With just two years to move till the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) is added in region of the Legal Practice Course (LPC), amid similar adjustments at the bar aiming to make vocational felony training less expensive and more green, the career is on the cusp of a new generation for the schooling of its young.
Judging through the target audience questions at ultimate week’s Legal Cheek Future of Legal Education and Training Conference, the transition to those new regimes is provoking a fair little bit of anxiety. Chief amongst them is the concern that the SQL will result in the formation of a “-tier career”. In the elite tier, the concept is going, you’d have City regulation firm trainees who’ve been placed via high priced, extended SQE-LLM publications; then in 2d magnificence there’d be the students who do the exam through a combination of less expensive preparatory courses and on-the-job gaining knowledge of.
Will this vision come to skip? SQE architect Julie Brannan of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is skeptical, arguing at the convention that the rigor of the centrally assessed SQE examination — that is predicted to be harder to bypass than the LPC — will genuinely enhance requirements. At the equal time, Brannan believes that decrease schooling prices related to having element two of the SQL correctly taught on the activity will boost get admission to to the profession. Not that everybody will observe this approach.
For Patrick McCann, the worldwide head of learning at magic circle firm Linklaters, the tricky thing with the SRA’s vision of the SQE technique is that it does not consist of any actual detail of tailor-made, exercise-particular prison getting to know (eg as is what is presently the LPC) and that the belief is that SQE2 (the abilities component) will be taken throughout the qualifying paintings experience (QWE), with abilities being learnt at the process, presumably taught by using greater senior legal professionals. The venture right here is that attorneys aren’t continually incredible teachers, or even individuals who are have a tendency to have very high hourly quotes that might be higher positioned closer to charge-incomes than coaching. As such he reckons it will likely be an awful lot more efficient to front-load components one and two of the SQL before the training contract, and offer teaching by means of instructional specialists in an method very much like the modern LPC.

The project for the likes of The University of Law (ULaw), which trains Linklaters’ destiny trainees and whose head of commercial enterprise improvement Morette Jackson joined McCann and Brannan on the panel, can be to come up with a diffusion of SQE publications to satisfy extraordinary desires. On one hand they’ll need to suit City regulation corporations’ necessities; on the opposite they must additionally cater to students taking new routes into the career — consisting of ULaw’s felony apprenticeship and two year LLB — who can be more likely to sign up for smaller companies wherein on the job education is blended with the SQE. Jackson stated:
“The University of Law is designing a number progressive programmes to prepare aspiring attorneys both for the SQE and for the realities of current legal practice. Whether students are interested by expert programmes for global law firms, pathways for those looking to qualify into professional areas of exercise or flexible programmes to combine paintings and observe at the identical time, the college’s programmes will ensure a smooth transition into prison practice.”
But the introduction of the SQL isn’t just about reimagining vocational training structures, it’s also an possibility to reconsider the noticeable content of education courses. For example, BPP University Law School is keenly focused on regulation firms’ growing hobby in era, and is running to contain felony tech training into its quickly to be released prolonged SQE masters programmes, which it runs in partnership with a bunch of main worldwide law firms. BPP head of development (innovation generation) Adam Curphey stated:
“The criminal group of the future is one in which lawyers paintings intently with wider specialised groups to provide the high-quality and maximum innovative services to customers. At BPP, we’re education destiny solicitors to increase a toolkit of talents in order to allow them to recognize the fundamentals of assignment control, process mapping, prison design, risk management, commercial enterprise finance and method, records and, of route, felony era. Nobody is aware of what the future holds, and we trust we’re equipping our students with a robust foundation to conform to any development or innovation, whether or not that be technological, technique-driven, or organisational.”
Already there may be a motion on this area at undergraduate stage, with York University these days saying a tie-up between its law and computer science departments, and Norton Rose Fulbright. Manchester University has been operating something comparable in a pioneering partnership with Freshfields and DWF. Key figures in each venture joined Curphey on stage on the conference, even as later inside the day delegates heard from keynote speaker Professor Richard Susskind, who expects the approaching together of regulation and era to convert the prison profession over the following decade.
For LexisNexis, one of the preeminent worldwide prison tech groups, this theme is steady. Its director of worldwide solutions, Dani McCormick, instructed the convention:
“At LexisNexis, we recognize large topics that are going to end up increasingly everyday shifting forward within the shipping of prison offerings. These are, the fusion of non-criminal specialists running with attorneys to deliver offerings as the product portfolio expands to include challenge control and criminal tech consulting as well as prison recommendation. The 2d, but the associated subject is the disintegration of the cost chain allowing outsourcing and automation wherein possible. To cater for this LexisNexis is operating in collaboration with criminal professionals to create a brand new technology of analytics and workflow equipment that help guide legal professionals to come to be more green, improve best of the work they produce and offer undiscovered insight.”
Legal tech gives a particularly proper opportunity for lecturers specialising in medical criminal schooling to design new guides for digital natives interested in the intersection among regulation, era and exercise — even wherein they don’t have any specific science training. During the afternoon session of the conference, Richard Seabrook, the Europe managing director of Neota Logic and London South Bank University head of law Professor Andy Unger gave details about their partnership on this space. Seabrook stated:
“Legal tech opens up new possibilities in scientific criminal training by way of exposing college students to the capacity for virtual generation to convert the delivery of legal services and at the same time handing over real, measurable results inside the clinics via such assets as free online felony advice apps.”
Meanwhile, Laura Pinkney, the head of the Legal Advice Centre at Nottingham Law School, that’s one of the UK’s first ever coaching law firms, gave her angle at the wider scientific legal schooling model. She stated:

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