Students recommend the Guildford law school for two main reasons – its lecturers and its parkland location (the campus is apparently “amazing”). ULaw “has been doing the LPC for the longest period of time. Very experienced and savvy tutors,” says one LPC student. The study environment includes “good teaching facilities and really nice break out areas full of greenery and tennis courts”.
In terms of teaching, Guildford scores pretty well: “Mostly good tutors with the odd bad one and occasionally an exceptional tutor,” one recent graduate tells us. LPC students say that “some were great and really enthusiastic”, while other tutors are less keen to impart their wisdom. Personal tutors are largely “incredibly supportive” and students are generally happy. The fact that the fees are £3,000 less than at ULaw’s London centres seems to play a part in this.
At Guilford, there’s a “wide selection of electives on offer”. Banking and debt finance, merger and acquisitions, competition law and intellectual property are all on the menu. Commercial topics heavily dominate the options, and there’s a real focus on business law across the core modules as well. For those less commercially inclined, electives include advanced criminal practice, personal injury, immigration and family law. One LPC student says: “My only comment would be that there could have been more advice regarding which electives to choose”.
In common with many LPCs, some students reckon that the Guildford course “prepares you for exams, not legal practice”. But most wannabe solicitors will agree that the LPC is just a necessary means to an end: “It got me the LPC which is a necessity if you want to progress with a legal career… that’s about it”. So “if you want to just get the LPC done like most, the year course is pretty good”.
The campus facilities should meet your LPC needs. The library is “well stocked”. But it is “small”, and hot in the summer. But if there’s a heatwave, students like to read outside, as the very green campus is set in beautiful grounds. Guildford is also small, “so you get to know most people”. Although students say there’s “little to no social organisations”, the “social life is good” if you “make the effort”.
There’s also a careers service on site: “The careers fair was good,” reports one student. Another Guildford LPCer wasn’t impressed, though: “I don’t believe I was given much exposure to law firms at all”. This could be because Guildford doesn’t have a city location. Overall, the careers service is well regarded and students seem to get out of it what they put in.
ULaw Guildford has “really good connections with firms in the area like Penningtons Manches and Stevens & Bolton” (Clyde & Co also has an office not far away too), and local law firms come to visit the campus. If you’re an aspiring City trainee, then fear not: the centre of legal London is only a 30-minute train ride away.
And although Guildford is no London, there’s still a nightlife to enjoy as a postgrad. The Casino club is a student favourite. Known as MNG among the veterans, ‘Monday Night Guildford’ is the main weekly event. For a more relaxing evening post-LPC tutorials, head to the Tickled Ivory Piano Bar, where you can enjoy live music and long cocktails. But it wouldn’t be a student town without a Wetherspoon’s, and Guildford doesn’t disappoint.