Postgraduate Factfile: Legal Practice Course LPC

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Course at a glance

Mode of study: Full time (1 year), Part time (2 years)
Start date: September

  • Teaching will be delivered in the new £38million Redmonds Building
  • Validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
  • Long established employer network offers extensive networking and work-placement opportunities, including Solicitor Mentor Scheme
  • Course emphasises the development of essential lawyers’ skills
  • High levels of student support
  • Pre-requisite to qualification as a solicitor allowing you to pursue a training contract with the legal profession

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Course overview

The programme produces highly skilled, commercially aware and effective Trainee Solicitors, who are prepared for the rigours and demands of a Training Contract. The core subject areas and skills are highly relevant to legal practice in general and the choice of vocational electives will enable you to focus on your chosen career path. Graduates can enjoy the continued support of our established network of local lawyers who provide opportunities for student work experience and inform our practice.

Many of our students come straight from a Law degree (LLB) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and do not necessarily have any practical experience beyond work placements. However, they do get a chance to join the Solicitor Mentor Scheme and there is excellent careers advice available. Some of our Legal Practice Course (LPC) students have extensive experience working in a legal environment and some may combine a part-time LPC with a part-time training contract. Others are Legal Executives or Magistrates Courts Clerks with years of experience and who are not required to undertake a training contract at all. The age, background, life and work experience of our students varies considerably and we believe that this diversity adds a richness and interest to our LPC and gives it a particular flavour of its own.

Much of the course is taught through small group, skills-based teaching, supplemented with large group sessions, directed reading and self-study exercises and preparation. Considerable emphasis is placed on practice and you will acquire a range of essential lawyers’ skills by carrying out realistic transaction-based tasks. Part of the programme will also involve taking part in role-plays, simulations, case studies and electronically recorded exercises and assessments.

The part-time course is offered in day release or evening modes.  Students will attend all day Tuesday in year 1 and all day Wednesday in year 2, or Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in both years.   

The LPC consists of two stages.

Stage 1 runs from September to March and Stage 2 runs from March to June. During stage 1 you can expect to study the following elements:

  • Litigation (Criminal & Civil)
  • Property Law & Practice
  • Business Law & Practice (including Taxation and Business Accounts)
  • Professional Conduct & Regulation (PCR)
  • Wills and Administration of Estates
  • Interviewing & Advising
  • Practical Legal Research (PLR)
  • Writing
  • Drafting
  • Advocacy
  • Solicitors’ Accounts

During stage 2, students need to complete and pass 3 vocational electives in order to complete this stage. LJMU offers 8 vocational electives as follows:

  • Advanced Criminal Litigation
  • General Commercial Law
  • Commercial Property
  • Employment Law                      
  • Family Law
  • Private Client
  • Client in the Community
  • Advanced PI

Our Law School staff are a blend of research active lecturers, qualified and former practitioners of law and criminal justice services and internationally established leading experts in their field.

Both the University and this School have a long tradition and strong commitment to professional legal education. We believe that our experience in this area allows us to understand the particular demands this course places on students. We have effective systems in place to provide good support mechanisms and one of the considerable strengths of the course is the support offered to students. The course is very demanding and the workload is high with a focus on student centred learning.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment of the Compulsory and Elective Subjects

Assessment of both Stage 1 and Stage 2 subjects is by supervised assessments. Assessment in Stage 1 take place in February/March and Stage 2 examinations in May and June, for both full-time and part-time study routes.

Open Book examinations

All examinations (except Solicitors’ Accounts) are open book with designated materials and manuals being permitted in examinations.

Skills Assessment

Course Skills are separately assessed in exercises throughout the course. In the case of the oral skills of interviewing and advising and advocacy, these assessments are recorded. We provide plenty of opportunity for students to practice these oral skills on DVD before the assessment.

What do past and present students say about the course?

“The LPC is an enjoyable and challenging course and an exceptional opportunity not to be missed. You study on a very practical basis and learn by doing. You will get a taste as to what it is actually like to work in practice on a daily basis, working on realistic transactions that one would be presented with as a trainee solicitor. The standard of teaching is extremely high with all the students having strong working relationships with the dedicated and helpful staff.”
Kelly McPolin and Kerry Doran – class of 2011

Why study this course at LJMU?

Both the University and this School have a long tradition and strong commitment to professional legal education - the School of Law runs a successful and thriving full-time and part-time LLB Law degree.

We are fully committed to the provision of professional legal education and believe that our experience in this area allows us to understand the particular demands this course places on you. We also believe that we have effective systems in place to provide good support mechanisms. One of the considerable strengths of the course is the support offered to you. The course is very demanding and the workload is high with a focus on student-centred learning. It is at postgraduate level and therefore you are expected to take responsibility for your own learning and are expected to attend sessions fully prepared.

