Advice

Can you start a training contract without having completed the LPC?

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19

We asked the Solicitors Regulation Authority for its advice on this little-known route to qualification

A Legal Cheek reader has approached us with this query about the Legal Practice Course (LPC):

Do you have to have finished the LPC before you undertake a training contract? My daughter is set to do the LPC in September but has been asked to start a two-year training contract as soon as possible.

Though the most common, well-known route to solicitor qualification is — and has long been — to complete your postgrad vocational education before you start your training, it’s not the only way. As per rules laid down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), you can study the LPC and do a training contract concurrently — and we wanted to find out more about this little-known route to qualification. We put our reader query to the SRA, and here is its response:

You do not have to finish an LPC before staring a training contract.

You can also train while studying the LPC, but if you are therefore working part-time, your training contract will be extended.

SRA regulations say that the total length of time spent training depends on the usual number of days worked each week (not including overtime or weekend work). For example, a full-time training period, where a trainee works five days per week, is for two years (730 calendar days, or 522 working days).

So, as a guide, if the trainee works:

· two and a half days per week, the period is four years (1,460 calendar days)

· three days per week, the period is three years and four months (1,216 calendar days)

· four days per week, the period is two years and six months (913 calendar days)

The time spent in a part-time-study training contract counts at half time (i.e. two years in the part-time-study training contract counts as one year of the total training period). More information on this can be accessed via the SRA’s ‘Authorised Training Provider information pack’.


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19 Comments

Anonymous

Too late. Someone will have screenshottes

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Anonymous

Screenshottes? Are you the same person who claims partners have “gropped by ass”? I’d love to know what you’re trying to achieve. And bet you’re not a trainee (surely trainees are not thick enough to engage in this kind of identifying, career-endangering online behaviour). Why not let us know what your real beef is….

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Anonymous

Haha, no I’m someone else.

And I imagine OP posted from a personal phone to avoid being tracked by IT.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Aw, I thought I’d pinned down the poster by identifying a pattern of typos. Maybe HR can try that approach if looking at browser histories doesn’t yield results.

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Anonymous

If the person is telling the truth, given that they only offer 10 TCs per round, and this person is presumably female and says how long she has been at the firm, I doubt they even need to check browsing history to identify. But my guess is that this is not in fact a trainee but some other individual with an axe to grind against the partners.

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Anonymous

Juicy gossip

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Hardly.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

But has anyone ever secured a training contract at a decent firm with this route?

(8)(1)

Anonymous

I might be wrong, but I think at the top civil liberties/human rights firms, (where admittedly there isn’t as much prestige/money/brand name), training whilst doing the LPC is normal. But they don’t pay for the LPC (I think), life’s much harder in those firms.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

There is a bigger issue here you should have asked the SRA about. Why are they suggesting that with the new SQE system that not you can complete parts of your period of recognised training before even completing your degree, but that also the work experience can be completed in organisations that do not even have solicitors working in them?

(1)(0)

L

Apparently you don’t need to have done a law degree or the GDL either, according to the new proposed plans…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Until recently Eversheds used to offer a “combined study training contract”.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Am doing this right now – part time LPC and full time TC – one can finish both at the same after two years.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Who GAF. Figure it out on your own without LC or your Mummy to help you.

(7)(2)

Anonymous

😂😂😂

(5)(0)

Anonymous

SRA meh

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Yes you certainly can and I’m starting mine 2 months before I finish my final LLB year. You can run a TC alongside a qualifying law degree or GDL and take your LPC anytime but must complete it before being admitted on the roll!

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Why not start your TC when you start infant school? As long as you finish all your compulsory education, degree, LPC before you finish it’s fine!

(5)(1)

In-house lawyer

A number of training contracts recruit people with a GDL or LLB, who subsequently study the LPC while working as a trainee. The advantages include the fact that you’re being paid a full-time salary, rather than a miniscule grant. For example:

http://www.btgraduates.com/our-programmes/uk-graduate-programmes/roles/legal

“This programme involves three years packed full of experience, responsibility, variety, training, study and a good deal of hard work. In years one and two, you’ll do seats with the commercial, litigation and competition teams. You’ll also study part-time for your Legal Practice Course (LPC) with BPP University (with the option of writing a dissertation to graduate with a Masters of Laws (LLM) or MA (LPC with Business))… We’ll pay for your exams and qualification, and you’ll also get time off for study and exam leave. In year three, having completed your LPC, you’ll be able to choose further seats, from employment law, corporate and major deals/transactions or data protection/privacy.”

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