When I began the Legal Practice Course (LPC) after my Law LLB studies, I felt slightly lost and struggled with the transition from my previous degree. Change is hard – but it is good – with time, I got the hang of the LPC course and started to really enjoy it!
I hope my advice can help students who are in the same position I was in when I began my LPC studies.
What were the biggest challenges in going from the LLB to LPC?
The biggest challenge going from the LLB to the LPC for me was switching from essay-style exams to practice-based exams. For example, on the LLB course, I was encouraged to write in a more academic and ‘deeper’ style, often using ‘flowery’ language to make the essays and coursework sound more interesting and intellectual. I was used to writing this way during my GCSEs, A-Levels and undergraduate studies and it came naturally to me to be expressive and explore different issues when writing or answering questions in an exam.
On the LPC, we are expected to write in bullet points, short sentences, and to get straight to the point when answering a question. I found it very challenging to keep my answers short and simple and struggled in the first few weeks of the LPC course.
How did I overcome these challenges?
A way I overcame this challenge was to practice answering the workshop questions we are asked to prepare in advance of workshops and to consolidate after the workshops when I went home. The more practice I had, the more I improved!
In addition, the mocks really helped me to prepare as I was able to practice answering master’s level questions and work on my timing. The mocks were especially useful as I was able to receive feedback from my professors and understand where I went wrong so that I could work on this prior to the real assessments.
How can students prepare for the LPC before they start the course?
In order to prepare for the LPC before the course starts, simply enjoy your summer break after your undergraduate degree and prior to starting in September. This is my advice because you will be studying a lot once the course begins and a lot of your free time will be taken up by preparing for workshops, reading and studying for your assessments. The first term of the LPC course is quite intense as there are multiple modules to study at once and it can become overwhelming and difficult to balance everything sometimes. Besides, you deserve to have a wonderful summer and break after your undergraduate studies!!
Another way to prepare for the LPC is to buy a calendar. It is very important to stay organised and on track on the LPC if you want to achieve high grades and pass the exams. A calendar will be useful to track your progress, plan your time efficiently, and also allocate yourself breaks.
What advice would you give to a student about to make the transition – or currently struggling to cope with the transition?
My main advice is to not panic and overthink things. Being taught at master’s level is difficult but everything will make sense once you’ve practiced it a few times.
If you are worried about making the transition or are struggling to cope with the transition once the LPC course begins, speak to your personal tutor on either the undergraduate or course you are currently studying or on the LPC course. Your personal tutor is your first point of contact when you find something confusing, or you need some advice regarding your course and future plans.
My personal tutor at undergraduate level was extremely helpful by explaining the way in which the LPC course works and offered me advice and reassurance. I felt much better when I spoke to someone who understood how I felt. Similarly, my personal tutor on the LPC course is extremely kind and approachable and I’m able to visit her and speak to her when I have concerns or am worried about the course. I struggled with switching the way I write from LLB to LPC and was able to meet with my personal tutor for some advice on my mock exams where she explained where I may have gone wrong and how to improve.
You can also visit the Student Hub website and read the section ‘Helping you study’. Here, you’ll find lots of tips on how to do well on your course and where to get support if you are struggling.
I hope my advice has been helpful!
Written by Angjelina, Legal Practice Course (LPC) student at The City Law School