I saw an articlehttps://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2019-11-28/law/college-of-legal-practice-to-shake-up-training-with-online-programme-5t9p0h27t in the LAW section of The Times this week [published each THURSDAY].
It offered a damming diagnosis of legal training in England Wales and N. Ireland. The spotlight has been shining upon legal training with the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination [SQE] in Autumn 2021. This reform will result in
- Much streamlined process
- Examination pass & some work experience
- No University degree required.
This is a major shift in offering and mindset and in the higher education sector, this usually means new entrants into the market. Whether you are of the view that legal training needs a shake up or not, it would appear it is happening.
The College of Law [Australia and New Zealand based in a JV with US firms] is offering a cramming model that they claim will push a ‘faster, cheaper, better’ form of solicitor training.
Faster and cheaper will appeal to the students who can clear the debt accrual stage and into income generation asap. It is the word better that will prove contentious as it plays out.
Better in whose terms?: Less experienced ‘qualified’ professionals in the job market pushes the training agenda into the firm. Just about doable for mid to large firms [not known for outstanding HR practice] but smaller firms will have neither the will nor the skill to pick up the mantle.
In this area, as is many many others in the University / Higher Education sector, the blurring of boundaries between University as educator and industry as consumer of education, will increase. The prediction post BREXIT is for that to accelerate as Educators can a afford to do less with less talent [brain drain of EU national academics already happening].
So Universities and other Higher Education instructions can offer less, will industry offer more ? Is industry capable of offering more ?
Watch this space I guess.
Meantime, we at H2Pro continue to develop our latest additions to UK University-based legal training programmes. We are designing and will be offering content around
- well being a legal practitioners
- the psychology of the law
- client psychology
- lawyer as leader
Most enjoyable process to be involved in course design and the production of something pioneering and new for the new year of 2020.