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Barristers and solicitors should share most of their training, the chair of the Bar Standards Board has proposed.Lady Deech (pictured) told students at Oxford University last week that the new structures in which lawyers can practise, and the severe shortage of pupillages, have called into question the way both branches of the profession should be trained.In comments which partially echoed Law Society president John Wotton’s landmark speech last week, she said: ‘I wish that intending solicitors and barristers could do most of the core professional training together and then branch out to the bar or solicitor side towards the end.’Speaking at St Anne’s College, where she was formerly a law tutor and then principal, Deech said the change would help those uncertain which branch of the profession to train for, as well as those who realise that they made the wrong choice.‘It cannot be beyond the wit of man to devise this,’ she said, noting that there is already an overlap between subjects taught on the Legal Practice Course and the Bar Professional Training Course.Deech said: ‘Something has to be done to ensure flexibility for those who are unsure of their future. At the very least, a person who wants to switch from one branch to the other should only have to take the missing modules and not the entire course from scratch.’Addressing the issue of fierce competition to join the bar, Deech warned that the BPTC costs about £16,000 and ends ‘with the very real possibility of never getting a pupillage’. She said the BSB’s planned aptitude test for those applying to do the BPTC would help the situation.Deech questioned whether the £4m spent on the inns’ annual scholarships, money which ‘goes straight into the pockets of the BPTC providers’, might be better spent funding more pupillages.She also warned that ‘urgent consideration’ should be given to the number of qualified law graduates with no job, who may come to resent the legal profession for excluding them.However, Deech stressed that the framework of legal education is fit for purpose, contrary to the suggestion made by David Edmonds, chair of the Legal Services Board, in November 2010. She said: ‘It is among the best legal educations in the world.’
Sporting facilities in Nenagh are set for a boost.Nenagh Éire Óg GAA club has been granted permission by Tipperary County Council to improve their facilities at Stereame.Their proposals include the construction of a new playing pitch, a walking track, dressing rooms, car parking area and flood lighting system as well as protective ball netting. Photo courtesy of Enda O’Sullivan 15 conditions have been attached to the decision by the local authority.