LPC: Do’s and don’ts in your first month

This post is for anyone who has just begun, or will be beginning their Legal Practice Course (LPC) in the coming months. It’s a handy summary of all the little do’s and don’ts I’ve noted in my first few weeks, which will hopefully help you get/feel ahead and on top of things in your first month.

Starting any new course, job or venture is always a little daunting – and the LPC is no exception. At the time of writing this, I am at the end of week three of teaching – and really only just settling into a routine and getting to know my classmates. Depending where, when and how you study the LPC you may have a very different experience to me. You may be in a class with your trainee cohort or with a group of twenty strangers, you may be cramming all the content into six months or studying part-time, you may be applying for training contracts on top of studying the course or have a job offer in your back-pocket, you may not get the choice of optional modules or may have free rein

However you are studying, allow yourself some time to find your feet and take a look at the following do’s and don’ts which might just help manage your expectations, your workload, your sanity and your wellbeing!


  • Do raid Rymans (remember your student discountother reputable stationers are available…) before the course begins and restock your stationery – you’ll need all the tabbing, filing and highlighting systems you can think of to get through the course
  • Do bring a suitcase on the first day to transport your course materials – the amount given isn’t to be underestimated…
  • Don’t try and take the lift – allow for a few extra minutes and take the stairs – 1000 students all trying to cram into a few lifts doesn’t take a mathematician to work out the odds of getting to class on time!
  • Do go to the toilet before class and come armed with snacks + drinks – you don’t want to miss anything in your Small Group Sessions (SGSs) and you don’t get a break halfway through the two hour slots
  • Do try and get your head around all the acronyms – BLP, PLP, SGS, etc…
  • Don’t forget your statute books
  • Do the work before you attend the SGSs – the LPC isn’t like an undergrad degree – you will get called on by tutors who expect you to know the answers and will need to apply the pre-work in the sessions
  • Do make a WhatsApp group with your classmates and get some pub and study sessions in the works
  • Do bone up on the annotation guidelines for any permitted materials – this will help you come exam time, and means you won’t have to repurchase any books you’ve accidentally scrawled on
  • Don’t expect the admin to work like a dream or be quick at getting back to you – they are often inundated in the first few weeks, so factor a delay into any enquiries (e.g. verifying your student Oyster card, generating council tax exemption letter)
  • Do make a schedule – this year, I have become that person who has a colour-coded spreadsheet to ensure I keep on top of work and still get my evenings and weekends off (yes, it is possible) [you can read some top tips on how to avoid procrastination here]
  • Don’t forget that this is all about getting you ready for real life practice – all the content is aimed at legal practice (the clue is in the course name…) and so employing common sense and commercial awareness is invaluable [you can read my take on common sense and commercial awareness here]
  • Do ask questions if you don’t understand – the classes move quickly and tutors will expect you to say if you need clarification [if you’re really struggling click here for a set of coping strategies for when life gets on top of you]
  • Don’t be afraid to say you don’t understand, or had a different answer to the one given
  • Do go to Early Bird Registration if you can
  • Do invest in a backpack for all that heavy lugging
  • Do remember that the LPC is a Masters level course – so it’s a step-up from an undergraduate degree and there may be a period of adjustment if you haven’t completed a Masters
  • Don’t cry over the amount of trees killed for all the paperwork during the course – you’ll be constantly upset (I’m still working on this one)
  • Do make a careful note of where your locker is – there are banks and banks of them, and they are so handy for storing your tomes (or your snacks)
  • Do explore the Pro Bono opportunities available and the societies too

So there you have it, a short flurry of do’s and dont’s that might help you at the beginning of your LPC. Good luck and happy studying!

(Don’t be shy…click ‘Leave a comment’, share this post if you like it; email, tweet and generally pester me if you want to hear more/share your stories/say hi)

3 thoughts on “LPC: Do’s and don’ts in your first month

    • silksandthecity says:

      If you’re finding it painfully easy and boring, chances are you will have plenty of free time as you will be getting through the prep quickly. Perhaps reframe it, and use that free time to your advantage – get stuck into Pro Bono opportunities, take up a hobby, see your friends and enjoy the fact that finding the LPC easy and breezy probably will translate into your life as a practising lawyer 🙂 The year will fly by much more quickly if you’re enjoying life outside of the course.


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