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I sympathise with the point made by anon @ 07:47. But surely this is a criticism of the system of qualifying as a solicitor rather than the examination taken. There was a time - I'm old enough to remember it - when one didn't have to spend large amounts of money on fees to attend a course before sitting the qualifying examinations. One could learn 'on the job', pay the examination fees alone and then sit the examinations. So why not reintroduce this? Perhaps the reason why is that there is a plethora of so called teaching establishments, that are no better than 'crammers' which provide little practical legal education but charge a fortune for it, who would scream blue murder if anyone had the temerity to suggest that their lucrative cash cow might be taken away from them. I suspect that those who 'learned whilst they earned' made better solicitors and probably had a better prospect of examination success than those who had attended expensive courses but had no idea of the practice of a solicitor. And furthermore, it might enable those who, at the age of 18, aspire to be solicitors to determine whether it is really for them - and they are for it - before they take on the burden of many tens of thousands of pounds of debt beforehand.

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