Practical Law On The Legal Practice Course (LPC)
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The Legal Practice Course (LPC) is (yet another!) course you need to undertake before you can become a solicitor.
It focuses on the practical skills you need to become a solicitor in the working world.
This means there is a lot of time spent on legislation, paperwork and legal formalities and less time dealing with academic & philosophical questions. There is also less case law involved when compared to undergraduate courses.
Getting your practical skills with the LPC
You may think you’re pretty good at law after getting a 2:1 or first from your undergraduate course. However academic law, and law in practice differ quite a bit. The LPC is all about moulding you into someone who has the skills to be useful to a law firm. You can study the course full time or part time (which is good if you’re self funding and need to work at the same time).
If you already have a training contract in place your firm may tell you exactly what to study. There’s obviously no point in studying a module your future firm doesn’t even practice. However all LPC courses do have compulsory modules which you must study. There are also compulsory skills that you must learn like IT skills, interviewing and advocacy. Some of the larger firms even have courses designed specially for them.
Where can you study the LPC
You can take the Legal Practice Course at one of the colleges of law or universities which also offer the course. Both kinds of institution count as a valid LPC provider. Take a look at the following LPC list:
Colleges of law
- College of Law
- BPP Law School
- Kaplan Law School
You should be able to find one of the colleges of law in the following major cities in the UK:
Quite a few universities offer the GDL course, here are a few of them (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Aberystwyth University
- Birmingham City University
- Bournemouth University
- Cardiff Law School
- Leeds Metropolitan University
- London Metropolitan University
- Manchester Metropolitan University
- Nottingham Law School
- Oxford Institute of Legal Practice
- Staffordshire University
- Thames Valley University
- University of Central Lancashire
- University of Glamorgan
- University of Sheffield
- University of Westminster
How do you apply for the LPC?
As with the GDL conversion course you must apply through the Law Central Applications Board website. This is the only way to get a place on the course. However the actual institutions you’re applying to are the ones who assess your application. Law CAB doesn’t have any say in the matter. Have a look at the articles above for more information.
When should you take the LPC?
You should take the course as soon as you’re ready, and as soon as you can afford it. There is no point in waiting unless you want to get a job as a paralegal or legal assistant to make sure that becoming a solicitor is right for you.
When do you need to apply for the LPC? This is very important because if you miss the deadline you need to wait another year to apply.LLB students should apply in the Autumn time, and GDL students should apply early on in their course. Check the Law CAB website for exact deadline details or see the articles above- there have been some changes in the way applications are dealt with recently.
The following articles on the Legal Practice Course look at more specific questions about the course. Since you may be paying up to £10000 for the qualification it’s best to be fully aware of all the course details. Also keep this in mind; you may not pass. If you don’t pass, and fail the resits, that’s a lot of money which has been lost. Also it’s still very hard to get a training contract. There are more LPC places than training contract vacancies. Some people are bound to be disappointed.