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University of Law launches money back guarantee for out-of-work LPC students

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ULaw offering 50% rebate of fees for those unable to secure job in “legal or commerce”

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Competition in the solicitor vocational training market ramped up several notches this morning, when one of the biggest providers launched a money back guarantee.

The University of Law — which several days ago confirmed a top-tier internal shake-up — has told Legal Practice Course (LPC) students that if they don’t bag a job within nine months of graduation they will be entitled to a rebate of half their tuition fees. This equates to over £7,000 for students at London ULaw branches.

It is a dramatic illustration of how cut-throat the LPC market appears destined to become, with the number of training places seemingly not recovering to pre-global financial crash levels.

ULaw’s move comes more than two years after its main rival, BPP Law School, launched a similar scheme which offers graduates who do not bag work within six months of graduating a free place on another course.

There are of course conditions attached to ULaw’s money back guarantee — not least that it does not apply simply to graduates who have been unable to bag training contracts. The small print explains that LPC grads will only be able to claim their rebate if they haven’t secured “qualifying employment”. This is defined as:

Employment in the UK or elsewhere, either a training contract as a trainee solicitor, lawyer or other legal professional, or other employment within law or commerce.

Ulaw reports that it has a 97% graduate employment rate (with 91% employed in law), meaning that on current form only three out of every 100 students would qualify for the deal. It is worth noting that many of ULaw’s students are on deals with law firms that have awarded them training contracts and are paying their tuition fees. That means ULaw is only taking a risk with those students that have not obtained training contracts in advance.

Commenting on the move, ULaw’s freshly appointed chief executive, David Johnston, said:

More than just a degree, today’s students want a clear return on their investment. For law graduates, this means one thing: securing a training contract or a full time job upon graduation.

Johnston was thrust into the spotlight only days after Legal Cheek exclusively reported that he had replaced John Latham at the Guildford-based university. That top table rejigging was the first significant move by businessman Aaron Etingen since his Netherlands-based company Global University Systems bought ULaw two months ago.

LPC tuition fees at ULaw vary from £10,950 to £14,765, depending on the branch.

20 Comments

Fortesque

This may be a potential game changer for ULaw’s current slump in face of its largest competitor, BPP.

Getting back over £7k makes much more sense to a struggling graduate than taking up BPP’s offer of studying some utterly useless diploma qualification.

Perhaps a sign of good things to come from GUS?

(11)(3)

Anonymous

A ‘game changer’ for the few lpc graduates who even fail to get a job in Starbucks but sadly not for anyone else.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

The point is not who it helps, but how many people it convinces to sign on the dotted line.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Maybe I should do the LPC without a TC and then take a year off to travel and complete applications. I can then reclaim my £7,000 and have a training contract.

N.b. I understand that it’s not THAT easy to get a training contract but, if you have a decent degree, it’s not exactly hard.

(8)(28)

Anonymous

Well that depends on your definition of ‘hard’ and ‘decent degree’.

Speaking as a TC holder I do find it quite amusing when those who don’t yet have one feel qualified to lecture on how easy it is to get one.

(21)(0)

Anonymous

‘hard’- comparable to getting pupillage
‘decent degree’- Oxbridge 1st or high 2.1

(2)(3)

Anonymous

Excellent plan. Very rtainly sounds preferable to getting a TC beforehand and being paid to do it.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

*Certainly… iPhone demons.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Very impressive. Good things are brewing at ULaw. About time!

(4)(3)

Anonymous

Good things? More like desperation.

(0)(1)

A

How are they going to define “commerce” could cover pretty much any job!

(6)(0)

FOARP

Just so. And now you may be wondering about those university courses where lecturers reassure their students about their employment prospects by telling them that they “managed to place 90% of them”, and whether that 90% just represents those who were in work the year after, including those working minimum-wage jobs entirely unrelated to their study.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

The employability figures at Ulaw were always fiddled, ask any person in the Careers dept and they can’t look you in the eye straight about the figures because Marketing really spun it – lots of hidden caveats.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

“Brewing at ULaw”…ha!

(0)(0)

Deed U No

I want my money back ! = I graduated with my LPC in 2000 – still no TC or any relevant Employment in the UK or elsewhere, either a training contract as a trainee solicitor, lawyer or other legal professional, or other employment within law or commerce.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

All well and good, but I imagine the % of those who don’t get any sort of office job nine months after completing the LPC is very low indeed.

I can’t imagine it will be so easy as to simply swan off travelling for a year and then claim your seven grand at the end of it either. There will be caveats.

I really don’t see this as an incentive for honest students. Nobody willing to fork over that much money in the first place will do so contemplating that there’s even a small chance of being unemployed nine months after graduating.

People don’t take the LPC to get a ‘job in legal or commerce’. They take it to get a training contract. That’s the whole point of the course. Money back if no TC after three years? That’s an incentive. But we know that hell will freeze over before that comes to pass.

(11)(0)

Ollie Trumpington

What about the same deal for BPTC students? ULaw would probably go bust but what a gesture!

(10)(0)

mdg

News Flash: In order to complete ULaw LPC, all students will be required to complete a mandatory non-paid ‘Legal’ or ‘Commerce’ placement in marketing department for 10 months after graduation.

Seriously… if it seems to good to be true…

(0)(0)

AnonLoL

Could try this with the BPTC….
If they changed becoming a ‘barrister’ to ‘barista’

(4)(0)

a shadowy figure

a non event. yes it will help the tiny percentage who take the LPC without a job lined up at the end/who don’t do it part time while working in a legal job.

(0)(0)

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