Close to its neighbouring cities Manchester and Birmingham, and only an hour and a half from London by train, Stoke-on-Trent has good transport links to major legal hubs in the country. Staffordshire Law School, with its relatively small cohort, is known for its supportive environment. Our LPC spies tell us that tutors are “approachable and helpful”.
The quality of teaching scores pretty well with students. Lecturers “work/ed in practice so often provide real life examples to help explain scenarios”. This helps LPCers feel well prepared for future practice: “I know that I am entering the profession with the best possible start which is a priceless feeling!” a student tells us. The classes are “small” so “all the lecturers know you by name”. A “wide variety of online and library resources, coupled with a large amount of printing credit” are also a Staffs bonus, another student tells us.
The LPC itself is a pretty flexible affair at Staffordshire. Over the years, the Staffs law school has adjusted the course to match the needs of students with work and family commitments alongside their studies. With this in mind, LPCers have the option to do 90% of the course online. Online study is supplemented by (very) small group sessions in the form of workshops. Great for close tutor support and individual attention. Full-time students can study the LPC by attending two full days, or four half days, per week.
There’s a decent spread of electives if you want to keep your options open. The law school does place a heavy focus on litigation – commercial, personal injury and advanced criminal litigation are all on the menu. For the commercially-minded student, there’s corporate finance, acquisitions, commercial property and business electives to enjoy. If those don’t tickle your fancy, students can opt for the private client, employment, immigration and family electives. However, one LPCer says that the choice is “never very varied” as sometimes “staff come and go”, which can affect which electives are available. Be sure to double check before enrolling. Still, if crime is your favourite, then Staffs reportedly has “the best criminal litigation lecturer around”.
An unusual feature of studying the LPC at the Staffs law school is that you’ll get a guaranteed place on its mentoring scheme. The scheme provides LPC students with work experience at a regional law firm. The careers service also hosts a networking event to bring together students and recruiters from a broad set of industries. The course is “focused more on high street firms” around Stoke, but there’s nothing stopping students from targeting training contracts elsewhere.
The LPC is a challenging (survival-of-the-fittest) course wherever you choose to do it. One part time LPCer has described it as an “18 month drudgery”. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, though, and at Staffs law school you can celebrate it at their glitzy end of year ball.