University of Law student Katie Bewick shares her experience of the LPC.
Name: Katie Bewick
Degree: BA Geography
University: University of Durham
Law School: The University of Law, York (GDL) and Bloomsbury (LPC)
A-levels: English, French, Geography
Hobbies: Playing sport, travelling
Why do you want to become a solicitor and what area do you hope to specialise in?
I have always wanted a job that is intellectually challenging, has variety and draws on a range of skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving. I have always enjoyed working in a team and believe my strengths lie in this, alongside good communication skills and an ability to build strong client relationships. I have an interest in employment and family law; however, my firm offers a range of practice areas so I’m remaining open-minded as to which area I might specialise in.
Why The University of Law?
While I was still studying at Durham, I decided to start looking round law schools. The University of Law at York was accessible from Durham so chose to attend an open day there and I never looked back. I was instantly met with a warm, friendly atmosphere and the centre is situated in a great location overlooking York racecourse. I then decided to move down to London to the Bloomsbury centre to study my LPC.
Do you have a training contract lined up?
I was fortunate to secure a training contract at Thomas Eggar at the end of my GDL year. I start in September 2013.
How are you funding the course?
My firm is sponsoring me to complete the LPC. For the past four years I have also had a summer job at the Wimbledon Championships and last year I also worked at the Olympics, which has largely funded London living.
How does the LPC differ from your degree and/or GDL? Has it been a steep learning curve?
The GDL and LPC have been much more structured compared to my degree, which I have adapted well to. There are many more hours of face-to-face tuition and group-based learning and there is also preparatory work to do for each workshop. At university, the workload and time management were much more independent.
What is the social life like?
There is always plenty going on at The University of Law. At both the York and Bloomsbury centres I have been a member of the netball team. There are also plenty of places around the Bloomsbury area to relax after a long day.
What about pastoral care, such as the careers service?
The University of Law has a strong reputation for its careers service. The team is brilliant and always on hand to help. Having secured my training contract at the end of the GDL year, my experience of the careers team was at the York centre. I frequently visited for interview tips, CV and application checking and took advantage of the resources available to me on their website.
What pitfalls have you encountered when trying to secure a training contract?
The legal market is currently an extremely competitive workplace and it is often quite difficult to secure that much-desired training contract. Firms receive a vast number of applications, so it is important to research the firm well, tailor your application accordingly and try to submit the application some time before the deadline. It is also important to preserve and build on any negative experiences in a positive way.
What top tip would you give to someone who is considering applying for the LPC?
I would advise to consider your options and to do your research. It is important to be aware that it is quite a lengthy process and there is the possibility that you may have to take a year or two out after finishing your LPC. Many firms offer paralegal positions, so this is something to bear in mind for the interim period, either before or after the LPC