Editor’s weekly: BPP’s fighting talk

Fact. The number of students enrolling on the Legal Practice Course (LPC) exceeds the number of training contracts available.

Indeed, according to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) a whopping 9,337 students enrolled on the LPC in 2008-09 but only 5,809 new training contracts were registered with the regulator in the year ending 31 July 2009.

Given this worrying statistic it begs the question why BPP Law School is planning to launch not one but three new branches (read more), especially as it’s only just opened in Birmingham and Bristol.

BPP’s plans to launch in Cambridge, Liverpool and Newcastle next year have even spurred the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) into action. As reported by Lawyer2B.com yesterday (27 October) the JLD is convening an emergency meeting next month to canvass members’ views on BPP’s aggressive expansion plans prior to submitting a formal response to the SRA (read more). The SRA is yet to validate the new branches to enable BPP to run the LPC out of them.

But BPP isn’t taking the JLD’s hostility towards is growth strategy lying down. Dean Peter Crisp told Lawyer2B.com: “I don’t think it is for the SRA to control the market in the LPC, and I think they would agree. And equally the JLD shouldn’t be telling a law school when and where they should do their courses.”

Regardless of which party you side with one thing is for sure BPP is going to have a fight on its hands. Especially, when even the likes of SNR Denton’s graduate recruitment partner Jeremey Cape are warning students to think twice about starting the LPC without securing a training contract first.

You can find out more about Cape’s views on self-funding the LPC in his profile (read more). We plan to run a series of graduate recruitment partner profiles over the forthcoming weeks and suggest you read them because you’re bound to meet many of these individuals during the recruitment process. And what can be a better icebreaker during an interview than asking the interviewer about their last holiday or career highlight?

And if you’re after more bed time reading then check out our latest blog: “In defence of the LLB” by yes you’ve guessed it LLB students Richard Ridyard and Daniel Reilly who claim that a law degree is worth more than the Graduate Diploma is Law. Do you agree? Click here to join the debate.