The former Lord Chancellor has called for a restriction on the number of Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) places to close the gap between law graduates and pupillages places on offer.
Lord Falconer’s key note speech was delivered at a seminar on the future of legal education at the Inner Temple, which hosted a number of highly regarded guest speakers including the Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board Chris Kenny, Chair of the Bar Standards Board Baroness Deech DBE and former chair of the Bar Council Dr Nicholas Green QC.
Lord Falconer said: “Ultimately the crushed hopes of so many after the expenditure of over £50,000 are not good for the profession. We would rightly be accused of leading people on in a way, which is not necessary for the well being of the profession.”
He also urged the bar to increase the number of pupillages even if this does not lead to a rise in number of seats in chambers.
“It will nevertheless increase the pool who have the additional experience, which will strengthen their arm in the job market, which is a good thing,” he added.
Other aspects that he considered needed addressing in the legal education review included making law an accepted part of the school curriculum to make law more accessible at an earlier age.