Students divided over whether law school places should be limited

Lawyer 2B readers have reacted to the Legal Services Board’s view that there should be no limit on LPC and BPTC places.

Opinion was split in a poll conducted on this website, but the majority were against the Legal Services Board (LSB)’s proposals, with just under 60 per cent agreeing with the statement: “The LSB is wrong: there are too many LPC and BPTC graduates and a limit on places would solve the problem of oversupply.”

The remaining 40 per cent thought: “The LSB is right: a limit on places would stifle diversity and students should be trusted to make their own decision on whether taking the course is a good idea.”

The LSB set out its views before regulators proceed with plans for the implementation of the Legal Education and Training Review.

In a consultation paper published in September, it acknowledged the “increasing concern” among lawyers as to the number of LPC and BPTC graduates that fail to obtain pupillage or training contracts.

It argued: “This is sometimes positioned as an issue of ‘over supply’ in the legal services market where there seems to be too many lawyers coming through the system,” but said that it is “very difficult” to accept the argument that there are too many lawyers, “given the levels of unmet need identified in research looking at both individual and small business consumers.”

The paper added: “Given the regulatory objective to promote competition and protect and promote the interests of consumers it would be very difficult to accept any attempt by a regulator to use its regulatory arrangements to restrict numbers.”

The LSB proposed that the solution to the issues of graduates being left unemployed after law school “lies not in further restrictions but in fewer restrictions to the way that people are able to qualify and the range of options open to individuals wishing to pursue a career in the legal services market.”