Alistair MacDonald QC, chairman of the Bar Council, has called for a revolution in the training of barristers to cut what he described as “astronomical” costs and increase the chances of successful students getting a pupillage. He also raised questions about the non-lawyer ownership of law firms.
The Bar Standards Board has said that there is no need for the Bar Professional Training Course to be delivered as “one, integrated course”, and is also set to give chambers and employers more freedom to design pupillages.
The Legal Education and Training Review may end up “unbalanced or worse” because it has incorrectly identified its purpose, the president of the Supreme Court warned last night. Lord Neuberger also questioned the need for root-and-branch change.
The system for training lawyers is not fit for purpose, the Legal Education and Training Review research team has suggested. The team of academics floated a series of ideas that in some instances would represent radical reform of the present regime.
The Legal Services Board has approved Bar Standards Board proposals to introduce an aptitude test for prospective Bar students. The test aims to weed out the bottom 10% of candidates.
The Legal Education and Training Review should lead to alternative routes to qualification through a modularised and work-based approach, the Law Society has said. It comes as Professor Stephen Mayson has expressed concern that the review is in danger of being subsumed by vested interests.
The Bar Standards Board is formally to seek the introduction of an aptitude test for prospective Bar professional training course students from this autumn, setting the pass rate at a level that would eliminate the weakest 10% of students.
Students taking an aptitude test designed to weed out those likely to fail the Bar training course could be given a once-only opportunity to pass, it has emerged, after members of the Bar Standards Board raised questions about the policy of allowing unlimited attempts.
An aptitude test that indicates whether Bar students will pass their exams is “the best single predictor of course outcomes”, a pilot study has concluded. The Bar Standards Board is pressing ahead with plans to introduce the test formally in autumn 2012.
Bar students are set to become the first group offered exemptions from parts of the legal practice course (LPC), it has emerged. However, LPC providers will not be required to offer a discount on fees. The move has been driven by changes to the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme.