Archive for April 4th, 2011

Report shows drop in training contract places

The Law Society Gazette, Rachel Rothwell reports: “The number of training contracts offered by law firms fell by 18% last year, Law Society figures have shown. The Society’s annual statistical report reveals that only 4,784 training contract places were offered in 2010, compared to 5,809 in 2009 The drop reflects the impact of the economic downturn on firms. Of the new trainees registered, 63% were women, and 20% of those with known ethnicity came from ethnic minority groups. The report shows that 9,337 students enrolled on the Legal Practice Course in 2009, with an overall pass rate of 62%, though not all students took the examination.”

I have extracted an interesting comment by Professor Richard Moorhead, Cardiff University:

It’s worth remembering…that the number of LPC students dropped by more than this number this year (see here http://lawyerwatch.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/lpc-numbers-drop-dramatically/).

Also, these figures are (by their nature) out of date. There is historically a timelag between drops in TCs and drops in LPC candidates. When things are bad, more students decide not to do the LPC than is probably healthy for the profession. When things are good, more students decide they will do the LPC than is probably healthy for the profession (http://lawyerwatch.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/a-history-of-lpc-numbers/).

The LPC market is not expanding. It is shrinking fast. The profession needs to be wary of talking its prospects down with would-be recruits. It’s done from the best of motives, but the time lag between what happens on the ground and the publication of the figures tends to mean that the markets and, if I may say so, the Law Society react rather late in the day.

Both The Law Society and The Bar Council are grappling with the issue of the ratio of students to training contracts / pupillages.  I am doing a podcast with Baroness Deech, Chair of The Bar Standards Board,  on Friday.  It will be interesting to hear her views on this, given her background as a respected academic.

On a less serious note… The Daily Mail has waded in with this analysis…

Now we have more lawyers than police thanks to legal aid

There are now more lawyers in the country than police officers, according to a breakdown of the booming legal profession. The number of qualified solicitors and barristers has shot up over the past decade to 165,000 in England and Wales. By contrast the official count of police officers was 142,363 last autumn – a total which is likely to fall in the wake of spending cuts.

The Guardian also considers the matter….

Number of solicitors triples in 30 years

More young women join the profession, but few make partner

Owen Bowcott, possibly even wringing his hands?, writes: “Is this proof that we have become a more litigious society? The number of solicitors qualified to work in England and Wales has rocketed over the past 30 years. According to the Law Society’s data, which is now available on the Guardian’s datablog, 150,128 individuals on the Society’s database.

Those holding current practising certificates – which excludes retired lawyers and those no longer following a legal career – number nearly 118,000. Back in 1980, when Rumpole of the Bailey was broadcasting the attractions of courtroom life on Thames Television, there were fewer than 38,000 practising solicitors.

And finally… some news from the law schools…
Last week, 33 law schools from across the globe – including from the US, Canada, Germany, India, Australia and the UKcame to BPP Law School to compete against each other in the prestigious International Academy of Dispute Resolution mediation competition.

BPP Law School was commended for its Pro Bono activity when its students won the Best Contribution by a Team of Students category at the LawWorks & Attorney General Annual Student Awards ceremony, held at the House of Commons on the 30th March. Read…

The Open University law School won the ICLR final this year, beating their nemesis, Exeter.

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Coming soon… the adventures of a superhero for our times…… a man who thinks only for and of himself…. selflessly out there…. a story in 140 characters!


AND this…from a fellow tweeter…. one of the many reasons why I enjoy twitter!

I may have had too much time on my hands today.  I shall return to more sensible posts about law, later in the day.


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