School of hard knocks - legal education's controversies under review
By wide agreement, when Mr Justice Ormrod was appointed in 1967 to examine the state of legal education, he had his work cut out. Ormrod's remit was to tackle the conflicting demands made of educating lawyers, which meant reconciling the agenda of the universities - which were intent on maintaining law as a 'learned' career - with those of the profession, which was pressing regulators for a greater emphasis on vocational training. Law, the subsequent report stated, "had emerged from the chrysalis of apprenticeship but had not yet discovered satisfactory alternative ways of developing wings". More than four decades on, the regime for educating lawyers faces remarkably similar tensions. "One might say the questions posed by Ormrod are still unanswered, or at least they remain just as applicable," says Crispin Passmore, director of strategy at the Legal Services Board (LSB).
In the wake of controversies and fears over a glut of aspiring lawyers, a hugely complex review of legal education has been launched. Friederike Heine and Alex Novarese assess the task at hand
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