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August 23 2019

The LPC: What’s it all about?

Legal Career Tips

Harry Coates

Harry Coates

The LPC: What’s it all about?

The LPC: What's it all about?

As part of his induction to the team, Harry sat new comer Louie down to have a chat about the LPC .

How different is the LPC from your undergrad LLB and GDL?

Personally, I found that the two courses were entirely different. Where as undergraduate law teaches students about the wide ranging rules, principles and doctrines that UK law establishes, the LPC teaches you specifically how these rules apply within the four walls of a law firm.

Whilst in-depth research remains a key part of preparation during the LPC, the reading is much more guided and targeted toward solving practical issues that occur as a lawyer. The individual tasks and activities are structured as they would be in an office. Your tasks arrive as mock memo’s from a partner within a fictional firm. You are then expected to carry out research and apply your findings to the client’s scenario to produce a tailored solution for them. This was extremely insightful and helped me to envisage myself undertaking real legal work.

The additional ‘Skills Modules’ are far-removed from any obligatory module that you’ll take part in on the LLB. Throughout this part of the course you learn various skills that are essential day-to-day within a firm. These include legal research, interviewing, advising, solicitors’ accounts and advocacy.

In summary, the LPC is where aspiring lawyers combine their accumulated legal understanding with commercial awareness.

How important is it to prepare for the SGS?

Vital. The SGSs come thick and fast on the LPC and 70% of the hard work is in the preparation. Once you arrive at the SGS, the hard work is done. At that point you can focus almost entirely on correcting any misunderstandings and honing your exam technique.

If you attempt every activity in the relevant chapter and the SGS description, you’ll be prepared for any possible question come the exam.

TOP TIP: Consolidation is just as important as preparation, and it takes a fraction of the time. After every SGS, spend half an hour compiling a concise set of key notes and take-away points from the SGS. These notes will be invaluable when you come to revise later in the year, as the pre-exam study period isn’t nearly as long on the LPC, so you’ll need to be creating your revision notes as you go!

How did you prepare for them?

TOP TIP: Remain a week ahead with your preparation. This is simple to accomplish, you just start prepping for your classes a week before the course starts! This will act as a vital cushion as the course goes on. Some SGSs will take you a lot longer to get your head around than others and sometimes there’s no way of guessing when this will happen! This cushion will ensure that you always have time to get the prep done.

My Steps:

  1. Read the SGS description for an overview of the tasks you’ll need to complete (this will usually consist of a Chapter, various statutory provisions and a set of activities)
  2. Read the relevant chapter and highlight as you go, taking short notes either on a word document or in the margin of the page (depending on how you best work!). Be sure to test your understanding as you go with the practice questions within the chapter.
  3. Watch the lecture for clarification. BPP provides online lectures which can be watched at any time. They often explain the concepts from the chapter in a slightly different, simpler way. This will help you to wrap your head around the particularly complicated concepts.
  4. Attack the activities! Use your notes and the highlighted chapter to approach the questions one at a time. Generally, the activities will cover everything that you need for the session, so give them all a go.
  5. Make sure you prepare with your statute book handy! For every module you’re given a book containing all of the legislation and statute that you’ll need for that exam. By keeping this with you during your prep and flicking to every provision that is mentioned in the chapter or activity, you will find yourself much better at quickly navigating the book come the exam!

How did you choose your electives?

BPP Produces a very helpful guide to each module, and recommends certain combinations of modules depending on the area that you want to practice.

I would always recommend making sure that you are interested in all of the modules that you pick, rather than picking the ‘easy’ ones (hint: there aren’t any easy ones!). You’ll find that you perform infinitely better on modules that you find interesting and don’t regret choosing.

What electives did you do and what did you think of them?

I chose Advanced Commercial Litigation, Commercial Law and I.P. and Corporate Finance.

ACL - If you enjoy Civil Litigation in your first term, you’ll love this module. It gives you a fantastic insight into the different stages of dispute between companies. It is (no surprises here) very commercial and relies on your ability to get into the client’s shoes and make the best decision for the company as a whole.

CLIP - This module was fascinating as it applies so directly to the world around you. You learn about each of the main intellectual property rights available, from copyrights to patents. You then learn about how each of these rights protects your property in different ways. The second half of the module then focuses on commerce, from competition law to online contracts. This module is a great mix and gives you a broad understanding of different areas.

Corporate Finance - This module is a hybrid of equity finance and debt finance, with a particular focus on the processes required to generate capital through a market flotation. This module would be particularly interesting or LPC students with a passion for corporate law and those that want to learn about both debt and equity finance without taking up two elective slots (both Debt Finance and Equity Finance are available as individual modules too!)

What would be your ultimate LPC tip?

Consolidate! It only takes 30 minutes and your future self will love you for it once you reach the exam period. Whether it be on the train or the bus, or while you’re watching Love Island, be sure to jot down all of the key points of the SGS. Your focus should be on the exam technique and how to complete the exam questions well as, ultimately, this is all that counts come the end of the year.

As I mentioned above, you don’t get tons of time to revise between the end of classes and the exam date, so these consolidation documents will be essential for your revision.

Louie you tackled the LLM, how much extra work is there?

The jump up to LLM from LPC only entails two extra modules.

The first is a ‘Practice Ready’ module designed to make you more employable by developing workplace skills. You have the choice of Negotiation and Case Analysis, Business Strategy, and a pro-bono focussed module. This is a coursework submission and probably takes the same amount of time as doing an extra skills module.

The second is the Law, Review and Reform essay. In this module, the student identifies an area of the law that requires updating or altering to make it more functional. This is a 3,000 word essay and can be completed after the end of your elective exams in the second term. Although this piece can take a few weeks, it doesn’t overlap with the LPC and therefore won’t be detrimental to your results.