Legal Education Review: Where does the knowledge come from?
It’s very early days. The SRA, BSB and ILEX’s IPS have announced the review. The LSB have indicated a desire that the review be as fundamental as the Ormerod Review from 1971. I do not know what shape the review is going to take. The College of Law has already come out of the blocks through its think-tank with proposals to do away with the training contract and parks an elegantly written tank on the University law school’s lawn with the suggestion that it should ‘advise’ law schools/law students of the options that students should take under a qualifying law degree. The Chair of the LSB has indicated the desirability of shorter training and more on the job training. There are proposals for aptitude tests at various stages of development from the Bar and the Law Society and also a report from the Law Society suggesting that ethics should be required as part of the degree training of solicitors. Some of these ideas I currently support and all of them merit debate but I want to stand back slightly, though, with a few key facts and a little horizon scanning. My first key fact is there are no key facts, or there are rather few of them…..
Professor Stephen Mayson of The Legal Services Institute (Funded by The College of Law) has a very detailed paper on The Education and Training of Solicitors: Time for Change – advocating, inter alia, the abolition of the training contract.
This is only the beginning… the regulators plan to review legal education… I have made a number of preliminary observations in these very broad brushed blog posts: