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This thesis critically evaluates the relationship between legal practice and legal education, with particular attention to the law degree. It analyses how the relationship has been discussed in the academic literature and in landmark legal education reform reports. It is a literature based thesis, focusing on the situation in England and Wales.\ud
The current context of legal education and practice are discussed, providing the background for the work. A brief history of legal education in England and Wales sets the wider context and introduces some of the key ideas. This history covers developments in the forms of legal education and the major reports which have analysed and critiqued the provision of legal education in England and Wales.\ud Themes from this history are then discussed, looking at the issues raised, the problems identified, and the solutions proposed. The conclusion of the thesis brings these themes together to identify how legal education and legal practice have related to each other over time, how they are linked now, and the possible relationship they will have in the future.\ud
The work contributes to the history of legal education by updating the coverage and analysis of reforms to take in the work of the Legal Education and Training Review, and by discussing key elements of the discourse around the relationship between legal education and legal practice.\ud A sketch of future research possibilities is provided, to show how elements of this work could be further developed.