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The Legal Practice Course (LPC) is the vocational stage of training to be a solicitor that must be taken after completing a law degree or the GDL conversion course. It is a one-year, full-time (or two-year, part-time) course designed to provide a bridge between academic study and training in a law firm. It is both knowledge and skills-based, and it aims to ensure that you are able to do the work of a trainee solicitor under proper supervision when you begin your training contract.
The LPC is practical in nature and the focus is firmly on mastering relevant skills. The emphasis is on workshops, continuous assessment, independent research and group discussions. It also allows you a certain amount of specialisation through a range of optional subjects. You will find that the LPC provides a good practical foundation for your early years of practice at a law firm.
Since 2009, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has allowed course providers to split the LPC in half, separating the compulsory subjects (stage one) from the optional electives (stage two, which students have the option of completing at a later date – even during their training contracts). However, the reality is that most course providers anticipate that the majority of students will opt to take stage two immediately after completing stage one, so full-time students usually complete the LPC in the space of one academic year, before their training contracts commence.
Change ahead: the Solicitors Qualifying Examination
The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is a new exam in development that all trainee solicitors will have to pass at the point of qualifying, which is to be introduced in 2020. For more information, read our Feature article, “The Solicitors Qualifying Examination: everything we know so far”. Also use our search function and search for "SQE" for all the latest news stories and comment.