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

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By Legal Cheek on

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’.

Do you have a qualification query? Send it in to and let us help get it answered.

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