Thinking of taking a Legal Practice Course but aren’t sure about all the in’s and out’s? This is a critical time in your educational journey, as a Legal Practice Course is usually the last stage before you find full-time employment. In this article, we look at what taking a legal practice course involves, including entry requirements and career opportunities.
Ready to find Legal Practice courses? Pick your desired level below:
What Is A Legal Practice Course?
A Legal Practice Course (LPC), is the last vocational stage to embark on before finding full-time employment as a solicitor. The course - which is also known as a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice - essentially acts as the gateway from rigorous academic study to training at a law firm.
The course mostly often follows a law degree, but you can also take an LPC if you have studied an entirely different subject. In this case, you will be required to take a conversion course before moving onto a Legal Practice Course.
You have the choice between a one-year full-time course or a two-year part-time course. Tuition fees can rise up to £14,500 per year, but there is the opportunity to have your fees paid for you by a future employer. Such circumstances are, however, rare.
The exact course content will depend on the specific program offered by the university you are accepted by. But in general, an LPC is split into 3 phases of learning:
- Core modules
- Elective modules
- Practical skills (interviewing and advising, advocacy, research, writing, taxation etc)
Modules you can expect to study include:
- Business Law and Practice
- Criminal Litigation
- Civil Litigation
- Property Law and Practice
As mentioned, the exact topics are dependent on the institution. But topics you can expect to study include:
- Immigration Law
- Employment Law
- Housing Law
- Commercial Law
- Personal Injury
- Commercial Law
- Welfare Law
Entry requirements for LPC courses vary depending on the university you apply to.
An upper-second class honours degree in law is welcome, but some universities are also open to interviewing students who have third class degrees. Others, however, will not accept anything less than a lower second. Whatever your grade, you law degree needs to meet specific academic standards required by the institution.
You must also demonstrate a good command of the English language and some LPC courses may require students to attend an entrance interview. To help you understand postgraduate interviews we have put together an article for the top 10 questions that are likely to pop up and the best ways that you can answer them: Top 10 Postgraduate Interview Questions.
An LPC will equip you with a range of skills, including analytical skills, the ability to write with brevity, communication skills and reasoning skills.
A small number of students embark on an LPC with a training contract, but most do not. Even so, the opportunities for employment are high and the next step for most graduates is to secure a training contract with a law firm. This is the first real step in your career as a solicitor.
The aim for most students who take an LPC is to bag a training contact. But an LPC does not expire, and you might find that you want to try your hand at something else first. Possible career opportunities open to within the legal professions include:
- Advice worker
- Trading standards officer
- Human resources officer
- Chartered accountant
- Company Secretary
If you do decide to pursue a career as a solicitor, there are opportunities at both local and national government level, while you could also work for a large organisation as part of their in-house team.