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Whether to fund daughter's LPC?

(80 Posts)
merlehaggard Sun 16-Nov-14 19:03:14

Hi, a question to those who know about legal careers. My daughter is in her final year of Russell Group Law LLB. She ideally would like a training contract and would like to work in medical negligence. She has no interest in the very large commercial firms but would realistically be happy working in lots of areas - either within law or in HR, train as an accountant etc. Her first choice would be as a Solicitor though but is very concerned by how hard it is to get a training contract. She is happy to keep trying over a period of years to improve her CV and keep applying though, by working as a legal secretary, paralegal etc.

However, she is also interested in the CPS. To work there, you need to have already done your LPC. They will not fund it, but a lot of Solicitors' that she will be applying to will.

To pay for her LPC, we will have to increase our mortgage. She has always said that we should because she may get a training contract from a firm who will, and they would not be more interested in her just because she had already done the LPC. After speaking to someone whose daughter graduated 5 years ago (during recession when training contracts were even worse to get), she said that they paid for hers and she wouldn't have got anywhere without it.

I'm sorry that this is so long winded but would it be worth (in your opinion) funding the LPC so that she could start studying it next year?

totoro7ssidekick Sun 16-Nov-14 21:28:53

I know someone whose parents did this and she is still working in law a decade later although she hates it because of the obligation she feels to them. So potentially a bad idea all round, I'd say.

TheCrimsonQueen Sun 16-Nov-14 21:30:46

Why can't she pay for it herself? Could she work and do the LPC part time?

TheCrimsonQueen Sun 16-Nov-14 21:31:54

Surely it will mean a lot more if she does it off her own back?

NotSpartacus Sun 16-Nov-14 21:33:19

I'm not sure.
I self funded for the conversion many years ago, but on the basis that if
I didn't get a training contract during that year I would go no further. There are an awful lot of people out there with the LPC who never get a training contract and it is no use for anything other than legal practice. Extending your mortgage seems a lot to do. If your daughter is so keen to get her LPC and thinks it will be of benefit, can she not take a loan out for it?

Boysclothes Sun 16-Nov-14 21:36:58

Was this a typo when you said "she said we should" as the rest of the sentence reads as if she's said you shouldn't?

Married to a lawyer who I helped support through the LPC although he had a generous TC. No you absolutely should not pay. Let her get a TC that pays and then she can qualify with them and go off to do med neg or CPS or whatever else she fancies. It's too big a risk that she won't get a job or will go in a different direction and you've remortgaged your house! Too too much. If she's good she'll get her LPC paid for and if she's not don't chuck money at her.

skinnyamericano Sun 16-Nov-14 21:39:44

I think she needs to try to get it funded through a firm or take out a loan herself. It is very difficult to get a training contract, so to have an idea at this stage whether or not she will get one, may well influence her decision.

Have you funded her degree? I think at some point, you have to say enough is enough.

Imperialleather2 Sun 16-Nov-14 21:44:50

I did my LPC 12 years ago. I got a professional studies Loan from Barclays and funded it that way.

When I went I didn't have a TC and quite a lot on the course were in the same position. By the end of the year we all had something sorted. However from what I understand things are MUCH harder now.

Personally I think your daughter needs to fund it herself initially, it's easier to spend mum and day's money than get into a lot of debt.
If she's really committed then she will, you can then if you want to help her out afterwards but at least she's proved she really wants it.

NotSpartacus Sun 16-Nov-14 21:46:15

She is right I think that firms that pay for LPC will not view a candidate who already has it more favourably. This is because firms recruit two years in advance and most applicants then are still pre-LPC.

JulyKit Sun 16-Nov-14 21:46:37

As pp said - has she thought about part time LPC?
That should ease pressure of payment (installments over 2 years), she can work during that time and it should give her more opportunities to gain the sort of additional experience that should be useful to her in applying for TCs.

Figmentofmyimagination Sun 16-Nov-14 21:47:21

It's a very very overcrowded profession out there. This can't be said often enough.

Moid1 Sun 16-Nov-14 21:50:07

Ok, even with top notch academics it is tough to get a training contract. She is interested in medical negligence, a firm like Capsticks. They are competitive, there will be people applying for TC's who have experience in the medical profession.
The CPS had stopped recruiting for TC's back in 2011, they have been decimated by the legal aid cuts. Have a look on their website to see if they are recruiting again.
It can be done, but it's tough, great academics and 'something else' makes it easier. My parents funded me but they could afford it, not sure I would have wanted them to put themselves in debt especially for something that might not pay off.
Much better to help her access legal experience, volunteering in quasi legal environments, any friends/family that can help her. After a year she will be better equipped to apply for TC. Most firms recruit at least 1, even 2 years in advance so she can get a TC then do LPC.

kaymondo Sun 16-Nov-14 23:11:02

I wouldn't advise anyone to self-fund their LPC if they haven't got a TC sorted to go into afterwards. It's just too competitive.

If she's adamant then she can get a professional studies loan, or work and do it part time. You should not be increasing your mortgage to fund it.