Staff are a mixture of full and part-time members of the academic staff of the School. They are qualified practitioners and run the course with support and assistance from local practitioners and occasional guest speakers.

Teaching staff are approachable, enthusiastic and committed to both full-time and part-time provision. Staff strive to be available to give help, give feedback and support. All teaching staff maintain their links with the legal profession in a number of ways including consultancies and placements, sitting on local law society committees, writing for the legal periodicals etc.

They also regularly update their knowledge by attending and/or delivering CPD courses and conferences. A number of the part-time staff remain in practice on a part-time basis.

Who studies the LPC?

Our full-time students primarily come straight from a LLB or GDL and do not necessarily have any practical experience beyond work placements. However, they do get a chance to join the Solicitor Mentor Scheme and there is excellent careers advice available. Some of our LPC students combine a part time LPC with a part-time training contract. Others are Legal executives or Magistrates Courts Clerks with years of experience and who are not required to undertake a training contract at all. The age, background, life and work experience of our students varies considerably and we believe that this diversity adds a richness and interest to our LPC and gives it a particular flavour of its own.

We encourage the sharing of this experience and these skills and believe that students and staff all benefit from the variety. Students wishing to attend the full-time course traditionally join the course straight from completion of undergraduate studies. It is something of a culture shock joining a course which demands some compulsory attendance 12 to 15 hours per week; lasts from the start of September until June and allows only four weeks' break. All staff offer support and guidance in the early stages of the course to assist students with time management, file organisation and guidance on preparation.

The course does not follow the standard University calendar and runs from the beginning of September until June with only two week's vacation at Christmas and two week's vacation at Easter/Spring Holiday.

The teaching staff are approachable, enthusiastic and committed. Staff strive to be available to give help, give feedback and support. All teaching staff maintain their links with the legal profession in a number of ways including consultancies and placements, sitting on local law society committees, writing for the legal periodicals etc.

They also regularly update their knowledge by attending and/or delivering CPD courses and conferences. A number of the part-time staff remain in practice on a part-time basis.

What is it like to be a student on the LPC at LJMU?

We encourage you to develop a learning atmosphere, which is friendly, supportive and non-competitive. You are actively encouraged at a very early stage in the course to form study groups and support networks. We circulate contact details and suggest you team up with other students in your area. We also operate a student mentor system.

Teamwork is an important part of the LPC ethos here at LJMU, both between students and between students and staff. The Course Leader and LPC teaching team operate an “open door” policy and you are supported by a Pastoral Tutor, Careers Tutor and Personal Tutors. Help and guidance are at hand and student care and welfare is a high priority.

We encourage you to approach us with concerns at an early stage and welcome feedback on all aspects of the course so that we continue to develop and improve the course.

How is the course taught?

Much of the course is taught through small group (maximum group size 20) skills-based teaching, supplemented with large group sessions, directed reading and self-study exercises and preparation. Considerable emphasis is placed on practice an you acquire a range of essential Lawyers’ Skills by carrying out realistic transaction based tasks. You are required to take part in role-plays, simulations, case studies and electronically recorded exercises and assessments.

Introduction to the School

The School of Law at LJMU offers a range of opportunities for students to play an active part in an evolving, dynamic, and engaging postgraduate culture. Situated within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies, one of the largest and most diverse faculties within the LJMU structure, the School has a long-standing reputation for providing professional, practitioner, and work-related learning opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students alike. 

The Law School staff group ensure the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies plays host to the most advanced knowledge and expertise that the University has to offer in the realms of business, commerce, law, criminal justice. 
 
The School offers a range of post graduate programmes:

  • Legal Practice Course
  • LLM International Business, Corporate and Finance Law
  • LLM Legal Practice
  • LLM European Law
  • LLM Global Crime, Justice and Security
  • MA in Criminal Justice
  • MPhil/PhD

The vast majority of teaching input on these programmes is delivered by full and part-time members of the School of Law team.  This staff group are a blend of research active lecturers, qualified and former practitioners of law and criminal justice services, and internationally established leading experts in their field.

Through these programmes of study and the enthusiastic support and guidance of a dynamic and dedicated staff group, the School of Law offers a stimulating and rewarding environment for postgraduate study.  Within a culture of teaching and learning that keep work related skills development in clear focus. The School, staff and programmes delivered seek to help maximise the ability, strengths, and ambitions of all its students.

Staff research interests

School of Law – Research Profile

Members of staff at the School of Law carry out research in two different fields: Law and Criminal Justice.

