Law School Plan Wins Case; Pounds 7m Training Centre Will Take in 500 Students

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MP David Lock, the Lord Chancellor's Department Minister, has strongly backed plans by the College of Law to open a new showcase international law school in Birmingham.

The pounds 7 million school will open its doors to 500 students in September next year, giving a massive boost to legal training while acting as a catalyst to the regeneration of an area close to Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter.

Mr Lock, Labour MP for Wyre Forest, said: 'This initiative has got to be good news for the local legal profession and the wider local business community.

'It only serves to support Birmingham's role as a key legal and business centre.

'Importantly, it also has to be good news for local students, who will now have an opportunity to train without moving away from the area.'

Speaking at a reception in Birmingham, Mr Lock, who practised as a barrister in the city before taking his seat at Westminster, specifically welcomed the college's commitment to work in close partnership with local lawyers.

One key area is the college's plan to set up a free legal advice clinic, staffed by students, which will have a purpose-built home in the Birmingham branch.

The advice clinic will follow similar 'pro bono' clinics established by the college in its London branch and forms part of a national plan to provide students at all college branches with opportunities to undertake such work.

Mr Lock added: 'I applaud the College of Law's innovative plan to foster a commitment to pro bono work.

'The Government welcomes such initiatives, both in terms of supporting our aims of ensuring access to justice and in providing opportunities for real learning and community service commitment on the part of future lawyers.

'I hope that this plan will be strongly supported by the legal profession and wider business community in Birmingham.'

The College of Law, Europe's largest provider of legal education and training services, says the new Birmingham school will be located at the former headquarters of Cannings group in Great Hampton Street. …