London and Birmingham-based law firm Aston Carter only has five paralegals on its new training scheme, despite 30 having enrolled for the course.

The scheme was launched to much fanfare earlier this year, offering wannabe lawyers an alternative (and eclectic) route to a training contract. Under the scheme, if graduates pay £9.5k to attend a six month bespoke paralegal course (run by Interedwise Consulting UK), then Aston Carter will pay their fees of £13.5k to attend a part-time LPC while employing them as paralegals on a salary of £15k to £18k.

Aston Carter boasted that up to 60 training contracts could ultimately be available for participants. Which seemed quite a lot for a five-lawyer firm, even one which claims it will recruit 30 new lawyers over the next two years. In June Aston Carter confirmed that 30 paralegals-to-be had signed up for the course, which started in July.

    A bespoke paralegal course yesterday

But it appears that many of the candidates had second thoughts. Only six started, and one of those six has now dropped out just half way through the six month course. Aston Carter would only say that the student had left and that their course fees had been fully refunded.

Anyone who'd like to share their experiences of the scheme, get in touch (anonymously, of course) at the usual place.

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