The roaring eBay trade in law school notes

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Following our recent story about the Kennedys solicitor who’s flogging her old GDL and LPC notes online via two custom websites she has set up, we have been alerted to several other similar, if less sophisticated, ventures…

Here are some examples of what is currently on offer on eBay:

“LPC Notes 2013 – Core Subjects (University of Law)” [oliverlock88]

“Legal Practice Course Revision Notes LPC Law Exam Notes” [cloudstrife548]

“LPC Notes Current Year 2013 / 2014 Updated Core Modules Law” [master_qin_lei]

“Bar Professional Training Course Notes and Question Answers BPTC All subjects” [bptcnotes]

“Deluxe LPC Notes Revision Pack” [oze2k]

We asked two legal academics what they thought of students buying notes this way. This is what they told us.

Angus MacCulloch​, director of undergraduate studies at Lancaster University Law School

“As the author of a student textbook I can’t be too sniffy about anyone who sells course related material to students. While I don’t have an objection in principle I’d give the same word of warning as I’d give to students who were interested in any other shortcut ‘revision guide’ — be very aware of who you are buying it from and how useful or accurate it might be. Would you be willing to cite it in an assessment? If not, how useful is it?

“There is already a wealth of authoritative material, paid for by your institution, in the library — use it first.”

Dagmar Steffens, head of the LPC at UWE’s Bristol Institute of Legal Practice

“If I was a student considering adding to the considerable bulk of materials already provided to me (and why would I!), I cannot see how I would make the judgement as to the quality of the notes I am purchasing. I know some of the sellers advertise having passed the LPC with distinction, but what about individual subject marks? And do the grades achieved actually mean that the notes are of high quality? Some people never take proper notes but still pass exams well — they are a type of learner different from one who succeeds through diligent note taking. How would you know that the notes you are acquiring are correct? It’s would be a bit like relying on Wikipedia for your professional law exams…

“The notes on eBay look very glossy, indicating that somebody has been through them, typing them up and streamlining the way they are structured, which changes their character from that of notes to that of just another LPC manual, but this time authored by an unknown quantity! Really, note taking is part of the process of learning — to use notes produced by other students defeats the purpose of your own note taking and might diminish your motivation to do so properly.”

Solicitor at top corporate firm is flogging GDL and LPC notes to hard-up students [Legal Cheek]