When the legal professions’ regulators published the terms of reference for the Legal Education and Training Review, they demonstrated breadth and ambition that was breathtaking.
But what has come back is pretty limp. Apprenticeships in law firms, for example, are already up and running. The government is an enthusiastic supporter.
Law firms and chambers are already publicly committed to the transparent use of internships. And the report accepts the bar’s coolness to the idea of unified training.
Chief among the areas where the original ambition of the LETR fell short is in the authors’ maladroit handling of the student debt issue – and the impact debt has on access to, and the health of, the modern legal profession.
The report directs readers to the conclusions of a study by the Illinois bar, before going on to note that this is, in fact, irrelevant.
As to an interesting or original recommendation here, the authors do not find one to support. They simply acknowledge the scale of indebtedness and the impact this has on aspiring lawyers. The report came in on budget. There is not much else to set the pulse racing in this long-delayed and expensive tome.