The current chairman of the bar is not the first person to ask if there is not some way to limit the number of aspiring lawyers leaving law school. The subject is emotive – not just for the schools’ newer alumni faced with too few opportunities, but also for Gazette readers who have now been long and successfully established in their legal practice of choice.
The size of debt accumulated pre-training is fuel to the fire of this debate, adding as it does a sense of injustice for many.
The solution, though, is not clear. Is it realistic to limit numbers when the UK is a prominent player in the international education market? After all, our law schools are also used as something of a finishing school for law students aiming to return to other closely related jurisdictions. Prominent among the list of suggestions is better fireside chats with people about their chances before they apply to law school.
Some wonder at our preoccupation with this issue. After all, there are plenty of trained but ‘non-practising’ historians, philosophers, linguists, sociologists and engineers out there.
Perhaps what is missing from the picture is any confidence that for those unable to pursue their dream, they have nevertheless acquired skills and knowledge that will stand them in good stead whatever the future holds. That’s surely a fairly serious omission.