LPC pass rate among non-white students falls yet again

Avatar photo

By CJ McKinney on

GDL success rate also dropping for ethnic minorities

The percentage of black and ethnic minority (BME) students passing the Legal Practice Course (LPC) for would-be solicitors has fallen for the third year in a row.

Figures from the Solicitors Regulation Authority show that just shy of 80% of white students nailed the LPC in 2015/16, compared to around 52% of Asians and 40% of black candidates.

The pass rate for white LPCers has held steady over the past couple of years, but BME success rates have crashed. Asian students had a 59% completion rate when the SRA looked at this three years ago in 2013/14, while black students were at 49%.

Not passing the LPC can mean flunking it outright, although thankfully that’s pretty rare. More common reasons for not passing are dropping out, deferring or re-sitting exams, all of which BME students are more likely to do, according to the report.

The 2018 LPC Most List

A similar trend can be seen on law conversion courses.

Black Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) students passed at a rate of 47% just a couple of years ago, but are now down to 33%. The pass rate for Asian students has fallen by a similar level over the same three-year period, from 60% to 46%. By contrast, 74% of white students passed the GDL last year.

Summing the disparity up, the regulator says that “students from ethnic groups other than white are less likely to successfully complete the [GDL] and the LPC”. Disabled students are also less likely to pass first time around, although competition rates are pretty much the same between men and women.

A report last month from the Bar Standards Board (BSB) showed that wannabe barristers from BME backgrounds are far less likely to secure pupillage when compared to their white peers — even when they have the same academic grades.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

Related Stories

Number of BPTC students soars unexpectedly

Up by 14% after years of decline

Jan 3 2018 2:11pm

Future magic circle and US firm trainees’ LPC papers recalled ONE MINUTE before exam

Exclusive: 'Significant errors' spotted just in the nick of time

Dec 14 2017 3:31pm

QC appointments among ethnic minority lawyers hit record high

Over half of BME applicants successful this year

Dec 21 2017 12:37pm