Research in Law includes the following areas: criminal law, legal history, corporate governance, banking and finance, global finance law, obligations, media law, comparative private/public law, EU law, international law, commercial law, sports law, German public law, Italian public law, medical ethics, bioethics, legal theory, human rights, terrorism, police powers, transnational crime, family law, law and religion.

Research in Criminal Justice includes the following areas: organisation and governance of the National Probation Service and HM Prison Service, community penalties, surveillance and social control, multi-agency approach to crime prevention, international politics of crime control, application of criminological theories to practice, justice in England and Wales, youth justice bail service, crimes of the powerful (including corporate crime and state crime), sentencing policy and practice, criminal justice policy and relationship between policy and research, relationships between the police and the public, sex offenders, drug users, effectiveness in probation intervention, mentally disordered offenders.

Other related courses

  • Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)
  • LLM in Legal Practice

Employment and careers

The Legal Practice Course is a pre-requisite to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales. Once you have completed your LPC you will be required to complete a training contract working within the legal profession. The training contract period is for two years although it can be reduced by up to six months if you have suitable and relevant previous legal experience

As a postgraduate student you will be able to take full advantage of the extensive range of advice and guidance available in our World of Work Careers Centre, including our Ready for Work training courses, which cover everything from interview skills to preparing for assessment centre tests.

LJMU also has a dedicated Centre for Entrepreneurship, offering business advice and start-up funding, to students and graduates interested in setting up their own companies or working freelance.

Map of UK

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.

Scholarships

LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

English for Postgraduate courses bursary

A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.

This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.

English language requirements

IELTS

6.5 (minimum of 5.5 in each component)

Pearson

58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKBA Purposes)

Entry requirements

Academic merit normally evidenced by the possession, actual or predicted of a qualifying law degree or the Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law.

Normally a minimum second class honours or an average of at least 50% actual or predicted in the Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law.

The factors which are taken into account when making decisions on individual applications are:

  • Academic merit normally evidenced by the possession, actual or predicted of a qualifying law degree or the Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law
  • References - In the case of applicants who have taken or passed the examinations of the Institute of Legal Executives particular attention is given to academic references
  • The need to study in the area for strong personal reasons
  • Evidence of successful attendance and completion of courses in the past
  • Evidence of motivation to be a Solicitor (significant evidence of which may be provided by, among other things, prior or current relevant work experience, and/or application for at training contract, but may be provided in other ways)
  • As between applicants who are equally qualified in accordance with the paragraphs above, LJMU may give preference to those who are or have been students of LJMU
  • In all cases the admissisons process will comply with LJMU’s equal opportunities policy, which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation and disability.

Application and Selection

LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria. The University has a commitment to equality of opportunity and welcomes application from everyone regardless of age, disability, race or sex.

Fees information

Tuition fees for full-time home and EU students for the academic year 2014-2015 are £8,585. Part-time fees for Home and EU students are £4,300 per annum.  Home and EU student fees can be paid in full or by instalments throughout the academic year.

Tuition fees for International students for the academic year 2014-2015 are £11,350. Students residing in the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey are classified as international students for fee purposes.

International students fees are payable in full on registration or you can choose to pay 50% with the balance paid in full four months later.

Further information for international students about finance, fees and scholarships can be found here.

The fee includes The Law Society registration fee, the course materials and LPC Manuals. However, students will be required to pay a fee to become student members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please talk to LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible: studentadvice@ljmu.ac.uk, 0151 0151 231 3153/3154.

Sources of funding

LJMU Alumni Award

Final year undergraduates and alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 15% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).  Please go to www.ljmu.ac.uk/feesandfunding/127541.htm for more details.

Postgraduate International Scholarships

LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants. For further details, go to: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international  

English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary

A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre (www.ljmuisc.com). For further details, go to: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international   

Earn While You Learn

Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.

LJMU’s Vacancy website (http://ljmu.prospects.ac.uk) can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships/ summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.

Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)

Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs. Go to www.gov.uk/careerdevelopment-loans for more details.

Employer sponsorship

Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.

Support for disabled students

Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.

Council tax exemption

All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.

How to apply

Further information

Please contact the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies on:

tel: 0151 231 5175
email: APSadmissions@ljmu.ac.uk
web: Faculty web site

If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:

Course Enquiries
tel: +44(0)151 231 5090
email: courses@ljmu.ac.uk
web: www.ljmu.ac.uk

If studying this course full time, please apply via the Central Applications Board. For part-time applications, please use the LJMU online application form

International students

LJMU offers an extensive support system through its international office and study centre. An equivalence to the normal entry requirements is needed for entry. Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example with an IELTS tests or equivalent. Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, International students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis. Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.


Please Note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify in any way the information contained in this leaflet.


Page last modified by Marketing and Corporate Communications on 22 September 2014.
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