Applying for the LPC: personal statement and funding options Helen Meyer, Careers Advisor Careers and Placements Service
Pause to reflect: is it for you?Is it for you straightaway?• Am I informed enough?• Highly competitive labour market:• On track for 2:2 or above?• Legal work experience?• Fees are high – is it worth the investment ?
Researching the best fit for youInstitutions:• Appropriate electives?• SRA reports?• Level of fees?• Mode of study?• Staff student ratio?• Student destinations?Do your research to make sure it’s the best course for you
PERSONAL STATEMENTOther information BEFORE YOU START: • Consider the course criteria, what are your messages? What’s your evidence? • Be concise, focused, structured – remember you are training to be a lawyer • Compose in Word and cut and paste into the form • Check spelling and grammar again and again! • 10,000 characters only • Get help if you get stuck
Personal StatementSuggested structure:• Why you are choosing law (motivation, interest)• Why this particular course & institution• What you can offer (relevance of work experience, knowledge, academic skills, qualities, strengths and achievements)• Your future aspirations• Your hobbies and interests• Enthusiastic final paragraph Cover areas in major paragraphs
Personal StatementReasons for choosing law• Why law?• What has sparked your interest?• What evidence do you have?
Personal StatementWhy this subject/why this institution?
Personal StatementWhat can you offer?Relevant knowledge and skills gained from:• Legal work experience – highlight what you have learnt, the variety etc• Other relevant activities e.g. mooting, debating, Law Clinic…..• Other experience relating to your chosen area of law e.g. commercial experience if you are interested in company law
Personal StatementGeneral attainments• Extra curricular activities• Language or cultural awareness that helps you relate to clients• Other supporting comments e.g. about blips in academic results ……
Personal StatementFuture aspirations• Career aims• Don’t worry if not 100% sure what you want to do• Make sure your choices are realistic• Mention what areas you are interested in
PERSONAL STATEMENT Checklist: • Is it structured? • Does it express interest, enthusiasm, motivation? • Have you demonstrated your suitability with evidence (relevant experience, skills, qualities, achievements, skills, professional knowledge)? • Have you provided evidence of your research? • Have you checked your spelling and grammar? Have you convinced them that you are the right applicant?
Funding: College Scholarships, bursaries and awards• Check what is offered by the institution – eligibility and amounts vary• Access to Learning Funds: awarded to full- time students who experience particular difficulties in meeting living costs
Funding: Charities & Grant making trusts • Check The Grants Register, or The Educational Grants Directory (Careers Centre, or your local reference library) • Check eligibility criteria: may include - occupation (or parents’ occupation); religion; place of residence; situation e.g. women retraining after having had children;
Funding: Law Society schemesLaw Society Bursary Scheme• For “exceptional, aspiring entrants…”• Limited funds, intense competition (7:170).• Must have LPC place.Solicitors Diversity Access Scheme:• For those who “must overcome particular obstacles to qualify as a solicitor”.• For example: social, educational, or family circumstances or…• a disability or other needhttp://juniorlawyers.lawsociety.org.uk/career/funding#awards
Funding: Local Authority Grants• LPC categorised as a discretionary award, not mandatory• Check with your local authority & apply as early as possible• But very unlikely
Funding: Banks - professional loansfor law students Barclays and Cooperative Bank– special loans for LPC and GDL • Professional and Career Development Loan www.direct.gov.uk/pcdl
Funding: Awards and Scholarships e.g• Human Rights Lawyers Association http://www.hrla.org.uk• The H M Hubbard Law Scholarship - for those planning to study in France, Spain or Canada http://www.hubbardlawscholarship.com/
Funding: Employer sponsorship • Larger City firms fund LPC as part of recruitment package. Recruit two years ahead, highly competitive, may specify LPC provider and options chosen. (See Training Contract & Pupillage Handbook • or www.lawcareers.net) • Smaller firms – or current employer – might offer loan to potential trainees.
Funding: Portfolio Funding• i.e. a combination of sources of funding. Very few students will obtain all they need (fees, living costs, course materials) from one source.• Part-time work and part time study:
Useful Websites• www.prospects.ac.uk (law sector)• http://juniorlawyers.lawsociety.org.uk/care er/funding (Law Society)- good for the funding options• www.chambersstudent.co.uk Chambers Student Guide