Bar chairman calls for cap on student numbers

The chairman of the bar has called for a limit on the number of students allowed to take the LPC and BPTC.

Nicholas Lavender QC said that government legislation was needed because of growing student debt amid a tough jobs market and changing legal profession.

He added that the wanted the bar to adopt a similar practice to solicitors, and allow prospective barristers to gain pupillage while still at university, so that they were not forced to blindly commit to the cost of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

Lavender, in an interview with the Law Society Gazette, said: “I have no doubt the bar, and I suspect solicitors, would like to be able to limit the number of students taking the professional training courses. We are all very concerned that so many take the courses but are unable to find work in the profession.”

He went on to say that the two professions were bound by legislation and said that he would support any move by the Government to change legislation.

According to the Gazette, the QC would not be drawn on whether legal education colleges were irresponsible to allow so many students to enrol on the BPTC and LPC but commented: “Law schools have a responsibility to their potential students to make sure they know what their prospects are when they commit to the courses.”