TOO MANY LAW GRADUATES AND TOO FEW PUPILLAGES MEANS MANY WILL NOT FIND JOBS
A leading barrister has accused law schools of duping thousands of young people into signing up for law degrees, knowing that many of them have little hope of finding a job at the end of it. As the number of law schools has multiplied, the number of law students now far exceeds the number of pupillages available at chambers, the training post they need in order to start their career.
Michael Todd QC, chairman of the Bar Council, accused law schools of “letting down” students who have paid them tens of thousands of pounds in tuition fees for degrees that they will not be able to use. He said:
“Too many students are emerging from law schools with £50,000-£60,000 of debt and no realistic prospect of pupillage. Law schools which are not giving those students an accurate picture of their chances are letting them down.
“It remains a great concern that law schools continue to produce far more graduates than there are pupillages available. This will do nothing to help the diversity and social mobility vital to ensuring our profession represents the society is serves.”
Todd’s comments follow the publication of figures which show that about 1,600 students a year now take the Bar Professional Training Course at British law schools. That is more than three times the number of pupillages available at barristers’ chambers – only 446 places were available last year.
But Sarah Hutchinson, a director at training course provider the College of Law claimed that Todd’s comments were “scaremongering” and insisted that a third of those taking legal courses were overseas students, many of whom had no intention of becoming barristers in the UK.
If Todd’s concerns are real, Graduate Fog has several questions. How are law schools manipulating their ‘destination’ figures to make it look like their courses are more successful then they are at getting graduates into jobs? Why aren’t prospective students being given better advice from their schools and universities about the reality of what a law degree will and won’t buy them? And if we know how many pupillages are available every year, should there be a cap on the number of young people who are studying law at any given time?
*ARE YOU STRUGGLING TO FIND WORK IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION?
Do you feel you were mis-sold your legal training, by your course provider? Were you led to believe your qualifications would guarantee you a job?