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Northern delights | A one-sided debate

Kevin Poulter sees solicitors adapting to austere times and firms nurturing the very best of our future lawyers, but is the Bar prepared to do the same?

4 April 2013

Last month saw the sixth National Apprenticeship Week and the formal launch of the Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services, supported by Skills for Justice and the National Apprenticeship Service. At a grand breakfast in the House of Lords, hosted by Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger, the great and the good showed their support for sensible innovation in legal training.

I was there to see how the profession really felt about opening the doors to those who had chosen not to follow the traditional route to qualifying. Our host's opening remarks surprised me, as he suggested that it was "unfair if lots of people who want to become lawyers, cannot become lawyers". It might be unfair, but it is also impractical and undesirable to have more lawyers than we need, not least given the well-publicised struggles at the criminal bar and with high p...

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