The next two years will see a major overhaul of the established routes to legal qualification in England and Wales. For prospective solicitors, the Solicitors Qualification Exam (SQE) will replace the LPC and for barristers, the current form of the BPTC will be replaced by new pathways to passing the bar.

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has a dedicated page on its website , containing the latest updates to Future Bar Training. This article contains highlights some of the most important changes which students thinking about the bar or who have already started the BPTC should be aware of right now (July 2019). The Student Lawyer will keep you updated on future changes as they are announced, particularly when the BSB starts to approve the training courses that will be offered in place of the BPTC. New Courses Will be Available from September 2020

From April 2019, organisations wanting to offer barrister training have been applying to become Authorised Education Training Organisations (AETOs). The Student Lawyer recently reported on the ICCA’s application to offer a new bar course , although this will be one of several such applications.

The BSB has set certain guidelines for these new training options. The three components of bar training will remain: academic learning (gaining knowledge of the law itself);

vocational learning (acquiring barristers’ core skills such as advocacy); and

pupillage or work-based learning (learning to be a barrister “on the job”).

However, the three components may now be attained by means of four approved training pathways: Three-step pathway: academic, followed by vocational, followed by pupillage/work-based component (This is the same as the current mandatory pathway.);

Four-step pathway: academic component, followed by vocational component in two parts, followed by pupillage or work-based component;

Integrated academic and vocational pathway – combined academic and vocational components followed by pupillage or work-based component; and Apprenticeship pathway: combined academic, vocational and pupillage or work-based components. All new training routes must be centred around the Professional Statement , a set of standards which all barristers are expected to be able to meet on “day one” of practice.New pathways should be […]

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