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Employer:
Liverpool John Moores University

Course Type:

Sectors:
Law

Date posted:
1 April 2014

Legal Practice Course 2012-2014

Introduction
The Legal Practice Course represents the vocational stage of training for persons wishing to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. It is validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The course has been designed to meet the requirements and needs of the Legal Profession of the Twenty First Century.

The LPC aims to produce a highly skilled, commercially aware and effective Trainee Solicitor, who is prepared for the rigours and demands of a Training Contract. The core subject areas and skills are highly relevant to legal practice in general and the choice of vocational electives enables students to focus on their chosen career path. We enjoy the continued support of our established network of local lawyers who provide opportunities for student work experience and inform our practice.

Students must have completed the academic stage of training and enrolled as student members of the before they join the LPC course. Completion of the academic stage is achieved by passing a qualifying law degree, or any other degree plus the Graduate Diploma in Law, or by becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives and passing the relevant assessments.

Applications for the full-time course must be made via the Central Applications Board 


Liverpool John Moores University is once again offering its two year, part time Legal Practice Course from September 2011, leading to the potential award of the LJMU Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

What is the Legal Practice Course?

The Legal Practice Course has run since 1992 and the format of the course has been regularly reviewed by The Law Society, and more recently by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. The LPC course has followed the format outlined below from September 2010. It is the qualifying, vocational course for all Solicitors.

Our LPC has been designed to meet the requirements and needs of the Legal Profession of the Twenty First Century and aims to produce a highly skilled, commercially aware and effective Trainee Solicitor, who is prepared for the rigours and demands of a Training Contract.

Programme Outline

The course consists of two stages:

Stage 1 and Stage 2.

To complete the Legal Practice Course a student must complete both Stage 1 and Stage 2.

Stage 1

Consists of compulsory subjects made up of:

• Professional Conduct and Regulation
• Wills and Administration of Estates
• Taxation.
• Core practice areas, Course Skills,
• The Core practice areas are Business Law and Practice,
Litigation (Civil and Criminal) and Property Law and
Practice.


The Course Skills are:

• Advocacy
• Drafting
• Interviewing and Advising
• Practical Legal Research
• Writing


Stage 2

Students must pass examinations in three vocational elective subjects. At LJMU we offer a choice of nine subjects. One/two elective(s) may be studied in Year 1 and one/two in Year 2.

Year 1

Core Practice Areas: Business Law and Practice (Sept to Feb)
Course Skills: Practical Legal research, Drafting, Interviewing & Advising Professional Conduct & Regulation, Taxation and Wills
and administration of Estates

Vocational Elective Subjects (March to June)
One or two elective(s) from a choice of nine subjects:

• Advanced Criminal Litigation
• Advanced Personal Injury
• Client in the Community
• Commercial Property
• Employment law
• Family Law
• General Commercial law 
• Legal Clinic
• Private Client


 Year 2


Core Practice Areas: (Sept to Feb)

• Property Law and Practice Litigation (Civil and Criminal)
• Course Skills:
• Writing
• Advocacy
• Professional Conduct and Regulation (including Solicitors’ Accounts)


One or two vocational electives from a choice of eight subjects as outlined below (March to June):

• Advanced Personal Injury
• Advanced Criminal Litigation
• Client in the Community
• Commercial Property
• Employment Law
• Family Law
• General Commercial Law
• Legal Clinic
• Private Client


Much of the course is taught through small group (maximum group size 20) skills-based teaching, supplemented with large group sessions, directed reading and self-study exercises and preparation.

Considerable emphasis is placed on practice with the student acquiring a range of essential Lawyers’ Skills by carrying out realistic transaction based tasks.

Students are required to take part in role-plays, simulations, case studies and electronically recorded exercises and assessments.

What are the three core practice areas all about?


• Property Law and Practice
• Business Law and Practice
• Litigation (Civil and Criminal)


Property Law and Practice


Property Law and Practice covers the sale and purchase of residential and commercial property, both leasehold and freehold, registered and unregistered.

The Property Law and Practice course deals in a transactional way with the substantive law, process and procedure, using case studies both in large and small group sessions. The final  assessment comprises 1 supervised assessment of a minimum of 3 hours duration which may be in two parts.

