Elite law schools hike LPC fees despite recession

London’s leading law schools have stunned the legal market by hiking their LPC fees by an inflation-busting 8 per cent as job prospects for trainee solicitors continue to deteriorate.

Students enrolling on the LPC at BPP’s Waterloo and Holborn branches from September 2009 will face a hefty bill of £12,500 – £1,050 more than the current academic year.

This makes BPP £1,000 more expensive than London’s second most costly LPC provider Kaplan Law School, which is increasing its fees for 2009-10 by just over 9 per cent from £10,500 to £11,500.

Head of Kaplan Giles Proctor said: “We at Kaplan Law School watch the market carefully and understand the pressures our students are under. Our prices reflect a balancing act between these pressures and our commitment to providing a high quality service for our students and clients.”

The College of Law (CoL), meanwhile, is upping its fees by just under 9 per cent from £10,340 to £11,250 at its London branches. CoL, however, still remains the cheapest dedicated LPC provider in the capital.

College of Law’s chief executive Nigel Savage said of BPP’s fee hike: “I can’t see how they [BPP] can justify huge increases like this. It looks like they’re driving for short-term profits rather than looking at the needs of the students.”

BPP recently announced an early bird deal at its northern branches offering a 10 per cent discount on its LPC to candidates who accepted a spot in Leeds and Manchester by February 13 – one month before the official Central Applications Board (CAB) deadline.

Savage, who put CoL price increases down to a range of factors including investment in e-learning, said: “To introduce discounts one minute and then hike up prices the next makes me think BPP doesn’t know their a**e from their elbow.”

The City Law School has not set its LPC fees for September 2009 yet. But last year the school ranked as London’s second most expensive LPC provider, charging full-time students £10,600 for the 2008-09 academic year.

BPP Law School declined to comment on its price hikes.