SRA chair Charles Plant says there should be a return to non-graduate entry to the profession.

Over the years I have thought this too. After all, I am a five-year man myself.

At the end of this month I retire and my views have changed. The law too has changed, out of all recognition, since I qualified in 1973. Then, one would do conveyancing, wills, probate, magistrates’ court work, licensing, matrimonial and the rest. All in a day’s work. Now it is all one can do to keep up with one’s chosen specialism.

The result is that I have swung in the opposite direction. Sadly, I believe that the law should be a graduate-only profession. Not only that, but those wanting to practise law should take a first degree in a subject other than law, before taking a law degree. The law degree then becomes a second degree only. Following the appropriate professional exams, there should be a two-year period of articles or pupillage to establish some practical experience and common sense.

It makes for a long training, but it will be broad. Doctors are graduate-only – one would not want to be operated on by a school leaver.

John Few, Leeds Day, Huntingdon