Trainee Amanda Applegate shares her experience of completing an LPC and how it readied her for becoming a trainee solicitor.
Before I received the incredibly exciting news that I would be starting my training contract at TLT in March 2019, I had already completed the LPC. Personally, I found that my experience studying for the LPC really helped prepare me for both the application process and starting my training contract. This is not just because of the practical legal knowledge that I acquired through studying, but also the opportunities that the course provides for the development of core skills including communication, organisation and commercial awareness.
Here are some of the top things I learned while undertaking the LPC.
The LPC developed my communication skills in multiple ways. The compulsory oral skills assessments, such as advocacy and interviewing, really improved my public speaking skills. As someone who wasn’t the most comfortable with public speaking before, my confidence in the area noticeably improved as the course progressed. These assessments, as well as the frequent presentations in workshops, meant I had plenty of opportunities to develop my confidence.
When it came to the presentation aspects of the TLT assessment day, what could have been a very daunting task, really wasn’t too bad! The LPC also developed my written communication skills; I learnt to write clearly, concisely and accurately, which is so essential when working in law (and this also helped during the written exercise on TLT’s assessment day).
Although I can’t say I enjoyed the heavy workload of the LPC at times, I have no doubt that my organisational skills were improved as a result. Time management was absolutely essential, to make sure that I stayed on top of my workload each week, and consequently I developed ways of organising my routine and workload. If I could share any sort of top tip, it would be to learn the art of prioritising. It will allow you to meet deadlines, but also reduce the amount of pressure that you place on yourself, by avoiding the "everything has to be done yesterday" mind set.
The LPC definitely encourages you to work smart and study efficiently in order to obtain maximum knowledge within a short time frame, and retain this knowledge to a sufficient level. This was particularly important for me because I worked part time during the course, as a Student Ambassador. Now that I have just started my second seat with TLT, I have definitely carried forward the methods of organisation that the LPC helped me to develop, as both time management and the ability to prioritise your workload are key skills for a trainee!
The LPC also taught me about the realities of working in a law firm, and consequently improved my commercial awareness. We learnt to consider the commercial context of the advice we gave during the course, an attribute that is essential to any lawyer. We also had exposure to resources used by solicitors in practice to develop our commercial awareness, which I did not necessarily have access to during my undergraduate degree.
My commercial understanding definitely assisted when I was going through the application process at TLT; being a lawyer is not just about advising clients on the legal risks, but also having a general understanding of the commercial issues that they face and knowledge of the sectors they operate in.
I felt that the LPC was invaluable for me in securing my training contract as I was able to develop the above core skills, and it ultimately improved my confidence. As much as I enjoyed the course, I have thoroughly enjoyed putting all that I’ve learnt into practice during my training contract so far, and look forward to developing these skills further.