There is a risk that the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s plans for education reform will do little to disrupt the privilege of students with access to funding and other advantages, according to an independent report commissioned by the regulator.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has bowed to fierce opposition from universities and law schools, and put its plans to introduce a new centralised assessment test for future solicitors on hold. The SRA’s board was due to decide on whether to go ahead at its meeting yesterday.
Paul Philip, chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, has announced a rethink on plans to abolish the minimum period of workplace training required by all future solicitors. Meanwhile, the regulator also yesterday launched ‘Law Firm Search’, a new searchable, online database of the law firms it regulates.
Eversheds and BPP University Law School have launched a six-year apprenticeship scheme leading to qualification as a solicitor. The law firm is believed to be the first to launch a scheme at this level, but its shape depends partly on the fate of the Solicitors Qualification Examination.
Plans by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to introduce a centrally assessed Solicitors Qualifying Examination could create an “even greater diversity problem” for the profession, the Law Society has warned. The society said it could be a “huge issue for those without financial support”.