The Legal practice course is a big investment, with LPC costs ranging from around £9,000 to £17,000. Unlike with undergraduate study, the government does not offer loans to postgraduates in order to facilitate their further study. While this can seem daunting, there are number of LPC funding options that you can investigate.
The most common way of law students getting LPC funding is through gaining a training contract with a law firm that sponsors their further study. Generally law firms will not only pay your LPC costs, but also provide you with a maintenance grant or loan to help you with your living costs while you study. While these vary from firm to firm, in London they are generally in the region of £7,000.
In order to ensure that your firm will cover your LPC, you need to plan in advance, as most firms do not pay your LPC fees if you have already started your course. Many law firms will also sponsor the GDL so if you are currently pursuing an undergraduate in another subject, this is definitely something worth researching.
Law schools offer a range of scholarships and bursaries. These are awarded both on the basis of merit and if you fit certain eligibility criteria. For example, some providers will offer scholarships to students from low income households, or with disabilities.
You will need to look into your specific provider’s programmes in order to find out further details and the deadlines. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to do this as deadlines can be far in advance of application dates.
At BPP Law School, for example, you can apply for one of various schemes including a full-fee scholarship if you meet certain requirements.
The government has recently introduced postgraduate loans for those going onto study at masters level. Unfortunately for aspiring solicitors, the LPC is not considered a masters, so is not eligible to be funded by a postgraduate loan. However, BPP Law University has an LLM Master of Laws which incorporates the LPC, meaning that you could be eligible for a loan of up to £10,906 studying with them.
The Law Society Diversity Access Scheme aims to increase diversity in the legal profession by offering financial assistance to promising applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds. If you think that you could fit the criteria, this is definitely something to look into, as awards can cover up to the full cost of your LPC fees.
Most LPC providers offer the option of studying the LPC part time over two years, instead of one. This would give you the flexibility and time to work part time alongside your study and thereby enable you to support yourself financially.
Words: Hannah Capstick
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