Well balanced

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  • Do your homework

    DMU and ILEX Tutorial College have been running open learning LPC and GDL programmes since the early 1990s. My experience is that anyone contemplating an open learning/part-time course should ensure that the provider offers first class support for both students' academic and administrative needs. Don't depend upon a provider's reputation when making your choice- ask questions!

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  • It's hard work, but can be done.

    I studied my degree and LPC part time (which has since been topped-up to an LLM), all while holding down a full-time job in the public sector. The top-up was undertaken concurrently with the first year of my training contract. It can certainly be done, but is incredibly hard work. Often the last thing you want to do when you get home is spend hours sat at another desk and computer; if you have a partner, they need to be incredibly understanding and supportive; and you can kiss goodbye to the annual leave from your day-job.

    You will probably still struggle financially (as you are expected to pay for part-time courses upfront), and any ideas you have about your social life will have to fundamentally change. You never travel without your books, notes and/or your laptop, snatching every half-hour where you can, and have to be incredibly single-minded about what you want to achieve. And at the end of it all, while most firms pay lip-service to the idea of mature and/or part-time students, the reality is you are often viewed with suspicion because you didn't go into law the 'normal' way, or despite doing incredibly well, one's CV ends up in the shredder as it tends to be the ex-polys that only do part-time degrees.

    However, on the up-side, you never know what you can achieve until you try. After several years of effectively having two lives you will be the most organised, determined and effective person you know.

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