So you’re getting to the end of your law degree and pondering what to do next and the solicitors’ profession beckons. You’re yet to secure a training contract but keen to continue your legal studies, so doing the LPC seems a logical option. How do you go about this?
Deciding where to study
This is probably a good starting point. The great news is that you don’t need to worry about the prestige of the awarding institution in the same way as you worry about which university to go to. Things to consider are:
1. The price of the course
This varies a lot, you can do a course for under £10,000, or pay nearly £16,000 depending on where, and with which institution, you choose to study.
2. The pass rates
This is well worth pondering. Pass rates vary widely between institutions, from as low as 50% to virtually 100%. You might not find this published on websites, but it is a question well worth asking. LPC providers want your business, so should be prepared to give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
3. The location of the course
Of course you’re going to think about this. Is it a good idea to save money by going to live with family, or is it essential for you that you study in the place where your friends are going to be? If you compromise on where you live, would you be able to get to see your friends at weekends? Might they be working during the week anyway?
4. Engagement with law firms
If you don’t have a training contract, then you’ll want to maximise your chances of getting that TC during your time doing the LPC. It’s a good idea to look at what engagement the institution has with law firms. Does it have a law fair? Who attends? This might make you reflect again on location. If you’re set on working in London and thinking of saving some money by doing your LPC somewhere else, then does the LPC provider have links with London firms, or only those in its vicinity?
Don’t forget that if you’re a Warwick student we look forward to welcoming you back to our law fair and to any other employer events we run.
5. The available options
It is worth looking at the study options of each course. If you’re pretty sure of what area of law interests you, then you might want to find options which fit your interests. If, on the other hand, you have no idea, perhaps find a course that offers you the widest possible choice?
One alternative will be for you to decide whether or not to do an integrated Masters. While possession of a Masters is unlikely to make the difference in determining whether or not you get a TC, you might think that it is worth choosing a course which offers you the chance to get one for a fairly minimal amount of extra work. Don’t feel it’s essential though!
6. The length of the course
Something else to think about. Courses range in length from seven months to nearly two years. Do you want to get your studies over as quickly as possible, or are you perhaps planning to work at the same time ? You do need to be able to commit time to studying and it’s important to work out which way of approaching the LPC will be best for you.
Ok, you’ve made your decision, now you just have to make the application. Again, this is not like applying to university, where you know that courses will be oversubscribed and you have to try to find a way of making your UCAS form stand out from the pile. There are plenty of LPC places to go round, so you don’t need the wacky and arresting way of starting the application!
Demonstrate that you can write clearly and coherently in good English – proof reading carefully is still good! Explain that you have studied a qualifying law degree (or GDL) and that you wish to become a solicitor. You might want to mention any specific interests and tie them in to which module choices you made during your degree. You could talk about why the particular course (see above!) but be aware that if you do not get your first choice of LPC provider, the same statement will be sent to your other choices, so be a bit careful. Finish up with how your results show that you are equipped to succeed. Job done!
All applications need to go through the law CAB site.
For more information about the LPC itself have a look at my recent blog.