Regime change – The scorched-earth approach to legal education reform

Regime change – The scorched-earth approach to legal education reform

Its supporters are accused of advocating reforms not fit for purpose, posing a threat to the standing of the profession; its detractors are derided as ‘dinosaurs’, apologists for inequality and ‘buggers’ who moan about everything.

Four years since the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) announced plans to shake up legal education in England and Wales with the introduction of a new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), the debate is as passionate as on day one. And as deeply entrenched. Continue reading “Regime change – The scorched-earth approach to legal education reform”

‘Getting access to the talent’ – The profession struggles to react as sweeping training reform looms

‘Getting access to the talent’ – The profession struggles to react as sweeping training reform looms

Thomas Alan reports on a lively LB debate on training the solicitors of tomorrow

With the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) primed for a 2021 launch; a new generation of lawyers entering the industry; and the partnership model under increasing strain, the legal education sector is set for its largest upheaval in a generation. Continue reading “‘Getting access to the talent’ – The profession struggles to react as sweeping training reform looms”

BARBRI acquires SQE provider Kaplan Altior in preparation for education market overhaul

BARBRI acquires SQE provider Kaplan Altior in preparation for education market overhaul

Legal education provider BARBRI International has accelerated its plans to move into the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) prep market by acquiring UK-based training and assessment provider Kaplan Altior.

The acquisition was completed 30 November, and the new business BARBRI Altior will offer training courses including the Professional Skills Course (PSC) for trainee solicitors and preparation for the controversial SQE, which is set to be launched in 2021. The buyout will see all Kaplan Altior employees join the new company, which will operate from the same centres throughout the UK. Continue reading “BARBRI acquires SQE provider Kaplan Altior in preparation for education market overhaul”

Six City firms appoint BPP to deliver ‘super-exam’ prep courses amid education shake-up

Six City firms appoint BPP to deliver ‘super-exam’ prep courses amid education shake-up

BPP has been chosen by a consortium of six leading firms to provide Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) preparation, as the City gears up for an incoming education overhaul.

The consortium is comprised of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), Hogan Lovells, Linklaters, Norton Rose Fulbright and Slaughter and May. BPP will now design an education and skills programme to train future trainees at the firms. Continue reading “Six City firms appoint BPP to deliver ‘super-exam’ prep courses amid education shake-up”

Foreign giants combine to enter UK training market as radical education shake-up looms

Foreign giants combine to enter UK training market as radical education shake-up looms

Australia’s leading legal training outfit is to team up with a major US player to enter the UK market ahead of a radical but controversial shake-up of the framework for training solicitors in England and Wales. The College of Legal Practice has today (27 November) launched as a new entrant to the vocational training sector to build courses geared to the incoming Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), the biggest overhaul in the UK’s legal educational regime for a generation.

The College – a wholly-owned subsidiary of The College of Law Australia and New Zealand – will partner with US education provider BARBRI on the initiative, an attempt to challenge the effective duopoly of solicitor training in England and Wales. The move is touted as harnessing a more dynamic approach to training under the new regime, which abolishes the requirement for two-stage vocational training to usher in more flexible routes to qualification. Continue reading “Foreign giants combine to enter UK training market as radical education shake-up looms”

SRA defers super exam until 2021 as costs of new assessment revealed

SRA defers super exam until 2021 as costs of new assessment revealed

In a busy week for the legal watchdog, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced it is postponing the implementation of its new centralised assessment, dubbed the ‘super-exam’, until September 2021.

The new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) was originally slated for a 2020 launch, but the SRA has postponed plans after law firms and education providers indicated a ‘strong preference’ for a delay. Continue reading “SRA defers super exam until 2021 as costs of new assessment revealed”

Kaplan wins bid to create controversial SRA ‘super exam’ after rivals pull out early

Kaplan wins bid to create controversial SRA ‘super exam’ after rivals pull out early

While education services company Kaplan has emerged as the winner of the race to develop the Solicitor Regulation Authority’s (SRA) controversial new ‘super-exam’, rival providers BPP University and University of Law (ULaw) claim to have pulled themselves out of the running at an early stage.

Kaplan prevailed in a year-long contest between a number of organisations to develop the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). They were appointed for a period of eight years beginning from the introduction of the SQE, which could be as early as September 2020. Continue reading “Kaplan wins bid to create controversial SRA ‘super exam’ after rivals pull out early”

ULaw continues fightback to bring in high-profile former chief of arch rival BPP

ULaw continues fightback to bring in high-profile former chief of arch rival BPP

In about as big a talent move as possible between the UK’s two dominant legal training providers, BPP’s former chief executive Peter Crisp has joined the University of Law (ULaw) as pro vice chancellor.

Crisp, who spent 20 years at BPP University Law School first as a tutor and later chief executive, will assume his new role on 2 January and join ULaw’s executive management team led by vice chancellor and chief executive Andrea Nollent. He joins two existing pro vice chancellors and will focus on business development and client relationships. Continue reading “ULaw continues fightback to bring in high-profile former chief of arch rival BPP”

Gowling WLG and Fieldfisher to train solicitor apprentices as ULaw forges new paths to profession

Gowling WLG and Fieldfisher to train solicitor apprentices as ULaw forges new paths to profession

Gowling WLG and Fieldfisher are to begin training solicitor apprentices with the University of Law (ULaw) as part of a training course designed to create new pathways to becoming a qualified lawyer.

The new course from ULaw, which officially launched on 25 September, will see 28 apprentices this autumn begin the six-year process in a programme aimed at encouraging a wider pool of candidates to enter the profession.

Continue reading “Gowling WLG and Fieldfisher to train solicitor apprentices as ULaw forges new paths to profession”

RPC partners exclusively with University of Law ahead of SQE launch

RPC partners exclusively with University of Law ahead of SQE launch

Future RPC trainees will attend courses exclusively at the University of Law (ULaw) from September 2017, after the insurance firm switched to the training provider to prepare its professional courses in advance of the controversial new Solicitors Qualification Examination (SQE).

From this September until 2020, trainees at the firm will be required to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), Legal Practice Course (LPC) and an MSc in Law, Business and Management at the university’s Moorgate centre as sole provider, in a partnership RPC training principal Simon Hart described as the firm’s response to the ‘forthcoming radical reforms to legal education’, having previously worked with another group.  Continue reading “RPC partners exclusively with University of Law ahead of SQE launch”