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Barrister training overhaul receives legal watchdog approval

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Two-part BPTC a step closer

The Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) plans to bring greater flexibility to barristers’ education and training, including the possibility of a new two-part Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), moved a step closer to reality this week after they received the backing of the legal watchdog.

In a note published yeserday, the Legal Services Board (LSB) “broadly welcomed” the changes which it says will “enable a degree of liberalisation” of the current system.

The LSB’s seal of approval comes after the regulator presented a revised set of rules to govern the process by which aspiring barristers will train and qualify in England and Wales, including four approved training pathways.

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One of the more eye-catching options is the BSB’s ‘four-step pathway’, which sees students complete a law degree (or Graduate Diploma in Law) and pupillage, but will have the option to tackle the BPTC in two stages. While details remain thin on the ground, Legal Cheek understands part one will be knowledge-based, such as civil and criminal procedure, while part two will address practical skills such as advocacy and conferencing.

Other training routes include the standard BPTC, an ‘apprenticeship pathway’ and an integrated law degree-BPTC which is already on offer at a number of law schools.

One organisation looking to take advantage of the new rules is the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA), a cross-Inns education and training group made up of judges, lawyers and lecturers. As revealed by Legal Cheek, the ICCA is looking to launch a more “affordable” version of the BPTC ahead of an anticipated launch date in 2020.

The 2019 Legal Cheek BPTC Most List

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