Northumbria University has received approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to offer a law course which will allow solicitors to quality in five years, rather than the usual six, it has been reported.
Northumbria says the course should cut costs significantly for law students. It will do so by combining all levels of legal education with workplace training. Northumbria students won’t have to complete the LPC (which can cost around £9,000) but will undertake professional training during their course instead.
Students will continue to work and learn during the summer holidays in year 3, 4 and 5 of the course. They will spend three months working full-time with a partner firm and also spend nine months in the Student Law Office, which provides pro bono legal services and is staffed by 21 solicitors. During this time the students will carry out practical work including meeting and representing real clients.
Kevin Kerrigan, Northumbria University associate dean for undergraduates, told The Lawyer: “We’re trying to push the boundaries of how you can qualify as a lawyer and are interested in how a university can play a significant role in qualification.”
The first intake for the course will be in 2012 and be part of an SRA pilot scheme.
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