Universities keeping faith in LPC despite SRA proposals
Leading universities have indicated they intend to keep providing the Legal Practice Course, despite proposals by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) which could remove the need for students to take it.
The SRA proposed last December that a centralised Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) should replace existing entry routes. This prompted the University of Hertfordshire to announce last week that it will scrap its LPC, and instead offer a restructured LLB.
But other universities have said they are confident that the LPC will remain relevant.
BPP Law School said it would continue to run its LPC regardless of the outcome of the consultation, while the University of Lancashire asserted that the areas covered by its LPC would remain in demand either way.
A spokesperson for the university said: ‘Whilst it is true that successful completion of the LPC in its current form may cease to be a prerequisite for entry into the solicitor’s profession… tuition in most of the areas currently covered by the LPC will still very much be in demand.’
Meanwhile, Helen Hudson, head of postgraduate professional programmes at Nottingham Law School, said the university had ‘no plans’ to close any of its postgraduate professional courses, for which it would continue to recruit strongly.
City Law School also said that it would continue to provide the LPC, but said it would refresh its courses in light of any changes. This includes offering an online LLB in legal practice, and remodelling its LLB, the LPC and other professional programmes.
The University of Westminster is ‘committed’ to running its ‘thriving LPC programme’, while remaining engaged with the consultation.
The University of Law said that, although there would still be a need for students to learn how to develop high-level legal practitioner skills to meet the SQE, it would not clarify if it would continue to run the LPC regardless of the final proposals.
Andrea Nollent, provost and chief academic officer, said: ‘We are currently reviewing our programmes to be able to deliver courses for the new SQE, including a more modular or flexible option, for study either on a free-standing basis, or in conjunction with an adapted LPC, driven by students and law firm preference.’
London Metropolitan University, Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Derby, meanwhile, indicated that they would consider any alternations once training plans have been finalised. The SRA’s consultation ended last week.