SRA finds huge discrepancy in law school pass rates
Written By - Yoned Khan - February 17,2020
Law school pass rates range from 100% to under 30% depending on where you study, a report by the Solicitors Regulation Authority has revealed.
For the academic year to 31 August 2018, the proportion of students who passed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) ranged from 29% to 100% among 25 postgraduate institutions. The SRA said it is ‘unclear what the reasons are for such a wide disparity in performance’.
It added: ’There are very large differences in the size of the different providers, from a group of 16 students to many thousands of students spread over different locations. There may also be variation in academic ability between different intakes, variable quality of teaching, and/or different approaches to assessment.’
The SRA’s annual quality assurance report also shows that the pass rate for the law conversion course ranged from 35% to 100% in 2018. The regulator, which anonymised the training providers, said: ‘Once again, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions about the reasons for this’.
The SRA said it never provides pass rates for specific, named law schools. However, this will change when the Solicitors Qualifying Exam is introduced, and the data relates to an assessment run by the regulator itself.
On average, the proportion of students successfully completing the LPC has fallen from 66% (2016/17) to 56% (2017/18). The percentage of students passing the common professional examination (CPE) - i.e the law conversion course - fell from 64% to 60% in the same period.
The SRA also found that students from black and minority ethnic groups are statistically less likely to pass the CPE and the LPC. Meanwhile, women outnumbered men on both courses and were more likely to achieve a distinction.