Law Society of Scotland education consultation goes on

The Law Society of Scotland published its latest consultation on solicitors’ education and training, entitled The Way Forward, on 14 November 2008.

The consultative process has been going on for a while and, at least at first blush, the proposals don’t seem to contain much that’s new or different from we have already: a law degree, followed by the Diploma and a two-year traineeship including a programme of structured learning (together relabelled as PEAT 1 and PEAT 2, the acronym standing for “Professional Education and Training Programme”). 

The main change from the status quo in all this appears to be the replacement of the PCC with the “programme of structured learning” during the traineeship.  This and everything else would have stated learning outcomes “underpinned by robust and rigorous assessment requirements and appropriate accreditation schemes”.   In the degree programme this might involve the use of “practice-based questions”. 

The qualifying law degree would have to include at least 240 credits, of which at least 190 would be in professional subjects, taught at levels 7 or 8.  This seems to provide for what is often known now as the “accelerated LLB” – that is, the LLB taken as a second degree in two years – and to leave unaffected the 480-credit Honours degree typically taken by most school-leavers. 

One other thing which would disappear alongside the PCC would be the Law Society’s professional examinations, to be replaced by a “graduate-level non-law degree route” not necessarily involving a pre-Diploma training contract.  This might be interesting.