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Exclusive: Herbert Smith boots out future trainees who fail fast track LPC
24 August 2012
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Twelve candidates on this year's fast track LPC at BPP have failed part of the course, according to a RollOnFriday source, provoking very different reactions from their future firms. Whilst Herbert Smith has shown its trainees the door; Freshfields and Norton Rose have given theirs a second chance.

The fast track LPC, which takes seven months rather than the usual nine, is provided to around 400 future trainees of Freshfields, Hogan Lovells, Slaughters, Herbies and Norton Rose. Every student on the course has already got through A-levels, a degree, and a training contract interview and, for some, the GDL as well. However an unlucky 12 have fallen at the final hurdle, with seven LPC-ers reportedly failing the drafting module and a further five slipping up elsewhere.

The bleakest news is for those who were heading to Herbert Smith. The firm, which has serious form for booting out trainees who fail assessments (even by one mark), appears to have stuck with its draconian zero tolerance policy, booting out the trainees involved. According to a firm spokesman: "the current terms and conditions in our offer of employment clearly state that students have to pass all elements of the LPC course at the first attempt. We look to apply this policy on a consistent basis but do take into account any genuine mitigating circumstances."

    Herbert Smith yesterday

But for the future trainees of Freshfields and Norton Rose, there may still be a happy ending. The firms are giving those who didn't make the grade first time around a second chance, provided they pass the resits (although they may still have to defer the start of their contracts). Spokeswomen for both firms confirmed that no training contracts had been terminated.

Still, at a time when firms need only the most fragile of excuses to prune their over-sized trainee intakes, it seems the days when the LPC could be another year of lie-ins and all day drinking sessions have passed.


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