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You are here:   Ultimate Law Guide > Articles > Guide to your first term at Law school

How to succeed at law school

Fear, confidence, anticipation, enthusiasm, uncertainty; none of your emotions towards the LPC are new. During the 40-odd week course, your emotions, focus, commitment, attitude and work rate will fluctuate. However, what is important is to have a solid idea and structure in place on how to develop your learning and understanding of legal practice.

Students preparing to embark on this course must be sure they understand the nature of the course and the volume of work involved. The LPC is a demanding course, and is renowned for its continuous assessments and course examinations throughout the year.

How is the LPC assessed?

The SRA has set guidelines for LPC providers, prescribing that students are expected to develop skills of legal analysis and research, interpersonal skills and communication (written and oral) skills. More specifically, postgraduate law students are expected to be able to:

  • Work co-operatively with others in small groups
  • Write clearly and precisely with attention to detail: spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, structure, layout, bibliographies and citations
  • Record or summarise legal arguments with clear, coherent and concise points
  • Extract, analyse and apply up-to-date law from primary sources, including case reports and primary and delegated legislation
  • Listen effectively
  • Engage in oral discussion in a clear, concise manner



The LPC focuses on learning and developing practical skills which equip and prepare you for life in practice. In addition, a great deal of preparatory reading is required for lectures and workshops. Teaching methods include a blend of lectures, face-to-face learning and i-tutorials (web-based learning), with small workshop classes, continuous assessment, independent research and group discussions.  

From our experience, the students who are organised prioritise effectively, and those who have excellent organisational and time-management skills are the most successful on this course.

Tips for effective study

 The technique for effective study during your LPC is a three-step process:  

1. Preparation, i.e. before the workshop

2. Application, i.e. complete preparatory tasks and use the workshop for clarification

3. Consolidation, i.e. analysing and reviewing what was covered and highlighted during the workshops. 


Workshops

At university you were told that lectures were important; well, workshops give a whole new meaning to the word “important”. Workshops are not styled to teach you; rather they are aimed at expanding and substantiating the practice you were introduced to during your preparation for that workshop. Therefore, going hand in hand with the attendance of every workshop is the need to prepare for every workshop. Modes of preparation vary just as much as the teaching style of tutors; however, as with teaching style, you have to focus on what needs to be done.

Workshop tutors only “facilitate” – they don’t teach – they put problem scenarios in front of you with hints and guidance. Therefore if you have not done the prep to gain a base knowledge of the subject, you won’t be taught that knowledge in the workshop.