chapter  2
Vocational Legal Education — Its Pivotal Role in the Future of the Legal Profession
ByFiona Westwood
Pages 24

This chapter argues the importance of vocational education in allowing the United Kingdom (UK) legal profession to respond positively to the challenges that stem from a number of market place trends that are directly impacting on how legal services are provided. From 2012, the legal services market is open to new entrants with a variety of alternative business structures available for authorisation. The globalisation and alternative business structures will increase specialisation of functions and limit the traditional methods of the development of practitioners through exposure to more experienced people. Developing 'knowledge workers' by harnessing their improvisation, intelligence and autonomy to meet the changing needs of clients is seen as an important strategic response to the impact of global markets. Increased consumerism and the impact of the Internet in relation to the public's access to previously protected areas of professional knowledge have led to a demystification of the law and shift in the balance of dependency between lawyers and their clients.