The task of choosing an LPC provider can have the tendency to induce an onset of pre-university déjà vu as you attempt to battle on through each prospectus and website in the search for “the one”. Yep. You’ve definitely been here before. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…
The LPC is a big investment, and with that and your future career in mind it’s vital you get the right provider for you. So how do you tackle your indecision? It’s time to pinpoint some key factors to consider and help you plump for the provider most suited to you.
Taking your law firm's advice
If you’re one of those lucky souls who has already secured their training contract, the chances are you will have been instructed by your firm to go for a particular provider. If this is you, then problem solved! You can advance straight to go, pick up your contract on the way and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
For those who haven’t yet managed to bag a contract, it can be helpful to think one step ahead of the game when you are deciding on an LPC provider. Check out your favourite law firms – do they have any training provider preferences for their trainee intake? Where do they send the applicants who have already been offered one of their contracts? At this stage you’re still moulding yourself as the ideal trainee choice for their recruiters; if you can suss out who their preferred providers are you could be ticking another box to fit their bill.
Ah. Yes. Whichever way you look at it, an LPC is not going to be cheap, with course fees for the 2017/18 cohort falling in the region of £7,500 to £15,740. The cost of your LPC will largely depend on the location of the centre at which you choose to study – as you may suspect, the courses in London are at the top end of that price range, and the living costs follow form too. If you’d rather pay less, it might be wise to check out LPCs outside of the Big Smoke.
There are numerous ways in which you could cover the costs, from working whilst you study, to receiving a scholarship or “bundling” a number of scholarships or awards. If you’d like some more information on funding, we’ve got a bunch of articles in our Funding section that’ll do rather nicely.
Law school location
Select university law departments offer the LPC. In addition, BPP, The University of Law, and Kaplan Law School all have centres spread across the country, so it’s pretty likely there will be one close by to where you currently reside.
Aside from the cost factor it raises, location is important for other reasons: Do you want to stay at home whilst you study? Perhaps you’d like the excitement and challenge of a new city?
Some providers may have special links with some firms through their pro bono projects, so if you’re eying up a particular firm you might want to be implement some tactful positioning in where you study in order to get involved with them earlier.
If you’re a prospective distance learner then there are currently only limited options to study the LPC in this way. You can find out more information about LPC distance learning here.
Strengths and areas of law
Picture yourself as a lawyer: What kind of firm would you like to be part of? Which area of law would you like to specialise in? With this in the forefront of your mind, you’ll be able to assess the specialisms of each provider and how they would help in preparing you to achieve your aims.
Visiting law schools
There’s nothing like testing the water for yourself. By attending open days, you can get a real sense of what the provider is about; engage with the tutors, ask questions, get a better insight into the kind of support you’ll receive and the electives they may offer. In short: it’s a great chance to iron out any confusion.
There are a lot of things to consider, but as long as you can combine what is feasible for you in the present and best fit for your future as a super sleuth lawyer you’ll be able to work out which one is right for you.