," he said.
Lawyer 2B understands that similar fears have also prompted the Bar Council to consider pruning the number of assessments on the Bar Vocational Course.
A Law Society spokesperson said: "Students felt the course had become a series of assessment hurdles which meant that the focus was more on passing [them] than preparing for a training contract. The new regime is designed to produce confident, independent learners who are ready to face the demands of practice."