Junior lawyers “confused” by SRA’s plans for centralised assessment

The Law Society’s Junior Lawyer Division (JLD) has criticised plans to adopt a centralised assessment test for student lawyers at the point of qualification, in an open letter to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA).

The JLD points out that the SRA has “indicated its initial preference” to introducing the centralised assessment but states that its members do not believe enough discussion has been given to other options.

In the letter JLD chair Max Harris said: “We cannot see that the SRA has dedicated an appropriate level of pre-consultation public discussion to the other available options.”

The other options suggested by the SRA include continuing approve pathways to qualification and authorising specific providers to deliver them or allowing any provider to come up with their own training pathway as long as they demonstrate they are able to meet the threshold standard.

The letter continues to state that the JLD members have expressed “confusion and concern” about the lack of detail within the SRA’s plans. This includes how the level of knowledge required to reach the threshold standard would be reached.

In place of the current plans the JLD recommended a centralised LPC exam that all students at regulated institutions would be required to pass. Under this alternative proposal, students would still be required to pass the Qualifying Law Degree or the Common Professional Examination.