Practical changes to legal education in the UK

Practical changes to legal education in the UK

Richard Moorhead, UCL Professor of Law and Professional Ethics, considers possible routes of change for legal education in the UK and the tensions between study and practice in the current system.

How do you expect the provision of legal education at university level, namely the LLB, to change and adapt in order to attract the best students and promote the legal profession while also meeting market demands?

We’re likely to see greater difference between law schools, catering to different kinds of students, and with relationships with different segments of the legal profession. The changes being proposed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Bar Standards Board (BSB) mean some degrees will look more like a blend of degree and Legal Practice Course (LPC) but also that some law schools will evolve more imaginative and—I hope—multidisciplinary curricula.

Have there been any recent proposals to change the structure or content of this course—for example, many argue the study of contract law in the first leaves students unprepared for when they next come across it, possibly four or more years later in their LPC?

Let’s take the SRA proposals. They will, in theory, allow total freedom over the content of the law degree. The current Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) requires a significant degree of rigidity, and one response to that rigidity is to get all the core courses out of the way straight away. Once the QLD goes, if it goes, there is room for fresh thinking. Practice needs to find ways of interesting academia in its concerns ra

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