The Legal Practice Course (LPC) is the penultimate stage of compulsory training for aspiring solicitors in England and Wales. Shifting from theoretical legal understanding to practical, hands-on application, the LPC is taken by both LLB and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) graduates. As a prerequisite to a training contract, the £12,900 to £17,500 price tag may be eye-watering but there are various scholarships available to cover the whole amount or partially fund your fees.
LPC scholarship application checklist
Scholarships are understandably in high demand, so increasing your chances of success requires planning. Applications are confirmed before the LPC starts, so early research is key to ensuring you’re well-informed about deadlines, the evidence needed (such as university transcripts or employment contracts), any essays or presentations required from you, and the sums awarded.
As many submissions will expect you to demonstrate why you are a worthy candidate, it is useful to write out a list of unique experiences, aptitudes and other relevant factors that can form the backbone of an application. It not helps during the scholarship process, but can also be used for future things like vacation scheme or training contract applications.
It is better to hedge your bets by applying for several scholarships, but don’t waste time on those for which you don’t meet the criteria: bursaries will often outline the conditions that each contender must match, so check these carefully. Rather than doing the standard LPC option, you may decide that enrolling in a Master’s version (LPC LLM or LPC MSc) is the more financially viable route as this can be covered by other postgraduate awards.
The University of Law (ULaw) offers many scholarships on their own website, but looking elsewhere for more specific grants that fit your circumstances and motivations for studying the LPC is also a good idea.
ULaw’s full scholarship options
The Birmingham Law Society’s Diversity Inclusion Scheme bestows one student with a full-fee award alongside interview coaching, CV and presentation skills assistance, a mentor and a place on a partner law firm’s vacation scheme. Entrants must be studying towards a UK qualifying law degree and be from a disadvantaged background, generally evidenced by attending a state school, having free school meals or being the first of the family to go to university. It can also cover exceptional personal circumstances like disabilities, sexual orientation and/or gender identity, or acting as a carer.
Candidates must complete an application form, including a personal statement, and those shortlisted will have a 45-minute interview with representatives from ULaw and partner firms Gateley Legal and Harrison Clark Rickerbys.
The Career Changer Scholarship provides 12 full-fee awards (and 350 £2,000 awards) to mature students pursuing a legal career at any UK campus. You can qualify if you have worked in a non-law industry or business for at least one year and been offered a place on an LPC course – you need to show proof of employment and write a personal statement outlining the motivations behind your career change, as well as your transferable skills.
The Choose Law Scholarship caters to two or three full-fee grants plus 2-5 £2,000 grants to runners-up. Applicants must have a place on an LPC course, have earned at least a 2:2 in their degree, comply with the Widening Participation criteria (like being from a low-income household or having a registered disability) and got the highest score on ULaw’s 30-minute online assessment of critical thinking and reasoning skills.
The Daniel Turnbull Scholarship gives a full-fee award to one student with a mobility-linked disability. Candidates must hold an offer to start the LPC, meet the Widening Participation measures, score the highest grade on ULaw’s online assessment, and supply evidence of their disability.
The Law Society’s Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) delivers around 10 full-fee prizes to students from underprivileged backgrounds. The conditions stipulated by Birmingham Law Society, as well as having less than £5,000 in personal savings, are the general indicators but other personal factors may also be considered. Contenders need to produce a 750-word essay for their claim and will be interviewed.
ULaw’s partial scholarship options
The Campus Dean’s LPC Award gives 30-150 £2,000 bursaries (dependent on the LPC’s start date) to those who have been offered a place on the course, earned at least a 2:2 for their undergraduate degree and received the highest score on ULaw’s online assessment.
The Charles Russell Speechlys Scholarship provides a £5,000 grant to one winner with an offer to study the LPC, at least a 2:1 in their degree, the top online assessment score and aligns with the Widening Participation criteria. Shortlisted candidates do a pre-recorded presentation and live video interview.
The Lord Blunkett Widening Access Award gives 10-100 beneficiaries £1,000 towards tuition. Beyond an offer to study the LPC, recipients must achieve the record online assessment result and adhere to the Widening Participation benchmarks.
The Newcastle Postgraduate Award and Nottingham Postgraduate Award is automatically allocated to LPC students at these campuses, reducing the fees by £500 and £1,000 respectively. The Rice-Jones Scholarship is available to LPC students at Chester or Manchester, who may win between £250 and £1,500 off their tuition upon examination of their dedication to the legal profession, financial affairs, and offer to study.