The Law Society is working to improve the current education and training system for those seeking to enter the profession and those within the profession undertaking CPD and other learning activities.
The SRA are currently looking at how they will assess potential entrants to the profession against the Competence Statement for Solicitors. The Law Society has a number of concerns regarding the SRA’s draft proposals, which could include a removal of approved pathways to entry, including the law degree, LPC and training contract, instead relying solely on a series of centralised assessments to ensure competence.
On 28 July the Law Society announced that is has replaced the SRA as a signatory to the Voluntary Code of Recruitment for Trainee Solicitors. The code was drawn up to assist all parties involved with the recruitment of law degree students and non-law degree students as trainee solicitors. It represents good practice in legal recruitment and supports firms and potential trainees.
A competence statement for solicitors is being developed as part of the SRA’s Training for Tomorrow programme. This will be the key document for determining both entry to the profession and ongoing competence throughout a solicitor’s career. The Statement will be linked to a solicitor’s duty under Principle 5 of the handbook to, 'provide a proper standard of service to your clients'.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and the Institute of Legal Executives Professional Standards (IPS) have commissioned a review of education and training in the regulated legal sector, which is being carried out by an independent research team. More information can be found on the Legal Education and Training Review website.
In making an appeal for a greater focus on ethics in the academic stage of legal education, the Law Society is acting on a recommendation in the report by Professor Kim Economides and Justine Rogers published by the Society in March 2009, entitled Preparatory Ethics Training for Future Solicitors.
The report advises the Law Society to 'take a lead and encourage the SRA to initiate a review to ... make awareness of and commitment to legal values, and the moral context of the law, mandatory in undergraduate law degrees ...'.
Preparatory ethics training for future solicitors: research into the teaching of ethics as part of the preparation for a career in the law.
We welcome the views of the profession, students and other stakeholders on the suitability of the current system, as well as any ideas for reform. Those wishing to provide comments and suggestion should contact us at:
The Solicitors Regulation Authority provide ethics advice to solicitors
The role of the committee is to set and oversee the implementation of policy for the promotion of solicitors' interests in regulatory matters relating to education and training, under the oversight of the Regulatory Affairs Board.Find out more