School Number of places: 100 FT, 24 PT
The law school campus, situated in the centre of Newcastle, houses state-of-the-art facilities including WiFi throughout, several mock courtrooms and a popular student café– all part of a £106m redevelopment in 2007.
In addition to the usual three-year LLB, the law school also offers a four-year exempting law degree that incorporates the academic LLB and professional BPTC course for students who know early that the Bar is for them. As a result, full and part-time BPTC students study alongside undergraduates. BPTC students can also study towards an LLM in Advanced Legal Practice, which they can now do during a two year joint-programme, in which both the BPTC and LLM are taught side by side. The standard LLM 'top-up' option is still available as well. Ten scholarships, each worth £2,000, are available each year.
Full-timers normally attend four days a week, with Friday designated as a research day. Practitioner evenings are also timetabled in, with members of the Bar speaking on recent developments and offering careers advice. Part-time students can attend on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday. The majority of students studying the BPTC at Northumbria come from the region, and there's more than a handful of international students thrown into the mix as well. Around 90% of staff are barristers, of which a large majority still practise, helping to keep the course current.
The school prides itself on its pastoral care and every student is assigned a guidance tutor with whom they regularly meet. The school’s experienced careers service organises networking events with local chambers and practitioners, group marshalling and a mentoring scheme with alumni. Mock pupillage interviews and a CV workshop on the induction programme should also steer students in the right direction.
The school runs an “award winning” Student Law Office, which is usually a part of the exempting law degree, but BPTC students are also welcomed to get involved in it during the ‘option’ phase of the course: “It's actively encouraged that they do, but students tend to shy away from it because it's so hard!” Here, students take on live cases, researching, preparing and even presenting them in court on behalf of clients. The law school’s ‘Grey Society’ organises a mix of social and serious activities from pub crawls to a law ball and sports to mock trials and mooting competitions.
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