The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
With final exams only a few months away, many of you will be thinking what are my options going forward? In the past I have only been able to advise on the LPC and BPC from what we know from the university websites. What upcoming events are available that might tell you a bit more about the course.
The SQE is an option however, this is new and the LPC is still available and firms are accepting applicants from the LPC background so please do not let this put you off going down the LPC route if that is what you would like to do.
I am now able to advise on the LPC at the university of Law, what it is like, and how you can prepare if you are going to start in September.
These are challenging times we are in and no-one knows what is ahead, for that reason what I am about to say can change so please keep in touch with the university and their website and social media pages for the latest updates.
Due to COVID-19 until September all courses for the LPC are being taught online, when universities are allowed back open there is the option of attending tutorials on campus if you so wish.
I started my LPC course in January and am on the full time I-LPC LLM. My full course is taught online. Now I am not going to lie it is full on, but before I go into the course itself, lets start at the beginning and applying for the course.
You need to think what is best for you when looking at the course options. Full-time, they say you need to put in around 44 hours of work a week and part-time is 22 hours a week. Can you realistically commit to the time frame?
To give you some idea, I have other commitments including my own health issues and caring for a family member. However, preparation is key. If you plan things right, then it can be done. If you have the support, it can be done. You need timetables and to know when you are doing what. Think, planners, pens and highlighters!
The I-LPC is all online - tutorials, lectures, the only part that is not, is exams normally (currently these are also online until July). So, if you need to work around children at school this is excellent as you do not need to factor in getting to and from campus, the tutorials and lectures are also recorded so you can watch them at any time you are not fixed to any schedule. Think the Open University but the next level up.
Once you have made up your mind about the course you want to study and have been accepted then apply online for the Scholarships. It is a simple form, name, email, phone number and they will then get in contact as they become available. There are many available from £500 up to the full fees.
Do not give up hope if you do not hear. I did not until the week before I started.
If you are a student that needs additional help or support, get in contact with the disability help and support services early. There is so much they can put in place, but it takes time. Certain exam adjustments must go through a panel from the SRA. They will put in place personal evacuation plans should you attend a campus and have mobility issues. They will arrange for materials to be in larger format. Extra time in exams. Just make sure you have contact with them early on.
They will also assist in helping with your DSA forms. Apply early for this. DSA may want you to go for a needs assessment and it can take up to 8 weeks to get the forms sorted so again preparation is key. Before filling it out speak to the team and they can fill out section 5 which needs to be completed by the university.
Student Finance also needs to be arranged, if you decide to opt for the master’s route of the course so the LLM this will allow you to apply for a loan up to £11,222. If you are then successful in a scholarship this can be cancelled after. So always apply as it can be cancelled before your course starts, just make sure you check the T & C’s for the cut off dates, so you do not occur any charges.
Before the Course Starts
You will hear from the university about a month before the course starts and for me this is when it started to get real. Enrolment forms started to come through, student id passes needed to be applied for and documentation needed signing.
This was the time you could also order your books. Unlike the OU where the books come through automatically, you must order them with ULaw. I was so excited when the UP’s guy knocked on the door with them. Upon opening them, for a short while the colour did drain from my face. I should have realised when I could not lift the box off the floor, neither could my PA. It had to be dragged from the hallway to the Living room.
However, once I opened the books and started flicking through the pages, I got excited. The LPC is all about applying the Law learnt at the OU and putting it into practice. So, when you see ‘transfer deeds’, ‘draft contracts’ and ‘letter before claim’ templates it gets real.
The start date was the 4th of January 2021. However, my module site became available on the 14th of December. Waiting for it to open, was like Christmas coming early for me. I was eager to see what the site held in store.
I have a few pieces of advice in the run up to the start of the course, on of those being, take a step back and breathe. A lot will be thrown at you in the month running up to the course. You will be given a ULaw email address which will need to be checked regularly. I would say daily as at the time I was getting non-stop emails and it could become overwhelming.
Although, every single one of those emails contained a vital piece of advice, so do not skim over thinking that is not relevant. I spent ages looking for a piece of information, it was in one of the emails all along.
At this stage preparation is key. I asked for the materials to be sent to me in hard copy, but this is due to my disability. However, if you do this please bear in mind these materials are intended for those attending workshops so may differ slightly from what is on the internet, so please refer to the internet first and then use the hard copy materials as a guide.
Another piece of advice is finding a good note taking system. I use OneNote as I can have a file for each of the four modules which you will have to begin with on the full-time course. There are, nonetheless, other apps available which you may find suitable.
You will need highlighters, sticky notes, sticky tabs. I have everything colour coded, so I have green pens and highlighters and sticky notes for real estate and blue for business Law etc. I also code this to OneNote, so the file on the app relating to real estate is also green. This helps me to keep everything Synchronised.
Starting the Course
Once the course starts, you have to prepare for each unit and then the following week engage in a task or activity. This is for each module and on top of assessments. The reading is what takes up a lot of time and whilst you are preparing for say unit 2 you are completing a task for unit one. Therefore, I say you must be organised. You cannot get behind.
I am not saying this to scare you, I am saying this so you can prepare yourself as to whether you can take on the full-time or part-time course.
What I can tell you, is that so far, I am really enjoying it. I am not going to lie and say it is not full on because it is. I think lockdown has helped as I do not have any outside distractions.
You need total concentration and 100% dedication to the course, but then again that is what being a solicitor is all about. You need focus.
At the end of the day, it is your decision. I can only tell you my experience on the University of Law and their course and intensity. There are other providers out there that are probably just as good, but I cannot comment on them as I have not experienced it.
With ULaw it is all about preparation, organisation and dedication. If you get that right, you are halfway there.