Has she actually done any vacation schemes/work experience to get a feel for whether she would actually enjoy the job? That's also a good route in to strengthen TC applications.

I put my LPC off a year until I had a TC. Worked in jnsurance over that year and it was good experience so not a wasted year and meant I started my legal career without adding more debt on top of my student loan.

Emslifechoices Sun 16-Nov-14 23:25:13

Agree with lots of pp. I would definitely not advise you to fund the LPC. So many people do the LPC without a training contract (TC) lined up and then spend years as a paralegal trying desperately to get a TC. I think she should get a loan and do part time so she can work and study.

merlehaggard Mon 17-Nov-14 07:39:38

Yes sorry, is a typo. She has always said we SHOULDN'T fund it. However, if it helps her find well paid employment, I'd happily do it. I def don't want her to have any other loans to her name at her young age. apart from her student loan of approx £45k, which was unavoidable. The question is, would it help.

I'd heard how hard the LPC was and know currently she is in the library 9 hours a day, 7 days a week. I would rather take a loan than watch her do that amount of study and also work.

merlehaggard Mon 17-Nov-14 07:57:40

Right, I have no read all your replies. Thank you very much. The overwhelming opinion is, not to do it. It does help to know that people think that. Below answers all your questions:

No, we did not fund her degree - we are in the income where we get no grants - and she had to take both fees and maintenance loans.

CPS are now recruiting again. They started again last year. I didn't realise that it had started and stopped and thought it was a new thing, but that make sense.

We hadn't considered part time LPC - I was only thinking full time - but that is def worth a consideration. As is, working for a year, saving a paying for it that way. I really like that idea.

She has as much legal experience as she was able to get. She has 1 week in a law centre, a summer in the CAB, a summer in a town law firm, a week in a head office of a Building Society and a couple of weeks with other law firms.

I'm sure that she would get work in a law firm in our town, even as a legal secretary. The town high street firm she spent the summer with like her a lot and possibly would even give her a training contract if she kept in with them. Obviously, this would have to be self funded as the small firms don't pay for them.

In an ideal world though, she would do her training contract in a small city and work in medical negligence. Yes, capsticks was def a name mentioned. As was Browne Jacobson. She loved the small firms too though and wants the client contact that this brings - just on a bigger scale.

merlehaggard Mon 17-Nov-14 08:02:19

We were going to talk about this properly at Xmas, when she had more time and then she was going to start making her applications for vacation schemes.

Last summer, she made about 6 applications for training contracts. Got a telephone interview for one, but that was it. She heard from some firms, that they had no TCs left as all their vacation schemes had taken them.

BigPawsBrown Mon 17-Nov-14 08:04:16

Work for two years in a big firm who'll fund her, then switch? Loads of large firms do medical negligence; mine funded all of my fees and dies so. And in fact many small firms just have a personal injury and med neg mixed dept. also claimant med neg is on the decline due to Jackson reforms, so harder to get work in

AuditAngel Mon 17-Nov-14 08:04:42

Please don't imagine an accountancy training contract is an easy thing to come by.

merlehaggard Mon 17-Nov-14 08:05:39

Sorry, just one more question. Does anyone know anything about qualifying as a Solicitor through ILEX? Has anyone done this and is it a good option?

stitch10yearson Mon 17-Nov-14 08:10:40

I always get really confused by queries like this. On the one hand people buy plastic tat for their children's stockings at christmas, and other randomly expensive gifts for christmas, and on the other they ask about doing things like this. To me, its a no brainer, if it will help your child, and you can, then why wouldn't you? an increase on the mortgage seems like a small price to pay.
As for the poster who mentioned the obligation part of it, why? surely kids are not made to feel obliged about the gifts and time they received from their parents as kids, so why an education? Isn't the trade off that they will look after you when you are older, and accompany you to your doctors appointments when you are old and demented?
just my point of view. I don't mean to upset anyone.

Llareggub Mon 17-Nov-14 08:10:47

You mention HR - is she really interested in that? The LPC won't give her an advantage in HR and the CIPD is the qualification she needs for HR. HR is much more than knowing employment law.

Is she really set on a career in Law? I agree that she should fund herself but as others have said it is an overcrowded and competitive profession.

eurochick Mon 17-Nov-14 08:16:52

It's not a no brainer at all. Most people entering the profession will have their LPC fees paid by their training firm. That is the norm. As an interviewer, you would wonder why someone had had to self-fund.

I think the OP's daughter should look at a training contract somewhere that does med neg and other areas. I loved med neg as an academic area. I hated the ambulance chasing nature of it in practice and now work in an entirely different area of law.

merlehaggard Mon 17-Nov-14 08:17:04

AuditAngel I know even less about training as a Solicitor. I mention accountancy because one of the Solicitors where she did a placement, kept saying to her "don't be a Solicitor, be an Accountant. That's where the money is." Also, originally suggested that she consider that area of work.

merlehaggard Mon 17-Nov-14 08:17:51

That should have said that I know even less about training as an accountant.

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