Planning on becoming a solicitor or a barrister? A vocational postgraduate course is going to be an initial port of call on your professional journey.
Of course, it's not just about solicitors, barristers and courtrooms. There are many alternative career options in the legal sector for postgraduates, and a wide variety of taught and research law courses.
Any budding solicitor will need to study for the legal practice course (LPC).
They will qualify to take this either by a) having a law-based undergraduate degree, b) having passed their common professional examination (CPE) or graduate diploma in law (GDL), or c) having studied another degree in law following their non-law undergraduate degree.
The Bar professional training Course (BPTC) is the vocational course every aspiring barrister needs to take before proceeding to a pupillage.
They will qualify for this either after a) having completed a law-based undergraduate degree, b) having passed their common professional examination (CPE) or graduate diploma in law (GDL), or c) having studied a postgraduate law degree following their non-law undergraduate degree. As of 2012, there is also an aptitude test for entry to the course.
The main options that you have when considering a law conversion course are the common professional examination (CPE) and the graduate diploma in law (GDL, sometimes referred to as GDip).
These are essentially fast-track courses, teaching would-be solicitors and barristers who did not study a law undergraduate degree all the basics for a legal career in England and Wales. They both take one year of further study (or two if you’re studying part time).
Although law is a very competitive area, postgraduate funding is available from professional bodies, course providers, charities and sponsorship from law firms.
Become a solicitor
Which LPC providers are accredited to offer the legal practice course?
Choosing your course
Converting to law?
Making your application
- How to make your legal practice course (LPC) application
- Making your Bar professional training course (BPTC) application
- How to make your graduate diploma in law (GDL) application
Four of the biggest firms, and members of the ‘magic circle’, hold their top employer rankings for another year.
Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Slaughter and May, and Linklaters come out as top employers in the legal sector in the Guardian 300 survey.
There are four main professional law bodies in the UK, as well as several regional law associations and bodies, the Bar Council and the Law Society.