BIG STEP TO TAKE LPC (greater flexibility and to be taken over 5 years)ARE YOU IN A POSITION TO UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF A SOLICITOR i.e have you been in the legal environment; shadowed a solicitor – have a good idea what’s involved e.g. working long hours; working in teams and in close proximity with othersTHINK CAREFULLY WHY YOU WANT TO DO THE LPC – it isn’t an easy option!Huge competition for training contracts (get as much work experience as possible before applying for a training contract) Number of LPC grads outstrips the number of training contracts?Have you got good work experience (legally related is the most sought after but other experience is valuable)? Can you demonstrate the following skills (with evidence):Good interpersonal skillsHigh intellectual abilityStamina and willingness to work hard, often working antisocial hoursInitiativeGood judgementEnthusiasm and commitmentAttention to detailGood written and oral communication skillsAn interest in learning about new areas and providing clients with practical adviceCommon sense? Will you be happy with a great deal of teamwork? Comfortable with large amounts of client contact? Flexibility about travelling to other locations
Read the guidance notes very carefully www.cabs.ac.ukWill concentrate on ‘Other Information’ the personal statement but think carefully about what you enter into:Legal employment – make sure you include voluntary experiencesnon legal employment – again, include part-time and voluntary
BEFORE YOU START Brainstorm ideas: UNDERSTAND YOURSELF – (MOTIVATIONS FOR LAW, what have you learnt from experiences attitude to learning and hard work, personal achievements, do you highlight the range of skills required for the profession………)
The form provides some examples of what you could include but the underlying message to all information provided is Why would I make a good Solicitor????Why you are choosing law – show ENTHUSIASM, MOTIVATION, INTEREST and that you have done your research; that you understand what its all about. Where has this interest come from (reading, experience, previous studies, shadowing experience etc.)Why this particular course & institution (e.g. electives relate to your interests. Show research has been carried out on the course and the institution)What can you offer: time to show the Admissions Tutor that you have what they want; what an employer will want and the evidence to prove it.Future aspirations must reflect your knowledge of the legal profession and what opportunities exist. Do you know what areas of the law you are particularly interested in?Hobbies and interests – again, must be specific, convey what they have given you in terms of skills etc. and try to relate in some way to what is relevant to becoming a lawyerFinal paragraph to summarise why they must consider you!
Be specificProvide real reasons backed up with evidence. When did you become interested in Law…how has that interest been developed?Persuade them that they need to read about you because you are the right applicant!
Be specific: demonstrate that you have done your researchIs the programme noted for a particular specialism that you are interested in?Have you identified particular academic staff who you would like to work with?Does the course have a particular structure that appeals to you?
Carefully analyse your work and life experiences to understand what you have gained that relates to what is required for the course and to pursue a career in law. Consider the skills required by a Solicitor:Excellent interpersonal skillsTeamworkExcellent written and oral communication Stamina and willingness to work hardEnthusiasm and commitment………………………………..
Career aims – ideas about where you would like to be in 5 years timeShow you have researched the profession and know the possible opportunitiesWork abroad?
What did you gain from these?Societies, sports etc.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:STRUCTURE: IS STATEMENT WELL STRUCTURED AND HAS A LOGICAL FLOW?FOCUS: DOES IT CLARIFY WHY YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LAW AND HOW THIS INTEREST HAS DEVELOPED?EVIDENCE OF SUITABILITY: DO YOU GIVE EVIDENCE THAT YOU WILL SUITABLE FOR THE COURSE AND THE CAREER (DO YOU HIGHLIGHT THE RANGE OF SKILLS WHICH YOU POSSESS – communication, teamwork, problem solving, decision-making, time management, INTERPERSONAL SKILLS …. BE SPECIFIC!PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE: DO YOU GIVE EVIDENCE OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE i.e. knowledge of the legal profession and the training provider you are applying toMOTIVATION: HAVE YOU CONVEYED YOUR MOTIVATION, ENTHUSIASM,
Don’t repeat information you have provided elsewhere on the form
Don’t repeat information you have provided elsewhere on the form
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