Taking the less travelled route can be a smart move
BPP University’s Careers Team look at some of plusses of commencing the LPC in the New Year
1. The January start LPC has more of a personal touch
The September start cohort at BPP University in London contains over 1,000 students. In contrast, around 200 students commence our London LPC in January. In regional centres the ratio is similar. What that can mean is more of a personal touch from tutors and generally more space — for example the library is much quieter in the summer. You’re a bigger fish in a smaller pond.
2. You can fit in some travel first
If you worked very hard through your law degree, some recovery time in addition to the summer break may help to avoid burnout. At the same time, you may not want to take a full gap year. Autumn is a good time to go away for an extended break — the Far East is lovely at this time of year — before coming back completely refreshed and ready to start the LPC in January.
3. Late finishers don’t have to put their life on hold for a year
Similarly, starting in January allows students who have had re-sits or been ill while at university to avoid losing a whole year. They can get their results in October and be ready to go in the New Year.
4. Starting in January means you’re more aligned with undergraduate study
The peak pressure time on the LPC is when you sit the core practice area exams at the end of Stage One, which is January for the September start LPC and May for January starters. In terms of timing, that is when most students are used to taking big exams.
5. December is kept free for vac schemes
Increasingly firms are offering winter vacation schemes, which aren’t easy to do if you are on the September start LPC. Mostly they are less subscribed than summer schemes. So if you lack legal work experience it makes sense to spend the autumn applying for work placements. Many of these programmes come with training contract interviews, and we work with firms in order to facilitate sponsorship of the LPC where students secure positions.
6. You set yourself up to begin a job when the market is less saturated
The January start LPC still fits in well with the legal profession’s timetable. Many large firms have a second intake in March and smaller firms recruit on an ad hoc cycle in any event. January start students get results in October so you are ready to start a training contract as soon as the firm needs you.
7. Being part of a smaller pool can throw up interesting opportunities
We had one student in the last January cohort who, having done really well in her debt finance exam, secured a paralegal role at the Loan Markets Association after they came to us seeking a good quality candidate. We encouraged her to apply, and she was able to start the role immediately after completing the course. The student has since used that experience to help secure a training contract at Clifford Chance.
You can apply for the January start LPC at BPP University here.
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