BPP to offer unemployed graduates free courses

BPP Law School is offering students who do not obtain legal employment in the six months after graduation a free place on another course.

The private provider is allowing legal practice course (LPC) students who are not successful in their search for a permanent legal role to undertake another qualification worth up to £16,500 for free. The offer is also open to students starting BPP’s LLB and graduate diploma in law (GDL) courses in September who then go on to study the LPC.

BPP is billing the offer as “reflective of (their) confidence in the employability of (their) LPC graduates”. In 2011-12, 89 per cent of BPP LPC graduates were working in legal employment within 3 months.

Students have to be able to demonstrate that they have made a “reasonable” effort to secure legal employment, although no application quota has been set.

Dean and chief executive of BPP Law School Peter Crisp said that the offer was: “a way of demonstrating our commitment to enhancing the CVs of all of our students.”

He added: “Feedback from our law firms reveals that they want their trainees to have business and commercial awareness – the LPC alone is not enough today. BPP is the only law school which offers taught business modules allowing students to demonstrate commercial awareness and graduate with a Masters in Business as well as their LPC.”

“Students do need to understand that it is not just about the law, the reason trainees and students are successful is that they have commercial awareness, they understand that law is about business. A lawyer is one of a number of professionals advising on a transaction.”

When asked if BPP should recognise any permanent legal employment as a suitable position for a self-funded LPC graduate, Crisp said: “We have to recognise the reality of the situation. What this does is offer a guarantee that if graduates do not have a suitable position six months after graduating they can return for more training and support, which I think is what we ought to be doing.”

“The reason I wanted to cast the net wider than training contracts is that the reality is that it is very difficult to get a job as a paralegal without the LPC. A number of people who graduate from the LPC are looking for paralegal roles, partly as a way to a future training contract and as a way of demonstrating their commitment to the profession.”

The provider has stopped short of letting students take its bar professional training course, priced at £17,350, but will supply any LLM degree or any MSc degree at its business school for free.

Graduates can also take free qualifications to become chartered accountants, chartered management accountants, chartered financial analysts or chartered tax advisers. The New York Bar course is available under the offer, although GDL students are not usually able to qualify for its intake, as is any Continuing Professional Development Course (CPD).

The offer applies across BPP’s law schools in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Cambridge, Bristol and Liverpool.

Last month, Osborne Clarke switched its GDL and LPC provision to BPP from the University of Law (11 April 2013).