UK Law: LPC - part-time or full-time?
July 24, 2008 7:45 AM   Subscribe

UK Law filter: LPC part time or full time?

I have a place at one of the top institutions to study for the LPC full-time starting this September. I have not been able to secure a training contract as yet, and am therefore self-funding with a graduate loan.

Because I have had bad luck finding summer work, and the fact that if I manage to get a training contract now it will unlikely start until 2010, I am considering switching to the part-time version of the course which will take two years instead of one. Can anyone who has studied the course give me an opinion of whether this is a good idea? It would involve a couple of study weeks a year, and about 1 3 day weekend study a month. The college have already said I can switch to the part-time version, so that is not an issue. Particularly I would appreciate comments on whether law firms have any issues about people who complete it part time over full time. Thanks!
posted by nunoidia to Education (3 answers total)
LPC is a joke. Seriously. I did it at Oxford and put virtually no work in and came out with a commendation. In your shoes I suggest doing it part time and working as a paralegal. Don't despair about fees as many firms will refund you some or all of the fees if they usually pay for their trainees to do LPC.

I don't have an informed view on law firms' perspective on people who do it over 1 or 2 years, I honestly don't see it as an issue although I suggest that you can spin this at interview. Showing your determination, committment to the law, gaining practical experience while doing the vocational stage, etc. One consideration is that if you stretch it out over two years you will incur two years of living expenses without real money coming in.
posted by dmt at 9:28 AM on July 24, 2008

Cheers - sorry, to clarify, I will be working full time (mostly) whilst doing the part time version, preferably as a paralegal, but due to the severe lack of work right now, more likely as a legal secretary at first, so will have some money coming in. I already have my grad loan, so that's not too much of an issue (but if I do full time I will run out of money next June, with still a full month of the course left before I can start earning again - a clear issue!).

I'm curious as to the 'joke' part - I've had lots of comments from people who say that, and people who really struggle on it and fail the exams first time - a lot of it seems to depend on where you study it from what I can tell! People at Notts Law (which from my profile you will be unsurprised to know that's where I'm going) seem to usually do well though.
posted by nunoidia at 10:13 AM on July 24, 2008

dmt is right on all counts I think.

I was at Nottingham for the LPC and it is indeed a bit of a joke, though my flatmate did manage to fail one of the assesments (by going sailing instead of doing the required research).

As for the 1 v 2 year route, it may depend slightly with which sort of firm you're looking to train. I would think that the larger firms might prefer a one year LPC, but any preference would be marginal at best. If you have good paralegal experience that will go a long way.

Feel free to email me if you want any general law firm info.
posted by patricio at 10:51 AM on July 24, 2008

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