Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Legal Practice Course - Unsustainable and Time for a Change?

The Legal Practice Course - time for a change?

We recently had a look at a few statistics surrounding the Legal Practice Course.

The current cost of undertaking the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law ranges from £10,845 to £13,905.
The Graduate Diploma in Law is £7,240 to £9,820 (depends on location).
Wolverhampton University fees, as a comparison, are £9,010 for the Legal Practice Course and Manchester Metropolitan charges £5,560 for the Graduate Diploma in Law.

According to government statistics there were 93,575 law undergraduates in 2011-2012. In 2011-2012 there were 4,869 training contracts available.

Assuming that over half of these are people who don't want a training contract, or go down the BPTC route, this still leaves a lot of potential candidates out there who are not going to get qualified - the figure does not include those entering via the GDL route.

If you consider that since 2008 the training contract figure has not increased, it means that there are probably well over 100,000 law graduates since 2008 who have not entered the legal profession via the solicitor route.

Thinking through the cost of the LPC - if you now complete this and get a training contract on the high street, assuming your salary remains less than £16,000 for the first two years of your training and less than £25,000 for the next two years, you are going to take about 6 years to pay off the fee (paying it at £200 a month). A mortgage and a family must remain a very distant possibility for most NQs at the moment.

Does this level of cost really create a sustainable future flow of potential trainee solicitors, or just deter those who do not have relatives and connections already in the business? Has the time come to restrict the academic institutions from providing LPC courses to those who stand little or no chance of ever progressing with a legal career?

Jonathan Fagan is a solicitor, qualified recruitment consultant and Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed here - www.linkedin.com/in/jbfagan

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