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The present arrangement is because the old one - of articles before getting on the exam ladder - was seen as regulating the size of the profession to its advantage and excluding many aspirants on grounds of gender and race. And to an extent it probably was.

But at least it meant that those that got through did qualify.

The present arrangement as it has developed is achieving the same result based upon those who can pay the price and take the risk that they can get a training contract - and get one - and those who can't or won't.

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