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From law undergraduate to professional practitioner

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Slides for the presentation by Baroness Ruth Deech, Derek Wood QC, Dr John Carrier and Dr Valerie Shrimplin (Bar Standards Board) at the Learning in Law Annual Conference 2011.

Slides for the presentation by Baroness Ruth Deech, Derek Wood QC, Dr John Carrier and Dr Valerie Shrimplin (Bar Standards Board) at the Learning in Law Annual Conference 2011.

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  • 1. From Law Undergraduate to Professional Practitioner Baroness Ruth Deech, Derek Wood QC, Dr John Carrier Dr Valerie Shrimplin 28 January 2011
  • 2. Themes
    • Where are we now? BSB activity and future plans
    • Undergraduate Legal Education: current focus and future needs
    • The Academic Stage as a part of a longer process
    • Routes into practice – LLB and conversion courses
    • Academic awards and professional qualifications
    • University and Commercial Providers
    • Learning ‘on the job’ – Work based learning
    • Education needs for the new legal environment (Legal Services Act)
  • 3. The current situation
    • Recent BSB activity:
    • Review of Bar Course
    • Review of Pupillage
    • JASB activity
      • Looking at the QLD and the CPE
      • Consultation on compensation
      • Consultation on collaborative provision
  • 4. Undergraduate Legal Education
    • The current situation:
      • liberal arts education and/or
      • fitting students for future practice
    • What should be the content of law degrees?
    • Can law degrees serve the function of academic liberal arts study, as well as acting as the first step on the route to professional qualification?
    • Different focus for undergraduate degrees and postgraduate study in law?
    • Autonomy of universities; academic awards vs Regulation and professional qualifications
  • 5. Legal degrees and pathways to Law?
    • About 15,000 law graduates each year (QLD)
    • About 2,700 apply for BVC/BPTC each yea
    • About 1,700 (head count) do Bar Course pa (1,556 FTE starters in 2010-11)
    • About 9,300 do LPC pa (14,482 places)
    • About 4,800 CPE/GDL each year
    • (NB Numbers include overseas/conversions)
    • This means over 5,000 law graduates do not apply for further professional training (yearly)
  • 6. Equality and Diversity issues
    • Access to legal education and training
    • Admissions and recruitment (gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background)
    • Additional testing? Language and aptitude?
    • Careers advice and support
    • Students with disabilities
    • Progression to professional training – BME?
    • Cost: initial investment as against potential long term return
  • 7. Some facts and figures
    • Important to consider:
      • numbers doing law degrees
      • numbers doing conversion courses
      • overseas/mature/other applicants
      • numbers of BPTC/LPC places/applicants
      • numbers of BPTC/LPC enrolments &
      • completions
      • numbers of pupillage/training contracts
      • numbers of tenancies/professional positions
  • 8. Number of Law graduates each year First degree law (some numbers are rounded up/down by HESA Male Female Total UK Law Graduates (first degree) 2004-05 Not published separately on HESA website 13,735 2005-06 14,655 2006-07 15,625 2007-08 5,775 10,070 15,850 2008-09 5,900 9,565 15,465 2009-10 6,060 10,190 16,250 (HESA 2009/10 data made available 13 January 2011 )
  • 9. CPE students FT PT Total               (FTE students) 2007/08 3433 1657 4261.5 2008/09 3897 1712 4753 2009/10 3985 1677 4823.5 2010/11 TBC TBC TBC
  • 10. Numbers for Professional courses (latest available figures – 2010) validated places applicants enrolled Professional stage (pupillage/training contract) BPTC 2192 (FTE) About 2,800 pa 1686 (2010-11) 1556 FTE Starters 478 LPC 14,482 TBC 9,337 5,809
  • 11. BVC/BPTC applicants, places, passes   BVC/BPTC Year   03-04   04-05   05-06   06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11   Applicants   2570   2883   2917   2870   2864 2540 2657 2653   Enrolments (FT + PT head count not FTE)   1406   1665   1745   1932 1837 1749 1793 1682 (1555 FTE)   Successful (first go)   1251   1392   1480   1560 1720 1330 1432 TBC
  • 12. BVC Student Statistics
