Working and Studying the LPC
Studying the LPC and working part-time? Our writer, Dorothy, discusses her top tips for studying the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and working at the same time, with practical advice on how to juggle both successfully.
Can you actually work and study at the same time?
This is not for everyone, so sit down and evaluate whether this is possible. It’s important to be realistic: most students need an income, so could you work part-time? You may want to discuss with your employer other opportunities that do not require as many hours. Perhaps try this out for a few months. The LPC will be one of the biggest challenges of your life and is essential to your career. It is not worth failing because you could not escape the café or office. You need to create a realistic timetable to reflect how many hours you can work, study, and relax.
1. If possible, tell your employer that you are starting a course
When I was about to start the LPC, I discussed this with my manager. I started in September 2014, and found that it was tricky trying to leave on time to get home. I had planned how many hours I wanted to spend studying each night. The support of my manager was key as he understood the importance of the course, and I came in earlier than my colleagues to finish off work if needed.
I understand that not all employers are helpful or understanding. It depends on the type of job you have. If you are able to get in early or leave on time some days and stay late once a week, do this. You could try asking for regular shifts on certain days of the week, or at certain times, so you can plan your studies around this easily. If you don’t work regular shifts, inform your manager if you’ll need to leave on time so that they can give you any tasks early.
In some workplaces, it is tricky to leave as everyone is still working hard. But when you’ve given advance notice, walk out with your head held high – your course is just as important!
2. Saturdays and Sundays are study days
Yes – sorry guys! You may be turning down many invitations. Really utilise the weekend to study. I treated these days like a working day. Set your books on the table on Friday night, and be ready around 10am to study on Saturday. You can go till around 5pm and have the rest of the night off – rest is important too!
3. Sleep as soon as you get in from work
This may be for you. You won’t be able to revise if you’re tired, so it’s important you get lots of rest and eat well. If you find yourself too tired to concentrate after work, then rest first. You could then set your alarm to wake up around 8pm, and you can then revise for longer because you’ll be much more alert. You could also try recording yourself reading your notes as a gentler way of revising – record your thoughts if possible as you’re working out answers. This may feel strange but it will help to strengthen your memory.