Oversupply fears confirmed by annual Law Soc report

Would-be lawyers’ chances of breaking into the legal profession have suffered a severe blow as the number of training contracts registered last year plummets by 16 per cent, according to a new survey.

The Law Society’s latest annual statistical report revealed that despite 14,510 Legal Practice Course (LPC) places being available to law students across two modes of study in 2009-10, only 4,874 training contracts were registered between 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2010.

This is expected to be exacerbated with number of LPC places set to rise by 5 per cent to 15,166 during the current academic year (2011-11), with 12,142 full-time and 3,024 part-time places.

However, the number of students enrolling on the LPC fell substantially between 2009 and 2010, falling by 24.3%. Total enrolments in 2009 were 9,337, compared to 7,064 for 2010, with a 2010 pass rate of 87 per cent.

College of Law and BPP Law School control 63 per cent of the LPC market, offering 4,750 and 2,115 full time places in 2010-11 respectively.

Elsewhere, the report revealed a small increase in the number of female trainee solicitors registered between 2009-10 and 2010-11, rising from 61.7 per cent to 62.7 per cent. There was also jump in the number of trainees with known ethnicity drawn from BME groups, from 19.9 per cent to 20.3 per cent in the same period.