Michael Robinson, Emmersons Solicitors, Sunderland If the cost of being a law student is as high and burdensome as people say it is; and if sitting the LPC is an expensive ‘punt’ at a career, why not introduce a solicitor apprenticeship (‘student solicitor’) scheme? This might copy the FILEX programme, combining limited periods of academic study, practical study and qualification (becoming an accredited police station representative, and including home study and quality assured assessment and testing, for example). In this way bright young things could leave school, start a job with a solicitor and complete an apprenticeship which would be self-financing, as the student solicitor would be working and being paid. That would reduce the demand (and perhaps also the need) for expensive law degrees and conversion courses without dumbing down the quality of the entrants to the profession. So long as there was no differentiation in the nomenclature of the qualified person, the apprenticeship route would offer an equal and real opportunity to a more diverse group and perhaps make working in legal aid areas of law attractive to ‘student solicitors’ and affordable for employers. It would get rid of paralegal slavery. It would create achievable goals for students. It would take us back to where we were some years ago.