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Grace Chapman

Legal Practice Course
Grace Chapman

I got a training contract before starting the LPC. I thought having no paralegal experience might hinder me but thankfully didn’t find this the case

Wilsons Solicitors LLP

When did you decide you wanted to be a lawyer?

I studied law at Kent University, however when I chose my degree subject, I didn’t intend that I would go down the route of becoming a solicitor.  I studied law at A Level and it quickly became my favourite subject and I knew it would be a solid degree to have no matter what career path I chose to pursue, so that is why I chose to study it at undergraduate level.  After leaving university I went travelling for two years to Australia and it wasn't until I returned and got a temp job that I realised that becoming a solicitor was the path I wanted to pursue.

How did you come about doing the LPC and when?

After returning from travelling, I studied that the next step for me, if I was really serious about becoming a solicitor now, would be to complete the LPC.  I studied at City from 2017 – 2018.

Why did you choose CLS/ICSL?

I decided to choose City as my mother studied the Bar Course some years ago at City, so it came highly recommended!

Any tips for current (or future) LPC students at CLS?

  • Work hard and do the pre-reading for lectures and activities for the workshops.
  • Make clear notes that you can easily adapt and make more concise when doing your revision notes.   When it comes to the open book exams you will thank yourself!
  • Ask questions.  The workshops are designed to be in small groups so you can have more one-to-one contact with the lecturers.  If you clarify your understanding at the time of the workshop, it'll save you a lot of time when it comes to revision.
  • Keep on top of the workload, but make time to relax.  I used Saturday mornings or Sunday afternoons to prepare for Monday and Tuesdays and enjoyed the rest of the weekend.  I then prepared for Thursday and Friday's workshops and lectures on my day off on a Wednesday.  Additionally and as I was an afternoon student, I made sure I went up to the library earlier in the day to use the couple of hours before the afternoon lecture to get in the prep, so I didn't cram it all in or not properly prepare on the weekend or Wednesday's.

What was your first job after the LPC?

I managed to get a training contract just before starting the LPC, so I went straight into it after the LPC.  I was lucky that I didn’t have to wait another year but if I had, I would have got a paralegal job to get some extra legal experience in before starting.  I thought having no paralegal experience might hinder me but thankfully I didn’t find this was the case once I started.

Any other jobs before getting a training contract?

I had various jobs between finishing university and starting my training contract, such as working in a pub to save for travelling and as a restaurant hostess and hotel receptionist in Australia.  On return from travelling I worked in a call centre as a temp job before starting the LPC.  I was also lucky that I was able to work at the call centre during the Christmas break and in the summer after the LPC to save some more money.

Where and when did you complete your training contract?

I am currently in the last few weeks of my training contract at Wilsons Solicitors LLP, based in Salisbury.  I joined the firm in September 2018 and I am due to qualify in September 2020.

Why do you think you got the training contract?

I applied for various training contracts but I was really drawn to Wilsons, especially for its reputation for private client work and its promotion of a healthy work/life balance. I had a relaxed interview where I think they recognised my enthusiasm.

Any tips for LPC students without training contracts?

  • Don't tie yourself down to just applying for firms in your local area. If you are still living at home, remember you will have a good salary as a trainee so be willing to look elsewhere and remember that if you really hate where you are based for your training, it's only a two year period and you can move after if you really don't like it.
  • Be enthusiastic and research the firm you are applying to. Show that you are interested in the areas they specialise in and the kind of work they do.
  • Show that you already have some level of commercial awareness.