LSC and CoL to launch legal aid-focussed LPC

The College of Law and the Legal Services Commission (LSC) have teamed up to create the first legal aid-orientated LPC.

Entitled Public Legal Services Pathway, the new LPC will be available from 2005 at the college and also Cardiff Law School. The course will offer two new modules, advanced criminal litigation and housing, subject to Law Society approval, as well as a bespoke curriculum-related programme, including legal aid masterclasses run by experienced practitioners. The course will enable law students to explore the legal aid route, while allowing them to keep their options open.

This is the latest move by the college to diversify its LPC offering. In April, it emerged that the college is developing bespoke LPCs for Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters in time for when they leave the City Eight consortium in 2006 (see news story, page 7). At the time, the colleges chief executive Nigel Savage defended accusations of elitism by saying that his aim was to provide bespoke courses for the whole of the legal profession, and not just the big City firms.

Scott Slorach, LPC director at the college, said the legal aid course was part of the colleges continuing strategy to customise elements of its LPC to embrace the work that students are likely to undertake.

The LSC is also providing a third round of training grants for new legal aid solicitors, worth almost 3m. The grants will go towards the pay and development of trainees who agree to work in legal aid for at least two
years after completing their training contract.