Hey hey! So, I’ll be breaking down the LPC, as I’ve received a lot of questions about it. This article seeks to help students understand what exactly the LPC is and how it is structured.
What is the LPC?
The LPC is a postgraduate vocational stage of training to become a solicitor in England and Wales, which is designed to bridge the gap between academic study and training in a law firm. In short it will basically prepare you for your professional role as a solicitor. In my opinion it’s more practical and more relatable to the real world than an undergraduate LLB Law degree. It shows you how what you learned at university (to an extent) works practically.
How long does the LPC last?
This will depend on your circumstance. For the majority of candidates, the LPC will last a year if you are enrolled full-time, and two years if enrolled part-time. If you have a training contract with a law firm, the firm may want you to enrol in the fast track course, which lasts just over 7 months.
How is the LPC structured?
Firstly, there are the Compulsory Practice Assessments (CPAs). I did Business Law and Practice, Property Law and Practice, Criminal Litigation and Civil Litigation. Admittedly, this is probably the most intense part of the whole LPC due to the sheer volume of work that is required of you.
Secondly, there are the skills sessions after completing the CPA exams. These are: Wills and Administration, Professional Conduct Regulation, Advocacy, Interviewing and Advising, Solicitors Accounts and Practical Legal Research and Letter Writing. Then you have the second batch of exams on these.
After the second batch of exams, then you will be allowed to pick your electives, the areas of law that interest you. In most situations if you have a training contract, your firm will require you to pick certain electives. If you don’t, and you’re not too sure of the area of law you want to go into, I would advise that you pick options that allow you to keep your options open i.e. not niche areas. You will then be examined on these electives as well.
Nothing comes free…
So we need to talk about the cost of the LPC. The LPC can cost up to £16,690. However, there are various scholarships and funding schemes to help with financing the LPC. You can read up more on funding from a BPP perspective here.
If you wish to add on a masters to your LPC, you will undertake a Legal Reform Research project, in which you choose an area of the law and suggest reforms. I like to call it a mini dissertation, mini because it’s 3,000 words. So, when graduating, you graduate with a professional qualification (LPC) and a general master’s in law degree (LLM).
I hope this has helped clarify the LPC, and best of luck!