One of the biggest dilemmas faced by budding lawyers is how to fund their LPC and BPTC courses. For many, unfortunately, self-funding will be the only option.
According to Lawyer 2B’s Big Survey, which was carried out in association with BPP Law School (BPP), the majority of students fund their postgraduate legal studies with the help of parents or family. Bank loans, part-time jobs and personal savings also come high up on the list of funding options when law firm sponsorship is not available.
But the cost of legal education is still rising, with law school giants deciding to hike their fees again from September 2012 (see story).
BPP has seen the largest hike to date, upping the cost of its LPC and BPTC by 5 per cent for those starting at its London centre in 2012. That takes the cost to £13,550 and £16,450 respectively.
BPP’s law loan in collaboration with Investec (see story) does little to comfort would-be lawyers, as with an interest rate of 9.9 per cent the pressure to secure a training contract will be even more acute.
Despite the swelling cost of legal education, there are still plenty of you out there keen to pursue a career in law. Before signing on the dotted line, you may want to consider the following points:
Studying the LPC outside London will be a lot cheaper and a number of the big law firms have strong roots in cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Leeds (see our regional focus pieces).
Look at alternative routes into law such as the one offered by the Institute of Legal Executives or apprenticeship schemes.
Explore part-time study options or splitting the LPC in two such as by taking a gap between completing the compulsory stage and electives.
Look out for scholarships/prizes/bursaries. All the major law schools offer scholarships. Some are means tested while others are merit-based. You could also win a free place at BPP simply by writing a 1,500 word article for Lawyer 2B.