On-line legal services and the changing legal market: preparing law undergraduates for the future

Caroline Strevens, Christine Welch, Roger Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the future of undergraduate legal education in the light of the changing legal market as a result of the creation of alternative business structures (ABSs) under the Legal Services Act 2007. The emphasis is on how law degrees could be developed to enhance the employability of graduates. The paper reflects on data collected in interviews with provincial law firms that aimed to investigate how contemporary practitioners view the use of the internet to provide legal advice, to identify their strategies for coping with the changing market and to ascertain the qualities they seek in potential trainees. The focus is on these sorts of law firms as they are the potential employers of many law students, who wish to be part of the legal profession either as fully qualified practitioners or as paralegals, but who are unlikely to succeed in securing employment in the “magic circle” firms. The interviews established that firms regard commercial awareness as a very desirable quality for trainees to possess. Based on the authors’ own experience, the paper argues that simulation, as a mechanism for developing practical skills and commercial awareness, can promote the employability of law graduates in law firms and in ABSs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-347
Number of pages20
JournalThe Law Teacher
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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