In an unguarded moment, the director of business development at the College of Law has admitted that only 60% of the institution's students have a 2:1. So that means the CoL taking large numbers of students who don't have the widely recognised minimum requirement for a training contract at the end of the course.

Sarah Hutchinson was quoted last week in Legal Week as saying: "most of our students have got excellent grades at GCSE and A level, and over 60% have a first or upper second class degree at university". Although the CoL was quick to explain that the percentage was actually 68.4% for 2009-10, that means a whopping 32% of students have a 2:2 or lower. BPP confirmed that an only slightly more impressive 74% of its students have at least a 2:1.

Those statistics make for worrying reading. In 2008-09, 9,337 students enrolled on the LPC and 5,809 traineeships were registered with the SRA. Given that the LPC pass rate was 75% (across all providers), that leaves 7,003 LPC graduates fighting for 5,809 places. Which means a serious problem for those with a 2:2.

    Welcomed at the College of Law

Admittedly there is a handful of firms which don't instantly reject people with 2:2s - although generally that means individuals with mitigating circumstances or strong work experience. But still, the reality is that larger firms receive thousands of applications every year and degree classification is a convenient, if blunt, recruitment filter. And for many firms, the unofficial view is that they don't need to consider anyone who failed to get a 2:1.

RollOnFriday spoke to the College of Law, which said that smaller firms would have more flexible recruitment policies. It claims that a third of its 2:2 students have a training contract 6 months after leaving its hallowed walls - and that others obtain paralegal positions which may, in the fullness of time, lead to a training contract.

Still, obtaining a contract can take years for those without strong academic records - which may well mean having to fund law school fees, and years of living expenses, from their own pockets.
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