Alongside “good facilities” and “good links to industry”, BPP Leeds’ has a reputation for excellent pastoral care, recent grads tell us. There are “some very caring staff” and there’s “always someone to help you”. The “pastoral care/thoughts for wellbeing” is especially “well-handled”.
This is a refreshing approach to the BTC and it seems that tutors genuinely want to give students a leg up to help them reach success at the Bar: “The tutors are lovely and dedicated”, reports another BTCer. Plus you are being “taught by practitioners on the local circuit [which] will mean already having local colleagues nearby when in practice”. If you’re planning to stay in Leeds post-graduation, Exchange, New Park Court, St Pauls and Kings Chambers are just a selection of sets that are within walking distance of the law school.
While they may have their students’ best interests at heart, the quality of teaching, though “generally good”, does appear to vary in parts. “Occasional tutors were very good, others relied purely on the teaching materials provided by BPP,” says a recent graduate. To the extent that, some classes “would have been as equally well given by a text to speech app”. Ouch. There “were only a few London-only electives”, reports one graduate, adding: “Those available were very interesting”.
BPP’s course materials are said to be decent. The crime textbooks are particularly “useful” as they “followed the lectures”, says one BTCer. Another reports that the materials are “adequate” as a whole, but “nothing to get excited about”. The fact that there are “provided books (White book, Archbold etc) included made the fees feel slightly less extortionate”. Online resources might need some tidying up though: they’re “scattered around different files and different subjects have different filing systems”.
Careers service is “alright” – defined as “nothing amazing but also not terrible” by one BTCer. Others didn’t hear what they wanted to hear: “They recommended I went into management consultancy – which is the worst option anyone could have given me”. One key piece of advice is to be proactive: “I did a lot of self-organised pro bono” beyond the opportunities provided by the careers service.
Ultimately, the BTC is about getting from A to B, and BPP knows how to take students through the process while giving them a decent shot at pupillage. If you get a scholarship (see below and also the Inns of Courts’ websites), you’ve got a good chance of making it. “I get the impression I will learn actual practice during pupillage, the BTC was about passing the exams rather than anything to do with real life”. At least you’re likely to gain “a few good friends during the course”. At first, “a lot of people were so full of themselves that it was hard to get past their ego to talk to their face”. You’ll get there, eventually.