The following is a post from Kaplan Law School. On our full time London law courses we insist on small class sizes and combined with a personalised approach to legal training provide a collaborative and social learning experience to give you the best possible chance of Law exam success.
Completed your Law LLB or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and decided to pursue a career as a solicitor? Well then the Legal Practice Course (LPC) is the next step for you.
The LPC is more vocational based than your GDL or LLB and as a result, is more focused on providing you with the essential skills required to successfully practice as a lawyer. There are full-time, part-time and distance learning options available depending on your personal requirements.
Once you’ve decided which study option suits you best the next big decision is not just which provider to study with, but in which city. There are providers spread around the UK but we’re going to concentrate on the options available to you and the benefits of studying in London.
First up, a reality check: You should carefully consider your decision to pursue a career as a solicitor, make sure you conduct extensive research, undertake varied work experience, and seek out the opinions of others already in the profession. Studying the LPC course does not guarantee you a training contract with a law firm and competition for contracts can be tough. You should aim for a 2.1 or above at undergraduate degree and have a strong academic background; firms will look at your A Levels as well as your degree result.
Studying in London
Once you’ve decided that your ambition is to become a solicitor and you feel you have the right academic skills and attributes to succeed, you’re ready for the move to the big smoke! Studying in London can be an expensive option with living costs and course fees being higher than elsewhere in the UK but the advantages of living and studying on the doorstep of one of the world’s business hubs far outstrip any negatives.
If you start your LPC course without the safety blanket of sponsorship by a law firm, the hunt for a training contract will be a constant source of concern during your LPC year but you should work hard to balance study with research and time dedicated to making the best possible applications. Seek the advice of peers on your course that have gained a training contract, but more importantly make sure you take full advantage of the careers services available to you.
Meeting recruiters and careers events
By studying in London you will be in a unique position in that many of the world’s largest commercial law firms are based in the City. You should make the most of this by ensuring you take as many opportunities as possible to meet with representatives from any firms you are interested in. You should attend as many law fairs, law firm open events and legal conferences as possible. Your law school will be able to keep you up-to-date with such events and a good careers service will coach you on how to present yourself to firms and ensure you make the strongest first impression possible at these events.
More than just big law firms
But it’s not all about the big commercial law firms. If your academics are not quite what they’re looking for, or you aspire to work in another area of the legal profession, London is well connected for the many regional and high street firms located in the commuter towns and outer reaches of Greater London, not to mention well connected by national rail to other UK cities. The City is not the end of the story but regardless, London is a commercially and culturally vibrant and rewarding place to study and live. There’ll be plenty of time to explore all it has to offer, but only once you’ve finished in the library!