Legal Practice Course (LPC) Overview
Are you keen to find out more about the LPC, what it entails and how you go about applying? Well, look no further! This page tells you everything you need to know about the Legal Practice Course.
Currently, to pursue a career as a solicitor, you will need to follow the relevant steps set out below. However, following the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA’s) announcement in 2017, the way solicitors will train and qualify is likely to change once the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is introduced. The SQE is set to be in place from September 2021.
What is the LPC?
The LPC is a vocational postgraduate course which must be completed as part of your training to become a solicitor. It is the next stage of study following completion of either:
- A qualifying LLB law degree; or
- A non-law degree and a law conversion course such as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).
The LPC aims to prepare aspiring solicitors for the rigors of legal practice. Once you have completed the LPC you can then move on to commence a training contract, which is the final step towards qualification as a solicitor.
What Does the LPC Involve?
The LPC can be studied both full and part time. Unlike at the undergraduate stage, where studies are largely academic, the LPC is highly practical. It is designed to simulate the type of work you will encounter during your training contract and beyond. This means the way you study and the way you are examined are completely different from what you will have experienced as part of your undergraduate studies.
The LPC is split into the following two stages and is made up of lectures (which many institutions are now delivering conveniently online) and interactive tutorials (small group sessions of approximately 18 students).
Stage One Includes the practical study of:
- Property law and practice
- Litigation (both civil and criminal)
- Business law and practice
- Solicitors Accounts
- Administration of Estates and Wills
Developing Professional skills including:
- Legal research
- Legal writing and drafting
- Interviewing and advising
- Professional Conduct and Regulation
Stage two generally includes the practical study of three elective modules including:
|Banking and finance
|Wills and probate
Your elective choices should ideally reflect any areas of legal practice that are of particular interest to you. However, if you have already secured a training contract, specific electives may be mandatory as instructed by your sponsoring law firm.
Please note that courses vary from provider to provider so make sure you read the full course description before taking the plunge.
Where Can I Study the LPC?
Our LPC Course Comparison Tool sets out the locations of all the LPC institutions in England and Wales. There’s lots of choice – but note that if you have already secured a training contract, your law firm may have an exclusive arrangement with a particular LPC institution, meaning that you must complete the LPC there. For a city by city guide, visit our Where to Study the LPC page.
LPC Entry Requirements
Most institutions will expect you to have completed a UK degree (with a 2:2 as a minimum) or equivalent qualification and, if applicable, to have passed a law conversion course such as the GDL.
Bear in mind that a large proportion of law firms will expect you to have gained a 2:1 at degree level (unless extenuating circumstances apply). This, coupled with significant course fees, should be seriously considered when deciding whether to apply for the LPC. For information on the application process, visit our LPC applications page.
LPC Course Costs
The cost of LPC courses in England and Wales can vary significantly, with fees ranging between £9,000 and £17,000. If you secure a training contract before you start your course, your law firm may cover the course fees and even some of your living expenses.
If, however, you do not have this luxury, you will be expected to cover everything. So it is vital to ensure that you have access to the necessary funds before signing up to an LPC course and you are absolutely certain you want to go ahead with it!
Funding the LPC
How you intend to fund your LPC fees and living expenses needs serious consideration. The following options are available:
- Law School Scholarships
- Flexible law school payment structures
- Part time work
Part time work comes with a hazard warning. The last thing you want is to jeopardise your performance on the course, so it’s crucial you find the right balance between studying and working. Find out your LPC funding options.