If you’re a bit of an art lover, you’ll enjoy walking to BBP Bristol’s campus while graffiti spotting Banksy’s work on the city’s walls and buildings. Often, though, you’ll be learning online from pre-recorded lectures uploaded to the Virtual Learning Environment. Twice a week face-to-face tutorials foster a decent sense of camaraderie and social scene.
In terms of teaching, the “tutors and materials are all very helpful”. LPC students get “a lot of individual attention”. This is due to the low student to teacher ratio, as BPP Bristol is a comparatively small cohort. The upside is that it’s “easy to get to know everyone” and “you won’t feel like a tiny fish in a big pond”. But the small class sizes make it “very difficult to hide away”, so make sure you come to seminars prepared.
BPP’s Bristol campus is one of its smaller ones and as such doesn’t have a full-time pro bono or careers service. However, LPC students receive “regular emails from a careers or pro bono representative” about events. The Bristol campus does host a mini law fair, a shadowing scheme and various ‘speed-networking events’, including one with the Bristol Junior Lawyers division.
Bristol BPP students have also had the opportunity to do work experience at Simmons & Simmons on the firm’s Access to Justice pro bono project, which deals with welfare benefit appeals at the First Tier Tribunal.
On the whole the choice of electives is uniform across all BPP centres. Be mindful that the LPC at BPP is geared towards corporate legal careers, with a strong emphasis on business skills and “professionalism”. While there are family, immigration law and personal injury electives on offer, finance and commercial topics constitute the overwhelming majority.
But if you already have a training contract lined up, it’s likely you’ll be required to choose the “standard City” electives anyway. Being the biggest city in the South West means that Bristol is home to a variety of commercial law firms: Burges Salmon, TLT, Osborne Clarke, Womble Bond Dickinson and Irwin Mitchell all have offices nearby.
While Bristol has all the cultural perks of London, it has a more “relaxed feel” compared to the capital. It’s well known for its live music scene, Georgian architecture and the Clifton suspension bridge that hangs above the river Avon. Bars and restaurants line the harbour side, but for the big nights out, Motion – a warehouse nightclub with a 6am curfew – is the place to be.