Choosing to study the LPC can seem like one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make. Whilst everyone knows that the journey probably isn’t going to be a walk in the park, the immense workload, (and lack of social life) can quickly make it feel like you’re starting to question your decision to study it in the first place (I’d know, I’ve been there). But fear not, I’m here to tell you that if you start as you mean to go on, you WILL get there!
This article isn’t here to guarantee you success (that’s down to how much work you actually put in), but it sure will try and help you along the way! So, from someone who’s started, and completed the LPC (almost), here are my top 5 tips for success!
Get yourself a suitcase.
Nothing can prepare you mentally (or physically) for the amount of study materials you’ll have to pick up from your university at the beginning of your LPC. But even worse, depending on your timetable, you might find yourself having to carry your Butterworth’s Company Law Handbook (which will make an excellent door stop one day), and all of your Litigation materials in on the same day (I’m speaking from experience). So save yourself the backache, and get yourself a long lasting, sturdy suitcase! Trust me; you don’t want to tire yourself out carrying books during the day, when you know you’ve got a long night of seminar preparation ahead of you, most days!
2. Stay organised!
It goes without saying that you should start as you mean to go on, but getting yourself a diary/planner at the very start of your course will definitely help you along the way! Whilst most universities will provide you with a ‘study planner’, it may not fit in with your schedule. Planning out seminar preparation and deadlines well in advance, as well as adding in guest lectures, skills workshops, law fairs, training contract interviews, will help you deal with the workload in a more efficient way. You might even be able to keep a part of your social life!
3. Try not to miss any lectures or seminars
Unlike university, where lectures are compulsory, during your LPC they are entirely optional. Though this is the case, I’d strongly advise you to attend all lectures. Not only because face-to-face teaching will help you absorb the heap of information a lot more easily, but it’s always better to be able to clarify tricky areas and topics with the lecturer. If however, there is a reason why you can’t attend a particular lecture or seminar, catch up on all of the work as soon as possible. The LPC is a very fast-paced course. With each seminar focusing on a completely different topic, if you ever miss out on one and don’t catch up straight away, it’s very likely that you’ll miss out on vital information! Most tutors are accommodating, and will be more than happy to go over any missed concepts with you, if you just ask!
4. Attend everything
Law fairs, networking events, legal talks, and workshops – the legal profession is one where networking is key. Attending any of these events is an excellent way for you to make key contacts in the profession. Plus it’s always handy to be able to stock up on stationary mid-way through the year – you can never have too many pens!
5. Try to make your revision notes as you go along
There’s nothing worse than getting to a month before exams and realising you have about 10 topics of notes to write for one module, with about 5 exams coming up. I’d advise you to make notes as you go along. The way I did it when I was studying my core modules during my LPC was to go home and write up my revision notes on the same night that I had my seminar. Not only is all the information fresh in your mind (meaning you won’t miss out any key information), but it will also help you to identify any tricky areas. It gives you enough time to go over and clarify all these with your tutor, and will leave you a lot more time to go over past paper questions during exam time!
Try and make yourself a group of friends in your seminar group at the beginning of your course. Not only will you all be spending an awful lot of time together throughout the year, but you’ll all be able to help each other out with things you’re finding tricky. This post may come across as self-explanatory, but with the significant workload, you’ll probably feel like you’re drowning in work and not sure who to turn to by the end of the first week of your LPC – and that’s okay! I felt that way very early on, and I can guarantee that everyone on your course is in the same boat. As long as you start you LPC as you mean to go on, and stay focused, in my opinion, you’ve already won half of the battle!
By Sunira Patel