Lawcast 170: Professor Moorhead on the state of UK legal Education

Today I am talking to Professor Richard Moorhead  deputy head of the law school  at Cardiff University about legal education – the first in a series of between five and seven podcasts on this topical and important issue.
We focus on the following themes:

1. Where are the problems in legal education and training?
2. Is the law degree fit for purpose?
3. Should the professions intervene to improve the law degree?

4. The importance of research-based teaching.  Why should practitioners care about that?

Listen to the podcast


Richard Moorhead’s blog Lawyer Watch

Richard Moorhead’s blog post: Legal Education Review: Where does the knowledge come from?


There are 7 podcasts in this series on legal education.

The second podcast in the series:

Lawcast 171: Nigel Savage, CEO of The College of Law on the need to reform legal education

5 thoughts on “Lawcast 170: Professor Moorhead on the state of UK legal Education

  1. Pingback: Legal Education – A Charon QC Podcast | Lawyer Watch

  2. Good podcast – will try to hear the others as they come “online.” I found certain of the points particularly interesting:

    1. Universities will be likely to recruit more locally. I think the economics will dictate such a trend.

    2. It appears that there are too many LPC and BPTC providers.

    3. Law firms are seeking people who know the “black letter law.” Not entirely sure about that one. Legal knowledge is clearly important but personality – the ability to deal with clients – is crucial. I have known too many in the legal world who know all the footnotes in Cheshire and Fifoot on Contract but had no idea how to talk to a client.

    4. Critical thinking skills should be part of a degree. I tend to agree but, in practice, the law is generally very “conservative” and people are given “safe” advice. The vast majority of law graduates who go on to become practitioners might never see the inside of the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court where the “leading edge” decisions are taken.

    5. Degree classifications are not always a good guide. Even in a 2:1 classification there is a spectrum of ability from the person who has just missed a first to the one who has just done better that a 2:2.

    Just some thoughts as they arose whilst listening to the podcast.

  3. My understanding of the problem is that lots of students are spending money pointlessly on legal training that they have no hope of ever using. The obvious solution is to have some form of pre-screening, but this apparently runs into difficulties with competition law.

    Would it not be a good idea then for all applicants to take an aptitude test before staring the BVC?

    Applicants would have to show the results of this when they apply for pupillage.

    Anyone who scores badly on the test would know that his chances of obtaining a pupillage are minimal and might think again before spending his £15k on the BVC

  4. Obiter – I agree that there is little point in being an expert in the law if (a) one cannot deal with a client or (b) solve a legal issue or problem, whether it be to avoid the law successfully or to advise the client that the game is up and there is no chance in doing so.

    This review of legal education should be interesting.

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