University of Law - True Picture

Number of places: 240 FT, 48 PT

Fees (2014/15): See below for breakdown

Awards: £1,500 alumni discount; 10 awards of £5,000 each for students with a 2:1, subject to online skills assessment

The course



The University of Law’s BPTC hasn’t got the starriest of reputations or alumni compared to longer established providers like City University. Still, the course has the might of a national legal education juggernaut behind it and looks set on upping its game. Following Kaplan's recent closure of its widely praised BPTC course – which at 55% boasted the highest pupillage rates of any provider – ULaw managed to land Kaplan’s former BPTC head Lynda Gibbs to redesign its own course, making for an exciting range of employability-boosting changes. The institution now offers enhanced learning materials, advocacy competitions sponsored by London chambers, a mentoring scheme in conjunction with the school’s alumni, and extracurricular advocacy and conference classes.

Still, it’s unlikely ULaw’s laser focus on the financial bottom line will see it emulate Kaplan’s rigorous admissions procedure, wherein only students with a 2:1 or above were admitted. Bar Standards Board reports show a high proportion of ULaw students don’t meet that threshold, particularly at the Birmingham branch.

Full-time BPTC students get up to 17.5 hours of training a week, including up to three and half hours of one-to-one sessions. Part-timers study 14 weekends a year over two years – each weekend involves up to 14 hours of contact time. Classes are generally delivered in small groups of no more than 12 and last for a marathon three and a half hours each. There are also advocacy sessions conducted in groups of between two and six. Electives range from criminal litigation and judicial review to family, personal injury, and immigration practice and asylum.

ULaw boasts that its BPTC offers three times as much advocacy training as the Bar Standards Board minimum requirement. Students can put these polished advocacy skills on trial at practitioner events, where they perform in front of real judges and barristers in real courtrooms. In 2013, 225 barristers attended such events, so they're a good place to see and be seen. Ulaw also runs regular mooting competitions and pro bono opportunities through organisations like Liberty Letters and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The location and facilities



Birmingham



 

Fees: £13,450

The small Birmingham branch has “well-equipped” facilities in the heart of the city's Jewellery Quarter. The area houses hundreds of workshops that make and shops that sell British-worked gems, plus museums, bars and restaurants. Among the centre's features are course-specific workshop rooms – complete with courtroom furniture – plus a student common room and a handful of quiet study areas.

London



 

Fees: £17,700

The most prestigious BPTC provider in London is City Law School. ULaw shares joint second place in reputation with BPP, though it's worth noting that both of these institutions charge several hundred pounds more in fees for their BPTC course. Grads of the Bloomsbury branch, the largest in the ULaw system, spoke of a “lively atmosphere” thanks to the institution's large size and wide mix of people. The centre has an on-site courtroom and a four-floor legal library, plus a hefty pro bono programme. ULaw recently updated its IT systems, though sources mentioned the facilities as a whole are slightly on the shabby side.

Careers services and prospects



Ulaw's employability service is open to all students. It's notably comprehensive, with its own job database and online careers materials. Staff also provide students one-to-one advice. Take note: the broad range of students the service advises does mean those on the BPTC might not receive the same tailored service offered by smaller providers.

ULaw doesn't release statistics on how many of its graduates land pupillages.

The Chambers Student verdict



A little help from the legal education whizzes at Kaplan could be just thing to help this provider’s employability rates justify its hefty fees. 

University of Law

Braboeuf Manor,
Guildford,
GU3 1HA
Website www.college-of-law.co.uk

  • Contact Freephone: 0800 289997
  • International: +44 (0)1483 216000
  • Email: admissions@law.ac.uk
  • Website: www.law.ac.uk
  • GDL & LLM LPCfull-time  Apply to: Central Applications Board www.lawcabs.ac.uk
  • GDL & LLM LPC part-time Apply to: The University of Law www.law.ac.uk/postgraduate
  • BPTC full & part-time Apply to Bar Standards Board (BSB) www.barprofessionaltraining.org.uk
  • LLM Masters Degrees Apply to: The University of Law www.law.ac.uk/postgraduate

University profile



 At The University of Law you’ll get the best possible start to your legal career. We’ve been around for over 100 years and have trained more lawyers than anyone else. We offer first-class careers advice and support and have an outstanding employability record. With eight centres across the country, we’re the first choice for aspiring solicitors or barristers looking for effective legal training. Our innovative courses are designed and taught by lawyers, with a clear focus on building the practical skills, commercial awareness and independent thinking you need to succeed in legal practice. 

Graduate Diploma in Law – full-time/part-time/i-GDL (supported online learning programme)



 The University of Law GDL is designed to build knowledge and skills that more than match a law degree – with a clear focus on preparing you for life in practice. Academic training is built around real-life examples and case studies and you’ll be given research assignments that directly reflect the way you’ll work as a lawyer. In addition, its unique Preparing for Practice module equips you with the professional skills you’ll need as a modern lawyer. The University of Law GDL is the first choice of many leading law firms and over 30 send their trainees exclusively to us.

LLM Legal Practice Course – full-time/part-time/i-LLM LPC (supported online learning programme)



When you study your LPC at The University of Law, you can qualify with a Masters. Our LLM in Legal Practice LPC, as well as being your LPC, is also an internationally-recognised Masters qualification with the scope to specialise in international or national legal practice. The cost of the LLM LPC is the same as for a traditional LPC and if you want to qualify with a Masters, you’ll need to complete a Professional Practice Dissertation. Graduating with The University of Law LLM LPC, means you will be better prepared and more employable for modern legal services than graduates from any other law school. Your LLM will be recognised globally as the leading qualification in legal services. The University of Law LPC is the first choice of many leading law firms and over 30 send their trainees exclusively to us.

Bar Professional Training Course – full-time/part-time 



 The University of Law BPTC has been designed to resemble practice as closely as possible. Study follows a logical, realistic process from initial instruction to final appeal and learning is based around the seven core skills and three knowledge areas stipulated by the Bar Standards Board. Most of your learning will be in small groups and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to put your learning into action through: practitioner evenings, mock trials, court visits, mooting, negotiating and advocacy competitions, and pro bono. A new selection process is being introduced for 2015 courses, involving interviews and assessment.

LLM Masters Degree - i-LLM (supported online learning programme with no attendance required)/ full-time attendance



 LLM Masters Degree – full-time/i-LLM (a supported online learning programme) Our LLM in International Legal Practice is a truly professional qualification and reflects cutting-edge approaches to legal practice. We offer a wide choice of flexible, specialist modules to suit your area of interest and enhance your expertise.

Events



  We run events of all types, including open days, law fairs, insight days and online webinars. Take a look at what’s available on our website: law.ac.uk/events79