Law Society warns Bar off introducing aptitude test for students

Print This Post

By Legal Futures

6 March 2012


Aptitude test: wider issue needs to be looked at, says Law Society

The introduction of an aptitude test for prospective Bar students may be premature – and in any case fails to address the “real issue” – the Law Society has told the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

Responding to a BSB consultation, the society said that while a test might support the stated aims of improving the student experience and raising standards on entry to and exit from the Bar professional training course (BPTC), “this is a relatively minor benefit to be derived from an expensive additional hurdle”.

The real issue, it argued, is “the mismatch between the numbers of students passing the BPTC and the number of available pupilages”.

The society said its own investigation into an

aptitude test concluded it would not significantly reduce the number of students graduating from the course – because the test only weeds out those would probably have failed it – and competing for training contracts or pupilages.

It continued: “In light of these findings the society decided that rather than pursuing the introduction of an aptitude test, it would feed the findings of the report into the current Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) by the legal regulators as it was felt that the evidence presented in the report confirms that a full examination of the current vocational stage is essential. This would include a review of entry requirements for the legal practice course and an evaluation of the standards required by the regulator.

“The BSB may wish to consider whether the timing of this consultation and the introduction of the [aptitude test] is appropriate with the LETR ongoing, which will most likely alter the landscape of education and training. The move to implement aptitude testing may be considered to be premature in these circumstances.”

Tags: , , ,



One Response to “Law Society warns Bar off introducing aptitude test for students”

  1. They had an aptitude test when I did the BVC (mid-‘90s). I managed to pass, which just shows flaw in the system. I should never have gone to an institution that had set its standards so low it would admit me as a member.

  2. Simon Gibbs on March 6th, 2012 at 9:00 am

Legal Futures Blog

Joint (ad)ventures in the legal sector

Nigel Wallis lo res

We all know that nothing in life is certain. As the actor, director and philosopher Clint Eastwood once said: “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” He also said he’d tried being reasonable and didn’t like it. They should teach this kind of philosophy in law school. One thing in life is reasonably certain though. If you’re a law firm worth your salt, at some point you will be approached by another entity (most probably a work introducer) with a whizzy idea to ‘partner’ with you to ‘help you accelerate your growth’. In commercial speak this means, ‘we’d like to keep feeding you work but we’d also like to share in your profits’. The arrangement may be pitched to you as a joint venture – a win-win no less.

March 27th, 2017