June 27, 2013

LETR, strong support for more practice-focused undergraduate legal study


On undergraduate law degrees, the following was said in the Legal Education and Training Review [emphases are my own]:
"The qualifying law degree:
2.10 A qualifying law degree (QLD) is one that is recognised by the BSB and SRA as satisfying the academic or initial stage of qualification as a barrister or solicitor.

2.11 Demand for QLDs has continued to grow across the higher education sector since the 1960s, tracking the general expansion of UK higher education. Today, accounting for all single and joint honour variants available, there are over 600 QLD courses available across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. These include joint honours degrees; sandwich degrees; part-time degrees; degrees which incorporate parts of the qualification regime of other jurisdictions, such as the Anglo-French double maîtrise and degrees which incorporate the Legal Practice Course (LPC), the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) or CILEx and paralegal qualifications.

2.12 To be a QLD, the programme must satisfy the requirements of the Joint Announcement
on Qualifying Law Degrees (JASB, 2012; SRA, 2011a).4 QLDs primarily require 240 of the total of 360 credits (assuming a typical three-year degree, or part-time equivalent) to be
in law subjects. This includes the seven Foundations of Legal Knowledge (the Foundation subjects), which together must amount to no fewer than 180 credits; legal research, and
a requirement for some legal study in the final year (at level 6).5 Although titles will vary by institution, the Foundation subjects are public law (constitutional, administrative and human rights); EU law; criminal law; obligations (contract, restitution and tort); property law; equity and trusts.

2.13 There is little prescription of how subjects are organised, or the stage of the degree at which they should be delivered, so the same subjects may be taught at any of levels 4, 5 or 6 by different institutions. In practice, however, the majority of the Foundation subject credits tend to be concentrated in the first two years of the programme."
The above text doesn't tell us much but the image, if you can make anything of it, does. It gives the results of polling among law professors etc. where they were asked questions, like whether or not QLDs were too theory heavy and practice light.

Full LETR document can be accessed here.
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