How to make your legal practice course (LPC) application
Stage 1: Register with the SRA
All prospective legal practice course (LPC) students must first register with the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulating authority for LPC courses in England and Wales. This must be done before making an application for the LPC, confirming that the student has completed the academic stage of training before taking this vocational stage.
There is a 12-step online form for applicants to fill out at this stage, covering basics such as personal contact details, a ‘Suitability Test’ (which is really checking your credit and criminal records), referees and equal opportunities forms.
Stage 2: The LPC application proper
To qualify as an LPC applicant, you must first have completed your academic stage of training. This would be either a law degree or a conversion course as explained here and here, with the most common being the common professional examination (CPE) and the graduate diploma in law (GDL).
All LPC applications are made online via www.lawcabs.ac.uk, with the application process starting in October. Once registered, students will find that the LPC application form consists of 10 sections:
- Personal details (1): basic contact details.
- Personal details (2): nationality, English speaking ability and whether any special requirements would be required for your application.
- Qualification route: details about whether your route to this point was the GDL or an alternative qualifying law degree.
- Institution choice: you are able to select up to three LPC course providers, with a further option of selecting one of three start dates, depending upon course.
- Qualifications: a list of all your qualifications from A levels upward. You will need to add a transcript if you are qualifying from a law degree abroad or if your UK undergraduate degree was over four years ago.
- Employment: basic details about any previous employment history.
- Other information: actually a personal statement explaining your choice of institution (identifying your first choice, not all three). The box will allow up to 10,000 characters, including spaces. It is suggested that you include details on why you are applying for the course; what interests you about the course; what motivates you in a more general sense; your goals in terms of your future career; your skills and achievements; your hobbies; and further details about your work experience. Whatever you relate should clearly refer to the course in some manner.
- Course fee payer: detailing whether it is you, your parents or guardian, your training contract provider or your future employer who will be paying.
- Reference request: details of your referee, who will be asked about your commitment to law and academic achievements.
- Declaration: confirming that everything you have filled in is accurate and true.
You must remember to save your personal statement before clicking the ‘Next’ button to the course fee payer page, as otherwise this will be lost.
Applications for elective modules are made directly to the academic institution, as these can each be completed at different institutions.
Part-time and distance-learning LPC applications
These should be made directly to the institution, rather than going through the processes detailed above.