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Is self-funding the LPC a worth while investment?

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  • Don't do it!!! Speaking from experience, its a depressing situation to be in. Take a year out and gain some experience either unpaid or as a paralegal.

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  • Focus your energy into getting valuable legal or commercial work. Once you have a year under your belt, your CV will look much better. So your chances of getting a TC will improve. And if you manage to bag a TC, your firm (assuming you apply to a City firm) will pay your LPC fees.

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  • If having reasonably assessed your skills, abilities and interests, a career in law is what you are determined to pursue, I say go for it. Your determination and focus will see you through in the end.

    Have you also considered doing the LPC part-time while you acquire some commercial/legal experience?

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  • its not all about work experience.......
    the right time at the right place.....and doing a good application form is what counts....

    iv got tonnes of legal work exp and some business work experience, all be4 the end of my 3 years at uni....still no t.contract

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  • DON'T DO IT!!! It is a lot of money! of course we have to be positive and always believe we are going to be able to achieve our goals but at the present economic time it is also important to be realistic! so what if you don't get the training contract? you have a big debt, which probably will make you accept jobs that are not law related such as supermarkets, etc just to pay for it, you will be depressed and see no light at the end of the tunnel! and because you have to work full-time you will not have time for the so needed legal experience because your employer does not care!
    You are probably wondering how do I know. Well, unfortunately that is my experience!
    Try a paralegal course, its cheap and the gap between the llb and lpc will be closed. or try the NY Bar, which will enable you to become a solicitor after completing the 2 years experience requirement! --> That was the advice I failed to listen to.....

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  • In the current climate, there is a lot of be said for trying to secure a training contract before commencing the LPC. Even if you don't get a TC with a firm that will pay for the LPC, you will know that at least you are doing the LPC with a TC to commence at the end of it. What you really need to consider however is whether you feel that you will secure a TC during the LPC and that all depends on your grades and work experience - if you feel positive then go for it!

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  • There is no right answer to this one.

    I embarked on the GDL and LPC courtesy of the Natwest loan imagining that my background, education, work experience and general personality would lead me to securing a TC before the end of the two years which would hopefully include a rebate of the fees I’d paid for. The short answer is that it didn’t. And here I am two years after finishing my studies with a £35k debt (including student loan and overdraft) and still no TC. However, whilst that could and does make me weep on occasion I still think I made the right choice for me. Following 18 months as a paralegal I now have an excellent job with an in-house legal team working on deals in a capacity my trainee and newly-qualified friends can only aspire to (magic circle or otherwise). Added to that I have job security and access to a number of senior partners at our legal panel law firms who might, if I impress them enough, help me when I get back on the application wagon (which in the current market I’ve abandoned). Yes I probably won’t qualify until I’m 30 but all being well I’m able to pay my debts and enjoy life in the city in the meantime.

    But right now life is very much harder for a prospective solicitor. There simply aren’t the work experience opportunities out there that existed up to a year ago. One can’t walk into a paralegal position with just a decent degree and a good attitude anymore – you’re competing against future joiners looking to fill a gap year, foreign qualifieds waiting for QLTT sponsorship, newly qualifieds who weren’t retained on qualification…the list goes on. So your options are: 1. to start studying and apply for every TC you can and keep your fingers crossed that you get something – over half my law school buddies who began without a TC had one by the end of the year. Or 2. find commercial based work anywhere else (though I know that that is easier said than done right now too) and use that commercial awareness to apply for every TC you can. The LPC is not overwhelming in terms of hours – if you apply yourself you could have 100 apps done between October opening and Christmas which would be the same with a fulltime job if you’re dedicated.

    I think you have to expect that things may not work out as planned despite all your best efforts – luck plays a massive part in all this. My career is not taking the route I thought it would and I still wish it had been easier which it may have been if I'd waited until securing a TC to start the LPC (but then that might never have happened!).

    That said I remain firmly committed to becoming a qualified lawyer and that’s what makes all the stress worthwhile. But it might not be the same for you – and that’s what you have to decide.

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  • Just wondering, does anyone know if there is a time limit within which you must have completed the LPC after graduating from the LLB / GDL?

    Apart from that, my advice would be to definately take a year out. I was supposed to start my GDL last year, but decided to take some of the pressure off, get a job and go travelling. You'll feel a lot more positive about things when you're earning and it'll give you space to think about what you want to do next if you're unsure about career direction.
    Even if you don't manage to get legal work experience, learn a language or do something to make your CV stand out. Plus, by the time you get back, the job market may have improved so you might be able to secure a TC with a firm who can pay your fees.
    Good luck!

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  • The NY Bar is of course an option (as is qualifying in any foreign jurisdiction) but it is horribly expensive, potentially impossible to pass and you’d still need relevant employment to fulfil the experience requirement…

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  • The NY Bar is not that expensive in comparison with the LPC fees; £3000 and £10000 respectively.
    Impossible to pass = everything is if one does not put the effort required..

    relevant experience = CAB + other paralegal work are enough as long as supervised by a solicitor

    Plus, dual qualification: attorney at law in NY and solicitor in the UK

    Its better than to seat and wait for the market to change to our advantage! and even if it and when it changes, can you imagine the amount of people that are going to be in the same position, fighting for the same thing:TC at least with the NY bar one can stand out from the crowd with another qualification and if needed take the LPC when there is enough money in the bank!

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