LETR draft literature review now available

by Paul Maharg on 09/03/2012

We’ve just made public the draft version of the literature review for the Legal Education & Training Review — see the Literature Review page on the LETR project website.  More information below the fold.

We were asked, broadly speaking, to review the regulatory angle to legal education.  The review is based upon literature published during the period between 1971 and 2012. The main purpose of the literature review is to assist the Research Group in analyzing the complex relationship between legal education and regulation in England and Wales today, with particular attention given to the analysis of regulatory attitudes and understandings in standard reports and secondary texts.  There is a substantial comparative element to this literature review, and as such it is extended beyond the existing literature relating to legal education and training in England and Wales.  It synthesizes literature from other jurisdictions and professions to reframe existing debates and create an original analytical framework for discussion.

Nine thematic areas were identified in the project remit as being important to fulfilling the stated objective of the review. They are as follows:

  • The role of legal education and training and its relationship to maintaining professional standards and regulation in the sector
  • The role of formal education and training requirements working in concert with other regulatory tools to deliver conduct of business regulatory objectives
  • Educational standards for entry to the regulated profession
  • The requirements for continuing education, accreditation and quality assurance for regulated individuals and entities
  • The requirements placed on approved providers of legal education and training
  • Existing equality and diversity issues
  • Comparative analysis of international systems and other relevant sectors and professions
  • Possible impacts of the proposed 2012/2013 reforms in the higher education sector on legal education and training and in particular the increases in undergraduate tuition fees
  • Impact of the Legal Services Act 2007 on education, training and practice models.

The first theme has the function of forming a historical overview of the decades since Ormrod  was published, 41 years ago almost to the day, in March 1971.  It was necessary, in the context, to set the scene for the other themes.  The last two themes will be written closer to the deadline, since the literature on them is pretty sparse at the moment, and events are fast-evolving.

From a personal point of view it was an interesting experience writing my chapters in it, more of which in future posts.  For now, I’m just glad it’s out there, till we come to update and rewrite in the light of comment and critique.  Please do feedback to us, on these and subsequent papers!  We want the Review to be as transparent as possible, and with your help to be the best it can be.  Our students deserve nothing less.


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