BPP Law School has defended its decision to open three new branches next year, amid concerns over the lack of training contract places available for legal practice course graduates.

The law school will launch LPC courses in Newcastle, Liverpool and Cambridge next autumn, providing 180 new places in total. It currently charges £8,995 for the year-long course at its training centres outside London.

Kevin Poulter, executive committee member of the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division, said the move could give a ‘false impression’ to prospective students regarding their prospects of qualifying to enter the profession, at a time when there is tough competition for training contracts and there are too many LPC graduates for the places available. He said: ‘The point is that, unfortunately, we have got a lot of members who are trying to seek training contracts. This is giving a false impression, at a time when the [Law Society’s education and training committee] is looking at introducing an aptitude test to reduce the number of people taking the LPC.’

Peter Crisp, chief executive of BPP Law School, stressed that more than 80% of BPP’s LPC graduates find a training contract and said the new courses would make the LPC more geographically accessible.

However, Poulter said that LPC courses are already offered by Northumbria University in Newcastle and Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge. Students in Liverpool can study the LPC at Liverpool John Moores University.

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