Positioned on the edge of this great city’s Knowledge Quarter, the school of law at the Liverpool John Moores University (LMJU) is inside the shiny, six-floor Redmonds building. When it was designed its purpose was to “encourage students to stay and work in the building”. Well, LPCers may not have much choice.
One feature of every LMJU campus lobby, including the school of law, is a Starbucks. You’ll probably need the extra coffee as there will be “a lot of work to get through”. The LPC here is “the most demanding course” that some students have ever taken. You’ll be confronted with a sizeable volume of work from the get go: “My initial impression was the volume of work, not only the reams of paperwork involved and the several rain forests we took home with us on a weekly basis, but also the amount of necessary preparation for the following week’s small group session,” one recent graduate of the course told us.
Students should also make the most of the sometimes “fantastic” course tutors. But you’ll need to do the work for tutorials – they’re compulsory and attendance is strictly monitored. They require “100% commitment”, even if it means “putting your life on hold”. The hard work will pay off, as you’ll get the full benefit from the sessions if you come prepared for them. Plus the fact that tutorials are compulsory demonstrates a genuine commitment to face-to-face learning. This is in contrast to some LPC providers, where you could pretty much learn the course using online resources. Teaching at LMJU is spread across small tutorials (of approximately 20 students), larger lectures, skills workshops, and transaction-based role-playing. It is surprising then that the LPC at LJMU is a lot more affordable than at other providers.
Attending these intense classes will also mean you’ll get to know fellow LPCers: “I was able to make friends with a number of people in my group who are still friends of mine now the course has finished”. Having peer support is a key survival tactic for the LPC. Though remember to be “self disciplined from the very beginning of the course” to keep the stress levels to a minimum. By tackling the LPC “methodically and consistently one can survive it… just”.
The choice of electives at LMJU is a bit more balanced than at other providers where there’s a stronger focus on corporate and finance topics. At LMJU, they’re all fused into one elective, ‘general commercial law’. Other electives range from advanced personal injury, advanced criminal litigation, client in the community, employment, and family law.
The careers service is “good for interview / CV advice”. Beyond the usual pro bono legal advice centre, LJMU has a specific wills and administration clinic, as well as a family drop-in clinic. There is a ‘Solicitor Mentor Scheme’ that pairs students with solicitors and gives them the opportunity to do work experience in their legal area of interest. Beyond the campus, law firms are in close proximity: DLA Piper, DWF, Hill Dickinson and Weightmans all have offices around the city.
In keeping with the face-to-face ethos, perhaps the biggest draw is the school’s personal touch which students noted: “I was never a number and always a person and this helped greatly,” says one insider.