Bristol's legal twists

May 22, 1998

Trouble continues to plague Bristol University's legal practice course as its entire staff, nine lecturers and a research associate, are leaving to join neighbouring University of the West of England from August.

The news comes just two weeks after De Montfort University confirmed that it would take over the course, which has failed to recruit enough students. De Montfort has had to race to prepare a submission to the Law Society's validation board, which met as The THES went to press.

A society spokesman said De Montfort must prove it can meet the society's standards on resources, quality of teaching materials and quality assurance arrangements between its sites. Michael Brown, pro vice-chancellor of De Montfort, said: "It is an inconvenience, but the scenario was always possible."

Paul Rylance, associate dean and head of professional legal studies at UWE, said the university had suggested taking over Bristol's LPC staff when the course first faced closure but was rebuffed. "It nevertheless appeared to be a very attractive proposal to the staff," he said. Demand for UWE's full-time legal practice course has risen by about 50 per cent this year.

A Bristol University spokesman said: "It doesn't mean anything for Bristol because the course is now a De Montfort course."

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