When I was told to treat the LPC as a “full-time job”, I didn’t really take in the magnitude of that statement.
The LPC is extremely intense. This is not to be confused with difficult, which it still is (it’s a complex postgraduate course), but it is very full-on and hands-on. Every session will touch on a brand new topic that will have its own sub-topics to cover, have seminars and assessments on. They rarely go over what was previously covered just the day or week prior as they expect you to remember it! Whether you’re studying full time, part-time or distance learning you will need to be prepared for the shift in the type of learning, teaching and structure as it is completely different from an undergraduate course.
As a mental health advocate, I promote the importance of looking after your mind to ensure that you’re able to navigate life despite its many complex barriers. This post will touch on what I believe may be beneficial to ensure that you get through the LPC in the best mind frame possible, learning the lessons I wish I was able to apply during my time.
Find a support group or study buddy
Do not study by yourself! You don’t know it all. Having a study buddy or group will allow you to learn and eventually teach. They say you know what you’ve learned when you’re able to teach someone else. There is so much to cover on the LPC that you’re bound to not know it all, so if you’re able to bounce off others, it may enable you to retain more information. Working with others also allows you to relieve stress by grabbing lunch together, getting coffee or having a celebratory dinner. It is really important to support others and receive support.
Staying on top of the work = eliminating the stress
Stay on top of your seminars and lectures. Do what you can to not miss a session as a missed session could be the difference between a pass and a fail, as A LOT is covered in just one class. By attending every class and being on top of the work it enables you to stay organised and focused, alleviating the feeling of anxiety and stress.
Focus on the material given
The material given in the classes will be what will be assessed. The teachers tell you not to look for external sources because there just isn’t enough time or brain space to hold onto such sources. Focus on the handouts, PowerPoints, seminars, and lectures given within the classes as this is what will be assessed. If you look externally you will take up needed energy, brainpower and attention that may not be beneficial.
Find a balance and still have a life
The LPC can be all-consuming. It takes your days, evenings and weekends alongside possibly a job, applying for vacation schemes and training contracts and other personal responsibilities. So, it’s important that you find a balance outside of the course to relax, socialise, de-stress and take your mind elsewhere so that you’re energised and prepared to resume work, classes, and revision. Don’t let the LPC be so consuming that you neglect your mental and physical health.
ASK FOR HELP
Ask your tutor for help. Ask any academic support staff for help. Ask a classmate for help. You can’t go through the LPC without asking for help! It is perfectly normal to not understand everything, this will all be new to you! So have questions ready to ask and be willing to learn.
I can’t emphasise this enough…the LPC is intense. With an organised timetable, prepared mind and life balance, you will be able to exceed all expectations, taking you to the next stage in your legal career.