the academic degree and training contract. It is also possible to split the course into core and elective stages, enabling you to start your training contract sooner (ie, after having completed the core stage only) although in reality most students complete the LPC before their training contracts commence. Course content The LPC focuses on practical skills and the instilling of professional conduct and ethical standards. Teaching methods are no longer just academic: the emphasis is on workshops, continuous assessment, independent research and group discussions. The course also permits some specialisation through a range of optional subjects. In Stage One, the core subjects cover litigation, property, business, professional conduct and regulation, taxation, wills and the administration of estates. This stage also teaches students specific skills such as advocacy, drafting and writing, interviewing and advising, problem solving and legal research. This stage is completed at law school. Stage Two consists of electives from a range of subjects in private and corporate client work, including commercial law and practice, employment, intellectual property, consumer, housing, family and immigration. As stated above, it is possible to complete Stage Two during your training contract or while working at a law firm in another role (eg, as a paralegal or legal secretary), should you wish to do so. All institutions that offer the full-time LPC are managed by the Central Applications Board. You should contact them for an application form or apply online at www.lawcabs.ac.uk. Bar courses Anyone wanting to become a barrister must complete one of the new Bar courses, which effectively bridge the gap between the study
Course content The GDL is an intensive, demanding programme focusing on the seven foundations of legal knowledge, which are: • contract; • tort; • criminal;
• equity and trusts; • EuropeanUnion; • property/land; and • public.
Be aware that this stage of training is widely regarded as extremely difficult. Specific course content is set internally by individual institutions. However, for full-time students, the final examination will normally comprise a three-hour paper in each of the seven core areas. Although you have up to three years to complete the GDL, you will not be allowed to attempt any paper more than three times. Part-time and distance-learning GDL students must complete the course in no more than four years. As an alternative to the GDL, a two-year, senior-status law degree can be studied. After this degree, students go straight on to the appropriate vocational stage of legal training (ie, LPC or Bar course). A number of UK universities offer senior-status degrees. To check whether your preferred university offers a senior status degree, contact the SRA, as above. Finally, it is worth considering the fact that many institutions teaching both the GDL and LPC will automatically offer you a place on the latter if you successfully complete the former. LPC The LPC is the vocational stage of training to be a solicitor. It aims to provide students with sufficient knowledge and skills to ensure that they are well equipped to undertake the work of a solicitor. It is a one-year, full-time (or two- year, part-time) course designed to bridge
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