Bristol is a large city with a ‘village’ feel. And this sense of community spirit extends to the Bristol Law School at UWE (University of the West of England) as well. An LPC student has described its tutors as “people who care that you do well”.
Indeed, the quality of teaching is the law school’s USP. The staff, who are a small team of solicitors, “were all friendly, well informed and helpful throughout” the LPC. They’re “highly experienced, and were happy to explain anything”. This level of care might make the LPC experience feel more like an undergraduate degree: “I enjoyed the fact that the teaching was more similar to traditional university courses than other law schools,” a recent graduate tells us.
The manageable class sizes help to create this effect: most workshops have 12-16 students per group. You’ll be doing four workshops a week, on top of the optional lectures. Sessions using this format really have the potential to enable close tutor support on what is a demanding course. The course materials and online resources provided “all that was required”.
The choice of electives at UWE is impressive. Aside from the typical electives on offer at most LPC providers, such as commercial law, personal injury, clinical negligence, criminal litigation, employment and family law, UWE has some extras: there’s media and entertainment law, public child care, housing law practice and public company finance – all of which are niche in LPC terms. LPCers really are spoilt for choice. One spy reports that they “needed to press” for certain electives when there wasn’t sufficient demand for them. But, they were “eventually successful”.
LPCers say the study spaces are “excellent”. This might be something to do with a £55 million makeover the law school has had recently. The faculty now includes two showcase law courts, a pro bono clinic and even a City trading room (presumably a pretend one). “The new law school has amazing facilities!” reports one student.
It’s quite handy that Bristol houses a variety of commercial law firms: Burges Salmon, Simmons & Simmons, TLT, Osborne Clarke, Bond Dickinson and Irwin Mitchell all have offices nearby. Being the so-called ‘Capital of the West’ means that Bristol has one of the strongest legal hubs outside London. Worth noting that UWE is a bit out of town: Frenchay campus, where the LPC is delivered, is four miles from the city centre.