Dubai institute accused of using fictional reviews to promote law courses

These allegedly fake "students" gave glowing reviews of CLIP's courses. Pictures taken from Legal Cheek and Roll On Friday.

The Dubai-based Chancery Lane Institute for Professionals (CLIP) allegedly put up fake glowing testimonials about their Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) from four seemingly imaginary students, according to legal news site Legal Cheek.

On their “Case Studies” page, four students named “Zara”, “Adam”, “Harris” and “Maria” gave rave reviews about CLIP’s law courses.

The so-called Zara from Zayed University reportedly wrote CLIP’s programme “works really well for her”, while Adam with a “qualifying degree from King’s” said he was really drawn to the opportunity to study abroad.

Roll On Friday issued a similar report on the matter, also publishing screenshots of the glowing reviews (see below).

Screenshots from Roll on Friday.

Allegations these students did not exist arose due to a disclaimer message at the bottom of the “Case Studies” page, stating: “These case studies are for illustration only and are not actual students currently enrolled on our programmes”.

Legal Cheek also reported a reverse image search revealed the alleged students’ photos were “generic professional person stock photos” featured on a number of websites in the UK and worldwide.

Screenshots from Roll on Friday.

At the time of writing, however, the said reviews appear to have been removed from CLIP’s website. The same so-called stock images of the four people remain, only they are now paired with short paragraphs describing the merits of the courses, none of which were attributed to a particular student.

CLIP offers two law courses accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales, as confirmed by an SRA spokesman to Legal Cheek.

According to CLIP’s website, the courses offered are: the Integrated Legal Practice Programme (ILPP), an 18-month programme that merges the said LPC and GDL; and the Legal Practice Programme (LPP), a 12-month programme that “satisfies the requirements of the traditional LPC”.

The ILPP costs £32,000 (US$40,000) while the LPP’s fees are stated as £16,000 (US$20,000). In comparison, it costs between £7,700 (US$9,677) and £15,740 (US$19,781) to take the LPC in England and Wales.

Study International has reached out to CLIP for a comment on the matter.

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