Having been fortunate enough to secure a place on the LPC at The University of Law and BPP this year (I secured places at Swansea, Cardiff and UWE for 2018, but turned it down to complete the LLM) here are my top tips for applying for the LPC.
The Legal Practice Course (LPC) is a mandatory requirement for students who have completed a GDL or LLB and intend to obtain or have obtained a training contract. With the new SQE exam coming into force in 2020 it is likely that there will be no more LPC. However, until then, the LPC remains for aspiring solicitors. The LPC varies in price from £12,000 upwards of £18,000. Unfortunately the government postgraduate student loans do not cover the LPC on its own, however, if the LLM LPC is studied then one can use the government postgraduate loans. Most students seek a training contract prior to the LPC for practicality and cost reasons. Many law firms will sponsor students and pay maintenance for their time studying the LPC. Studying for the LPC without a training contract secured is a big risk both financially and practically as it may not increase the likelihood of obtaining a training contract but will indeed incur a large debt.
If you do decide to apply for the LPC, however, here are my top tips for when that time comes!
- Apply on time
Make sure you know when the deadline to submit an application for the LPC course is and when the application cycle begins, particularly for The University of Law and BPP, as they recruit on a first-come-first-served. Yet, whilst there is no specific deadline it is better to apply early.
- Use evidence to back up your interest
When writing your LPC application, particularly if you have not secured a training contract it is necessary to provide a personal statement for which you get up to 10000 characters. You do not need to use all characters so don’t feel obliged to write everything, just paint a snapshot of your interests and why you want to study there and why that particular institution. Remember to use P, E, E, L, C (Point, evidence, explanation, link and conclusion).
- Make sure you have at least attained a 2.2
It is pivotal that you are predicted a 2.2 or better, as the requirements for the LPC at any given institution that provides the LPC require a 2.2. However, if you have not obtained a 2.1 you may struggle to find a law firm afterwards willing to take you on for a training contract, so it is necessary that you obtain a 2.1 degree, a 2.2 is really only permitted if you have mitigating circumstances.
- Check your spelling, punctuation and grammar and tenses
As with any CV, cover letter, training contract or vacation scheme application you must have perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation as well as consistency with tenses.
- Make your top choice uni your first-choice
Lots of LPC providers state that if you put them as your first choice, you are more likely to get accepted.
It is important to note that whilst the LPC providers permit those with a 2.2 (mostly for money reasons) that the likelihood of obtaining a training contract is substantially reduced because law firms require a 2.1 (even those with a 2.1 still struggle to obtain a training contract!)