The Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) is being jointly undertaken by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and the Institute of Legal Executives Professional Standards (IPS). It is intended to be the most substantial review of legal education and training since the publication of the the ‘Ormrod Report’ (Report of the Committee on Legal Education, Cmnd 4595) in 1971.
The review will be evidence based. An independent Research Team has been appointed through a formal tendering process. They will undertake an extensive programme of work (below) and make recommendations that are underpinned by sound research and confirmed through a variety of stakeholder engagement.
Work on the Review commenced in June 2011 and it is anticipated that a final Report will be delivered to the Review Executive in December 2012. It will subsequently be a matter for the frontline regulators to decide, in the light of their regulatory responsibilities, what action they will take in response to the review recommendations.
Scope of the review
The scope of the review is wide ranging. It will examine regulated and non-regulated legal services. The review will explore all stages of legal education and training, including the academic stage(s) of qualification, professional training and continuing professional development of the regulated professions. It will identify both the scope for deregulation of existing training requirements and whether there is a case for bringing aspects of the non-regulated sector within a scheme of regulation. The primary objective of the Review is to ensure that England and Wales has a legal education and training system which advances the regulatory objectives contained in the Legal Services Act 2007, and particularly the need to protect and promote the interests of consumers and to ensure an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession.
1. Literature review and analysis (June 2011-January 2012)
Review and analysis of the literature and past research on the system of legal education and training in England and Wales and internationally. This will be supplemented by a comparative study of other sectors and professions.
2. Contextual analysis (October 2011-June 2012)
Review and analysis of the factors and issues that will influence and affect the shape and structure of legal services in the future.
This stage will include an analysis of the impacts of contextual changes on individuals and entities and define the range of legal and broader emerging roles and the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to provide high quality and competitive services in the legal services market of the future.
3. Workforce development (October 2011-September 2012)
The Research Team will conduct research in to the legal services sector workforce identifying potential future structural change and its implications for future education and training needs.
4. Final recommendations (August-December 2012)
The Research Team will prepare a final report on the main challenges and changes that will influence the shape of the future legal services sector and determine the legal services education and training system(s) necessary to underpin that structure. They will set out evidenced priorities for action and recommendations to address these issues.
Support and governance
The overall conduct of the review is managed by the project’s Review Executive, comprising the Chief Executive Officers of the SRA, BSB and IPS.
A Consultation Steering Panel chaired by Dame Janet Gaymer and Sir Mark Potter will provide advice and information to the research team and to the regulators, as required, on any matter covered by the review. The Consultation Steering Panel will also form strategic relationships across the sector to promote the review outcomes to the widest possible audience.
The SRA will provide research management support to the Review Executive and Consultation Steering Panel and will be responsible for managing the research contract.