In the same neighbourhood as the Royal Courts of Justice, the Law Society and a number of top firms and chambers, BPP’s Holborn campus is located at the epicentre of London’s legal life. Students say they gained “increased commercial awareness”, and “higher technical ability” with the LPC. But because of its high price tag (over £16k), they overwhelmingly advise “getting a training contract first with a firm doing the six month LPC as this is the best way to do BPP”.
The quality of teaching at the Holborn campus gets a thumbs up: tutors are “knowledgeable”, “highly intelligent” and impart their “expertise in an engaging manner”. Though “some [are] better than others”, for the most part the teaching is “excellent”. One LPCer complains that you: “start the year with a million pages of photocopied notes, study guides and lectures, in lieu of proper teaching”. But many students like this approach and don’t mind that “they were teaching from a BPP-constructed lesson plan”.
The LPC itself at BPP is “functional”. It’s “designed to get you through the exams”, and so it may feel “rigid”. Tutors “teach you what you need to know”. The choice of electives is “solid”, and some say better than rival law schools. The “standard City courses were covered so I made my choice immediately”. But “others struggled”: be mindful that the electives at BPP are geared towards the corporate and commercial practice areas. If you want to do family law, human rights there’s less on offer. The consensus is, though, that there’s still “more than enough to pick from”. “Most people I know were able to do electives they wanted,” a recent graduate tells us.
Course materials are “sufficient”. Some students think that they’re “ridiculously designed”, “too wordy” with “loads of unnecessary, lengthy ‘extra, non-examinable’ reading”. A common complaint is that the materials are “really let down by typos”. But despite “a number of inaccuracies”, the materials are “good preparation for the exam” and “covered everything we could need”.
Some students love the online resources: “Everything is at your finger tips”. You can even “teach [the LPC] to yourself with the solutions and online materials”. Others complain that they’re in need of modernisation: “Outdated, not interactive, boring and long”. That’s law for you…
If you prefer the library, watch out for “a few mice”. Equally distracting are “people watching Netflix or having leaking headphones”. Study spaces fill up quickly, so be sure to “claim a desk” early. Otherwise, the study spaces are “perfectly fine” for some but “not bright at all” for others. There are also some exclusive areas: “those lucky enough to have a training contract have a private suite with a fridge”.
The careers service has mixed student reviews: “They handed out a bunch of fliers to my friends and wished them good luck”. For the most part though, it’s “helpful” but “basic”. One student has said they “didn’t get a magic circle TC, but still got a TC with their help. Had a mock interview which helped a lot”. But they have less “clue what to do if you don’t want to work at your standard commercial firm”. The careers team does organise a law fair, though Holborn insiders report that it’s “too crowded and in too small a space” so “it’s usefulness was limited”.
Pro bono opportunities are good: “Various projects to choose from and I made the most of it”. You have to apply, though. If you don’t get a place, the Free Representation Unit is a great option: “FRU is so close by I take breaks in between studying to go and work on cases there”.
Your social life may depend on your cohort; it’s great if you’re “lucky to be placed in a really fun and outgoing class”. The centre itself “did not create any opportunities for socialising so we obviously organised things ourselves”. Students make “good friends”, but say that largely people are there “purely to get the course out of the way”. This is “as expected on a competitive course like the LPC”. All in all, “great people – but the course doesn’t allow for drinking. Unlike the GDL and the Thirsty Bear” (though chances are you’ll get to know this drinkerie pretty intimately by the time you finish your course).
Be aware that if you plan to join the January cohort this means no face-to-face lectures. And if you’re planning to study the LPC part-time, there’s “generally a lack of understanding that setting huge amounts of prep for classes wouldn’t always be reasonable for people holding down busy jobs at the same time”.
As for preparation for legal practice, BPP Holborn’s LPC has: “given me a platform to start from, but no more than that”. So if you do decide to fork out on the course yourself, think of it as an “investment”. “The return should be fine” over the course of your career.