White students are more likely to pass their legal exams and law conversion courses than people from an ethnic minority background, data from the Solicitors Regulation Authority has revealed.

According to an SRA report, almost 80% of white students successfully completed their LPC, compared with only 40% of black students and 53% of Asian/Asian British students.

The figures, which cover September 2015 to August 2016, were published on the SRA website at the end of last year.

They appear in the annual ‘Authorisation and Monitoring Report’ which focuses on the success rates for two qualifications – the legal practice course (LPC) and the common professional examination (CPE) – a conversion course for non-law graduates.

It will come as another blow for the profession’s reputation for diversity after barristers’ regulator the Bar Standards Board revealed at the end of last year that black and minority ethnic (BME) students were half as likely as their white counterparts to achieve pupillage.

The figures for CPE candidates were similar to those taking the LPC. Among white students, 74% successfully completed the course, compared with 33% of black students and 46% of Asian students.

The report also reveals a stark gap between success at training institutions.

For the LPC, one provider achieved a pass rate of 100%, compared with 30% at another. CPE completion rates were similar and varied from less than 45% to 100%. 
The providers have not been named.

The report also reveals that the University of Hertfordshire has opted to reinstate the LPC this year. The university suspended the course in 2016 in light of forthcoming changes to qualification. The Gazette has contacted the university for comment.