​Kaplan Law School closes LPC and GDL to focus on “innovative new products”

Kaplan Law School has closed its Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) to focus on “innovative new products” which will cater to new legal education frameworks.

It is just over one year since the law school shut down its Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), blaming the economics of delivering the course for its decision.

The school has lost three major law firm clients in recent months. Holman Fenwick Willan, Shearman & Sterling and Trowers & Hamlins all left the school for its main rivals, the University of Law and BPP University, both of which are significantly larger than Kaplan.

The school also worked with Nottingham Law School, running its LPC and GDL in London. This contract comes to an end in 2016.

A Kaplan spokesperson said: “Kaplan Law School’s GDL and LPC will run for its final year in 2015/16. Students will continue to receive the high quality tuition and strong focus on individual student outcomes that made it a leader in the market. The contract with Nottingham Law School to run their LPC and GDL comes to an end in 2016.

The spokesperson added: “The SRA’s Training for Tomorrow programme has opened up the prospect of exciting new possibilities for the route to qualification as a solicitor of England and Wales.

“Kaplan has therefore taken the view that it will not invest in a traditional LPC and GDL to replace the existing one but rather will concentrate its resources on developing innovative new products that draw on the Training for Tomorrow framework and reflects the competence statement.”

Kaplan had not begun its recruitment for 2016/17 academic year as the Central Application System does not open until October.

The law school was the third largest private provider of legal education in the country. Its economic model of a single site and relatively few students was in stark comparison to the models of its competitors who rely either on student volume or an adjacent undergraduate law school to fund their resources such as libraries and career centres.

The law school’s long-time dean left last year to establish a new school at Roehampton University. Lawyer 2B understands that its new dean, John Clifford, has now left the business also, although he is still listed as its head on both the Kaplan website and LinkedIn.

Kaplan did not comment on the future of its law school staff.

Nottingham Trent added: “Kaplan Law School’s contract to run Nottingham Law School’s GDL and LPC in London is coming to an end in 2016. This will not affect current students who are due to complete their studies before September 2016. Nottingham Law School will continue to run its vibrant LPC and GDL portfolios in Nottingham, which continue to recruit well from both domestic and international markets.”

The news was first broken by legal gossip site Roll on Friday.