The LPC - Will I have a life?
You could easily be fooled into thinking that the Legal Practice Course (LPC) will take up all of your waking hours, and that you will be living, eating, sleeping and dreaming all that is law for the next ten months.
Well, I suppose that is the case to some extent, but plenty of people on my course managed to find a good balance between work and socialising, and still managed to fly through with distinctions. Ok, that doesn’t happen in every case, but for the good of your own sanity, and to some extent, your performance on the course, it really is important to have a little fun in your life too.
Now, this doesn’t mean that every night can be a booze-fuelled, risk-filled trip to the casino (there were some on my course who made this mistake, repeatedly). Weekday hangovers are only good when you have a day off to bask in your own self-induced suffering.
Sitting through double accounts and a three-hour Inheritance Tax workshop, with a pounding head, and at least three pints still sloshing around inside you, smelling vaguely of stale sweat and kebabs? Not good for you, and certainly not good for those around you.
Unless you’re hell-bent on either failing, just scraping a pass, or even dropping out half-way through, you can’t expect to cruise through the year in the same carefree, hedonistic way in which you spend your undergraduate days.
"You’ll find that Friday nights do in fact become sacred - a few pints with mates down the pub, followed by a good curry - heaven in its simplest form..."
But, believe it or not, having a social life doesn’t have to involve copious amounts of alcohol. Or if yours must, save it for a Friday night, when you have two days to reap the consequences. You’ll find that Friday nights do in fact become sacred - a few pints with mates down the pub, followed by a good curry - heaven in its simplest form.
You’ll find there is plenty to get involved in on your course - student-staff committees, ball planning, socials, pro bono work… the list is endless. All good things to get involved in from a CV point of view, but also a good way of meeting more solicitors-to-be, extending your new network of friends and doing something to make a difference.
Some friends of mine, still without training contracts and desperate to add things to their CV, got involved in all of the above, and did find it too much - realistically, you can’t expect to survive the demands of the course and get involved in every single extra-curricular opportunity that comes your way. Pick one or two commitments, and stick to them.
A handful of my slightly more hardcore friends decided to vent their LPC frustrations in the form of exercise this year, by running first 10kms and then half marathons. There were quite a few people that dedicated themselves to training for these events, and they found themselves more energised, more enthused and more focused on the course. I even began to think I was missing out…
Personally, I had time to sing in a choir and perform in concerts, and to write my weekly blog, and these were definitely the activities that kept me sane and focused throughout the LPC.
I felt a little guilty that I wasn’t embracing the opportunities my institution threw at me, but I knew that I needed to keep up interests outside of the course, so that my life wasn’t completely dominated by the law.
If you do have interests like music, or sport, join local groups, as you will meet new people, and potentially friends for life, from a variety of backgrounds, who have something more interesting to talk about than asking what next week’s reading for Business Law is.
So yes, you can have a life on the LPC. As long as you manage your workload and make time for socialising, you can still have plenty of fun.
University of the West of England