Editor’s weekly: It’s snow fun for LPC providers

Despite being snowed in the Lawyer2B.com team broke not just one but two massive LPC-related stories today.

The first was Allen & Overy’s (A&O) plans to launch an accelerated LPC for its future trainees from 2012 (read more). The move, which comes just months after rival magic circle firm Clifford Chance announced similar plans will undoubtedly add to fears that such courses run the risk of creating a two-tier education system for aspiring lawyers (that’s if it hasn’t happened already).

Meanwhile, those of you who are worried about the oversupply of law students will be pleased to discover that the LPC market has shrunk by a whopping 20 per cent (read more).

As dean of BPP Law School Peter Crisp explained a decline in the market is exactly what you would expect in an economic downturn. “In terms of recruitment, the legal profession has retrenched and this is now being reflected in enrolments on the LPC.”

College of Law (CoL) chief Nigel Savage meanwhile put the figures down to the market “correcting” itself.

The constant flow of stories coming out of the post-graduate law schools, such as Kaplan Law School’s unilateral plans to introduce an LPC admissions test and BPP’s aggressive expansion plans, obviously keeps us journalists very busy.

But they point to what is potentially a bigger problem. The creation of a disparate legal education market with each provider going off and doing its own thing with little fear of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or the Bar Standards Board (BSB) interfering.

That’s why the major education review announced last month by the SRA, BSB and Legal Executives Professional Standards couldn’t have come at a better time (read full story).

I just hope the review results in some real change because the legal education market arguably needs more than just a correction.

husnara.begum@lawyer2b.com

PS – Lawyer 2B and the College of Law would once again like to apologise for postponing our “Not too Late for Law” careers event for mature applicants. We are hoping to reschedule the event for early 2011 and will contact all the delegates who were due to attend in due course.

PPS – The Winter 2010 issue of Lawyer 2B is out this week so go and grab your free copy (that is if you’re not snowed in like us of course!)