Law students have lambasted BPP Law School for creating a fast-track Legal Practice Course (LPC) specifically designed for trainee solicitors joining member firms of the City LPC consortium.
In a radical move the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has given BPP the green light to accelerate its specially tailored course for the City LPC consortium from 10 months to just seven-and-a-half months, as first reported by this site last Friday (9 January).
But would-be lawyers have labeled the move as elitist and think the changes are unfair.
President of Birmingham University law society Chris Snell said: Why should people who dont want to work for top City firms be penalised for making that decision? Letting a select few finish much earlier is elitist.
Warwick University student Chrissy Vassiliou concurred: The current LPC is fine as it is so I dont think you should change something thats working already. But if theyre making it shorter for some they should make it shorter for everyone because every student should have the choice to take a fast-track option if they want to.
But not everyone is unhappy about the shake-up. George Igler, who hopes to start his Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at City University in September, is now keen to apply to firms in the consortium in a bid to speed up his studies.
The 32-year-old said: In light of the current climate anything which makes the transition from studying to starting work and putting money in your pocket faster can only be a good thing.
Dean of BPP Peter Crisp defended the new-look course and insisted that there will be minimal change to the content of the course but there will be more face-to-face contact with tutors with both lectures and small group sessions run exclusively for the consortium trainees.
He said: Weve always run a specially tailored course for the City LPC consortium and have responded to the needs of the particular firms involved.
The City LPC consortium comprises Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith, Lovells, Norton Rose and Slaughter and May.
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