Class half full

  • Print
  • Comments (8)

Readers' comments (8)

  • I will be starting the part-time GDL in September as a career changer. As I will be supporting my partner financially as well as myself it is my only option. However this has not prevented me being granted a place on a training contract at a top international City firm. Naturally they wanted to understand why I had made the part-time choice; but I would certainly say from my conversations with the HR departments of different City law firms, while full-time is encouraged, there was no bias towards making the choice if you can back it with a decent reason. I find it disappointing that according to this article it is believed there are many out there who think otherwise. There is plenty of opportunity here for the profession to change their attitude and I hope to be at the forefront of it as proof.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I am a part-time LPC student about to complete my course. I have never felt a second class student nor felt that the full-time students are at an advantage.

    I think that I am responsible for creating my own opportunities and my impression upon speaking with many many students on the LPC is that there is a significant number that are not suited to law and a small number that are only studying law due to parental pressure and openly admit they don't want to be there.

    I think it's time we stopped looking for excuses as to why there aren't enough training contracts to go around. Perhaps there should be a limit on the numbers admitted on the course which ties in a bit more realistically with the number of TCs available.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • There are too many hopeless, day dreaming, dithering fools on the LPC who would struggle ordering a McDonalds Happy Meal let alone obtaining a training contract!
    Some are here because daddy paid for it, whilst others are just throwing money away on a course which they barely scrape passes... amazes me how these people even have jobs! Truly shocking

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I have just completed the BVC part-time, having studied for my GDL part-time in the two years before that. Throughout the 4 years I have worked at well-paid professional jobs. The reason I started studying part-time was that my employer was helping the fund the course. Even though I changed employers mid-way through, I am happy to have been able to work to fund my studies and am finishing the BVC without any debt at all.


    Based on my experiences, I can cabsolutely see why some part-time law students feel like second class citizens. Some facilities, particularly careers advice, is not available in the evenings and weekends when part-time students are likely to be available. Mooting and debating club meetings often conflicted with the times part-time students were expected to be in class. Some big national and international mooting competitions are explicitly not open to part-time students (though this is clearly not the fault of the educational providers, but does say something about the culture of legal education).

    On the BVC in particular, I found the overall quality of the students less impressive on the part-time programme than on the few full-time classes I sat in on. Of my cohort of 30, only 1 has a UK pupillage lined up. Only 2 or 3 of us have even had any interviews for pupillages.

    I do worry about being tarred with a part-time brush as being less able. My reasons for studying part-time were all about my outside financial commitments (e.g. mortgage) and stage in life, not about a lack of commitment to my job or an inability to secure a training contract or pupillage (besides which almost no one gets pupillage before the GDL and almost no one will pay for the GDL for would-be barristers).

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • After reading Beth's comments; maybe it depends on where you study. The College I am at offers careers advice at week-ends and over the telephone if I am unable to come into College.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @ Anonymous | 8-Jun-2011 5:26 pm

    Good for CoL. At BPP (GDL) I had to take time off from work to see the useless careers advisor who made me want to cry. The only careers event I ever went to, the person from the employer failed to show. The careers service staff was apologetic, but it wasn't confidence inspiring.

    At City (BVC) they had one weekend over the 2 years where you had the choice of a 20 minute CV review or a 20 minute mock interview. We also had a couple of lectures on getting pupillage, but there wasn't much useful there that you couldn't get from some basic web research. Everything else had to be done during office hours.

    At both BPP and City, many of the evening careers events (presentations from firms/chambers) were scheduled at the same time as our classes.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It's not just the college that makes the difference when you study part-time. Since becoming indirectly involved with the Bar, I can safely say as an independent onlooker that I've never seen such a bunch of unprofessional outfits in a lifetime spent looking at how organisations work - or don't. They say the Bar is changing and I hope it comes pretty soon. The whole world is changing and the future belongs to the lean, hungry, professionals I meet overseas, especially in Asia-Pac. As long as English law continues to be in the hands of victorian tea-shop mentality, our professional standing in this country will be under threat.....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Im currently on the second year of the part-time LPC at CoL and although at times you have less opportunities to attend events (employer talks, social and networking events etc), which can leave you feeling second class, they really do seem to do the best they can.

    It seems that there is a great variation between providers; I certainly couldn't agree with Beth's comments as the careers support at CoL is fantastic. They have regular "part-timers only" career drop in sessions, as well as being open on days that part-timers are there. They also put CV workshops on at weekends aimed specifically at part-timers and the law fairs are always on part-time attendance days, as well as offering informal email and telephone consultations.

    I also think that, if you are determined enough, studying part-time is no bar whatsoever; I had interviews at 3 MC firms despite my CV showing I was studying part-time and I will be joining one of those firms soon enough. Perhaps, it may be that those studying part time are not necessarily aiming for the MC - I was but just hadn't applied for a TC so thought I would go part-time to keep costs down.

    As such, I think part-time is a good option, and you get all the benefits of being there for two years (pro-bono opportunities etc) whilst keeping costs down etc. And if you are determined, you'll make it regardless of what route you are on!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (8)