Thinking of starting or applying for your LPC? Tom, who starts his training contract at Stephens Scown later this year, shares his tips for LPC success.
“Thankfully I’ve got a relatively large suitcase with me”, I thought, back on the first day of my Legal Practice Course (‘LPC’) after being handed a vast quantity of books and studying materials. Fortunately, I was forewarned about the volume of course materials provided on day one. This was the first moment of many that proved the LPC to be quite different to my experience on the undergraduate L.L.B.
While the LPC may not be as intellectually challenging as an undergraduate degree, or the GDL, there is a distinct difference in the approach you should take when studying for it, which has proved a far more hands-on and practical course.
Here are some of things I’ve learnt from my time on the course so far.
- There’s a lot of course materials! Take a suitcase or something similar on day one to carry your materials home with you.
- Get some good legal work experience. This will help you to understand law firm processes and allow you to develop many of the skills you will be assessed on such as research, writing, and interviewing. I also appreciated being more able to understand the law in a practical, rather than theoretical, manner.
- Keep on top of your workload. The LPC can be quite intense and you can be expected to cover a lot of content in one week. Doing so will really help come revision time.
- Make a mistake list. Having worked through a topic, draft a brief list of the common mistakes you were making while doing the exercises. This will prove especially useful when doing tax calculations and solicitors’ accounts, because the mistakes you make first time round are likely to crop up again unless you make a point of remembering where you were going wrong. Remember to read that list before you revise.
- Get to know your statute books throughout the course. Don’t just leave it until you’re revising. Also, while reading your statute books, develop an effective highlighting and tabbing method. This will save you time come revision, and much needed time in the exam.
- Watch your online lectures at double speed (with VLC Media Player, or similar) to save time.
- Participate in your sessions and stay attentive. Sometimes you may be covering 3 or 4 topics a day on different modules, so constantly participating will help you to stay focussed and alert.
- Practice. Find past exams and complete group-session work for revision. The group work you have done can form the basis for similar exam questions, so going through them all again before the exam will help you to readily understand what a question is asking you.
- Tailor your revision to the type of exam you are doing. Multiple choice exam? Do all the multiple choice practice you can find. Open-book exam? Tab your notes effectively, etc.
- Build your network. You will meet numerous people throughout your course. Your network of peers and friends will all be valuable assets long after you’ve started your working life.
Finally remember the purpose of the LPC is to prepare you for practice, so make the most of it, enjoy it, and ensure you take away as many practical skills that will assist you as a trainee as possible.