The future of legal education

Legal Education

Solicitors and barristers are generating far too many graduate lawyers, according to the former Bar Chairman Nicholas Greene QC.


A substantial oversupply of young lawyers are leaving the educational conveyor belt equipped with a professional qualification.

Speaking at the Inner Temple “Reflections on Legal Education” seminar last month Greene said: “There is a substantial oversupply of young lawyers leaving the educational conveyor belt equipped with a professional qualification.”

Offering his thoughts on the future of legal education he commented: “Lawyers are a good thing but one can have too much of a good thing.”

“For universities a law student can be produced at not far off zero marginal cost.  With fees on the increase the incentive being introduced into the system will be to produce graduates who cost the least to educate but who generate most revenue. Law students fit this bill. The Bar is a profession that survives or falls on the quality of its practitioners and, however brutal it may seem, an over large waiting room serves the economic needs of the Bar very well.”

He added: “It is axiomatic that a profession such as the Bar, which often represents people at the most vulnerable moments of their lives, should reflect the people that it represents.”

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