The University of Law has promised to reimburse Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) graduates with 50 per cent of their fees if they fail to find employment within the ‘legal and commerce fields’ after nine months of graduating from their Legal Practice Course (LPC).
The offer only applies to students who continue to study at the university, completing an LPC after their GDL. It comes off the back of the university promising to reimburse LPC graduates if they do not find employment in the ‘legal or commerce’ sectors within nine months of graduating. The university has not stated its exact definition of ‘commerce’.
The offer applies to students enrolling on the GDL and LPC this September and is intended to demonstrate the university’s links with legal industry employers. ULaw’s LPC fees vary from £10,950 to £14,765 for the LPC and £8,050 to £10,200 for the GDL, depending on the location of study.
To qualify for reimbursement, students must pass all of their modules the first time round and must have attended at least 80 per cent of classes. They are not allowed to intermit, defer or transfer at any point during the course and must “have consistently used [their] best endeavours to obtain Qualifying Employment throughout the nine months since graduating from the LPC”.
The university will also assess the extent of graduates’ contact with its careers centre.
A spokesperson from the University of Law (ULaw) said: “We’ve had a hugely positive response to the announcement of our employment promise, and we are delighted to be extending it to include our GDL students who go onto do their LPC with us in 2016.
“With this offer we are backing ourselves and our students and we believe we have every reason to be confident. Not only do we have the experience and the expertise we already have a 97 per cent graduate employability rate, we secured more training contracts for our students than any other law college in 2014 and have strong links with major law firms across the country.”
The university says 97 per cent of its LPC students find employment within nine months of graduating, but does not elaborate on what constitutes employment. This figure also includes those students who also have already been offered training contracts by ULaw’s preferred provider firms.
This is not the first sweetener offered to postgrad law students. In 2013, ULaw’s big rival BPP began offering students who did not obtain legal employment in the six months after graduation a free place on another course.
The news comes after some internal changes at ULaw. The University was sold to Global University Systems for an undisclosed sum within three years of being bought by Montagu Private Equity. John Latham, who replaced longstanding chief Nigel Savage at the top, has departed after less than two years as CEO, with Johnston replacing him.
Meanwhile, ULaw has launched a business school, De Broc, which will run undergraduate degrees in business and management, business and finance and business and marketing.