  • 13. BVC applications, enrolments and pass rates
    • Drop in applications 2004/05-2009/10 (biggest fall 2007/08- 2008/09 - 2,864 to 2,540 (-11.31%).
    • Increase in enrolments – annual growth rate 1.4% (biggest increase 2005/06 - 2006/07 - when 10.7% (187) more starters; biggest drop 2006/07-2007/08 when 4.9% (95) fewer students enrolled.
    • Average pass rate 83.1% (highest 94% in 2007/08; lowest 76% in 2008/09. 
  • 14. BVC students/graduates as against Pupillages available
    • Pupillage figure is mean 1 st and 2 nd six
    • Some Bar Course graduates do intend to, and do return, overseas
    • Some seek Pupillage for up to 5 years
    • Competition can be as much as 400 to1
  • 15. Registered pupillages 1988-2010
  • 16. Number of Pupillages 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 Pupillages (1 st six) 515 527 561 463 460 % increase/decrease -7.37% 2.33% 6.45% -17.47% -0.65% Difference (figure) -41 12 34 -98 -3             Pupillages (2 nd six) 567 563 554 518 495 % increase/decrease -5.18% -0.71% -1.60% -6.50% -4.44% Difference (figure) -31 -4 -9 -36 -23
  • 17. Pupils: QLD’s and conversion courses 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 Pupils with QLD’s 65% 58% 58% 59% 60% Pupils without QLD’s 35% 42% 42% 41% 40% Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
  • 18. Success in obtaining pupillage: Degree results of pupils First degree 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 1 st 127 (21.4%) 108 (21.1%) 149 (29.6%) 147 (28.8%) 160 (32.7%) 2:1 310 (58.8%) 329 (64.3%) 296 (58.8%) 320 (62.7%) 264 (53.9%) 2:2 73 (13.9%) 68 (13.3%) 48 (9.5%) 29 (5.7%) 42 (8.6%) 3rd 6 (1.1%) 2 (0.4%) 1 (0.2%) 4 (0.8%) no valid data Other 8 (1.5%) 1 (0.2%) 2 (0.4%) 8 (1.6%) 4 (0.8%)
  • 19. Other figures
    • c 15,000 law (first degree) graduates pa (increasing)
    • 96 QLD Institutions  -  585 programmes (various modes – not counting Ireland and FE delivery of HE awards)
    • 42 CPE/GDL Institutions  -  42 programmes (various modes)
    • About 55% of UK law graduates over the past few years are awarded a 2:1 or above (cf c 60+% of all UK Hons degrees)
    • Pupillages available (past 3 years): 567-563-554-518-495
    • But: 3,768 individual applications for 294 pupillages available through the online system (2007 – update)
    • Tenancies obtained (past 3 years) 531-499-268
    • http://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/news/statistics/ for details
  • 20. The best way of managing all this?
    • Should BPTC be offered in Universities or commercial providers? Should it lead to LLM? Merge with other professional courses? More learning on job?
    • Does the Browne Review and proposals for undergraduate fees now render the cost of postgraduate courses insignificant?
    • Growth in private provision in the UK is a hot topic: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/news/media/PrivateProvisionUK.asp
  • 21. Legal Services Act – likely impact on education
    • Too early to tell?
    • Legal Services Act (30 Oct 2007)
      • reform of the way legal services in England and Wales are regulated
      • focus on consumer interests
      • Legal Services Board
      • Office for Legal Complaints
      • Alternative Business Structures
    • Impact on legal professional education in the future
    • Continued need for high level specialists
    • Work done on reviews by the BSB etc
  • 22. Where does the LSB fit in to all this?
    • LSB Business Plan - current draft includes a great deal on education
    • Proposed Major Review of Education
  • 23. Education and training for the Bar
    • Systematic progression
    • Fair access to opportunities
    • Successes and development of students
    • Challenges and difficulties
    • Element of chance?
    • Meritocracy or luck/throw of the dice?
  • 24. ? ? BAR – OPOLY GO  £20,000 Community Chest (Inn scholarship) Chance (get a pupillage?) Pay off loan Take A Levels Pass A Levels Seek career advice Study history Go to university Get loan Do Law Degree Work hard Do CPE BPTC graduate Join Inn Visit jail Get pupillage!! online Start BPTC Crime Call Go to Court Civil Law Advocacy Aptitude test Inns QS’s No pupillage (try again) Final Exams Get tenancy! get practice certificate Work even harder QC! © Valerie Shrimplin

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