First things first—do you have a training contract?
If you are one of the lucky LPC students who has already secured their training contract, the chances are that your law firm is paying for your LPC. It’s also very likely that they have determined a provider, course type and start date for your LPC, with some firms even exercising control over which modules you take. In this situation, we wouldn’t recommend working while completing the LPC, mainly because you shouldn’t need to; as well as paying the course fees, law firms often grant their future trainees generous living expenses for their year of study.
Not got a training contract? You still have options!
It can be tempting to view the LPC in its “standard” form; a ten-month full-time course where you’re required to attend seminars and workshops in a physical university or training centre.
In reality, you don’t have to do the LPC in this way. You could opt to do a part-time LPC, which is a popular option for students who are employed and self-funding the LPC. Specialist providers offer choices within the part-time bracket; you could study exclusively at weekends, in evenings or on weekdays depending on your schedule. This could be a good option for you if you want to do part-time study and part-time work; a paralegal might opt for the weekend part-time LPC while someone with an evening job might be more interested in the weekday-based course.
Another option is to complete a distance learning form of the LPC. This type of programme is offered by a few specialist providers and allows you to complete the course virtually via online resources. If you have existing work commitments, you might be able to fit your online studies around them.
The question of full-time
The elephant in the room is the prospect of working full-time alongside the LPC or getting a job while studying the full-time LPC. At this point, it’s important to stress how intense the course is; you’ll be expected to learn a lot in a short period of time, and if possible, it’s good to make the LPC your top priority.
Having said that, sometimes work is unavoidable. If you’ve signed up for a full-time LPC, it’s reasonable to allow for a part-time job with minimal hours and relative flexibility. Picking up a few retail shifts at the weekend or working a couple of evenings in a bar isn’t going to severely impede your education. Working a more demanding job that clashes with your studies is less likely to be sustainable. The University of Law recommends that LPC students don’t exceed two days of paid work. With this in mind, doing a full-time job alongside the full-time LPC would be unrealistic.