As it stands, the LPC is a requirement for anyone who wants to become a solicitor. But firms will pay for and organise your LPC for you if they have offered you a training contract. Candidates without the LPC aren’t at a disadvantage. So candidates who have completed the LPC are not at an immediate advantage, and LPC graduates won’t suddenly be inundated with training contract offers purely because they’ve done the LPC.
However, if you have decided to self-fund the LPC after training contract rejections, you are in effect buying yourself a year to work on any weak spots in your CV. Alongside your studies, now is the perfect time to analyse your previous applications and figure out where you can improve in the year of studying the LPC.
If you don’t have a whole lot of work experience, you could use your LPC year to apply for vacation schemes or other legal and commercial opportunities. When you come to apply for training contracts, your portfolio of work experience could be a lot stronger after one year, putting you at an advantage.
If commercial awareness is one of your weaker areas, studying the LPC is a great time to start reading about the wider world in which law firms sit. Your LPC modules will be focused on the practical side of things, so taking this education one step further will boost your understanding of the commercial world and give you some strong points to discuss at interview.
If you’re still not getting interviews for training contracts after finishing your LPC, don’t panic. There are notoriously around 5,500 training contracts that around 30,000 people apply to every year. With an LPC, you’re much better placed to apply for paralegal positions at firms that interest you. For many, this ends up being a stop on the way to a training contract—not only are you working within a law firm and enhancing your work experience portfolio, you’re also building a relationship with a firm that might one day be able to offer you a training contract.
To summarise, applying for training contracts after the LPC is a similar battle to applying before you’ve done your LPC. Having the course in the bag demonstrates your commitment to the profession, but it won’t be enough by itself to guarantee you a place. What will is some self reflection and improvement to get your applications to the top level.