Business Law and Practice

Business Law and Practice covers the setting up and running of partnerships and limited companies. It incorporates a wide range of topics, including company documentation, conduct of meetings, share capital, officers of the company, the impact of European Union Law on businesses, agency, winding up, dissolution and insolvency and Business Accounts. It employs the skills of problem solving, fact analysis, writing and drafting and negotiation.

The final assessment comprises 1 supervised assessment of a minimum of 3 hours duration. The assessment may be in two parts.

Litigation

The Litigation course includes both Civil and Criminal Litigation. Litigation is assessed by way of a supervised assessment of a minimum duration of three hours and is in two parts, Civil Litigation and Criminal Litigation.

There is a weighting in favour of Civil Litigation with 60% of the final mark for litigation coming from Civil and 40% from Criminal Litigation.

Civil Litigation

The Civil Litigation Course is taught in a transactional way. It includes pre-action considerations, including taking instructions, pre-action protocols, interviewing witnesses, fact investigation and evidence gathering. It continues with formally starting a case and following it through to trial including consideration of the
application of the Civil Procedure Rules and examination of the main procedural steps in a civil case.

The Civil Litigation course is based around two major case studies, one a personal injury case and the other a commercial dispute.

Criminal Litigation

The Criminal Litigation Course deals with funding, police powers, advising the client in the police station, taking instructions and identification issues. It also covers the initial hearing, bail issues, mode of trial and committal, preparation for trial, sentencing and appeals.

Criminal evidence is covered including confessions, unfairly obtained evidence, the right to silence, procedural aspects and evidence of disposition and character, hearsay, corroboration and identification issues.

The Criminal Litigation course is based around two major case studies, one a theft matter and the other an assault case. Criminal Litigation is assessed as part of the overall subject of litigation.

Which vocational elective subjects are available?

You are able to choose three Vocational Electives from the following range, one or two in Year 1 and one or two in Year 2:

• Advanced Personal Injury
• Advanced Criminal Litigation
• Client in the Community
• Commercial Property
• Employment Law
• Family Law
• General Commercial Law
• Legal Clinic
• Private Client


How will I be assessed?

Assessment of the Compulsory and Vocational Elective Subjects



Assessment of both Stage 1 and Stage 2 subjects is by supervised assessments. In both Year 1 and Year 2, Stage 1 subjects take place in February/March and Stage 2 examinations in May.

Open Book examinations

All examinations (except Solicitors’ Accounts) are open book with designated materials and manuals being permitted in examinations.

Course Skills Assessment


Course Skills are separately assessed in skills exercises throughout the course. In the case of the oral skills of interviewing and advocacy, these assessments are recorded. We provide plenty of opportunity for students to practice these oral skills on DVD before the assessment.
What do past and present students say about the course?
What do students think about the course?

When we asked some of our past full-time and part time graduates what they thought about the course, this is what they said:

“It is a full time course being studied part time,...although I found it hard, I also found it very rewarding and I was able to make friends with a number of people in my group who are still friends of mine now the course has finished...it should also be emphasised that the course is a much more practically oriented one than the degree or ILEX course but they should benefit from a good team...from whom we all took encouragement.”


“The LPC is the most demanding course I have ever undertaken. However, with excellent tutors who are friendly and approachable together with the great friends who I have met on the course and not to mention an understanding wife, I survived ...at LJMU I was never a number I was always a person and this helped greatly...there was no greater feeling than standing on the rostrum on graduation day...”


“My advice to anyone who is wondering how to ‘survive’ the LPC is to be self-disciplined from the very beginning of the course...there is a great deal of work to get through (and stressful times are ahead) but by tackling it methodically and consistently one can survive the...just.”

“I think my initial impression was the volume of work, not only the reams of paperwork involved and the several rain forests we took home with us on a weekly basis, but also the amount of necessary preparation for the following weeks small group session...I feel the key to the course is certainly making sure that you are well organised, keeping on top of the work and ensuring
that you do the necessary preparation for the small group sessions each week. If you fail to do that, the only person you are fooling is yourself, because you do not obtain the full benefit from the session...it requires 100% commitment and really is tantamount to putting your life on hold…”

Keywords:

2012 2014 legal

Course posted by:

Liverpool John Moores University

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