We recently spoke to Shivani Sehmi, Shivani is a Legal Practice Course student and future trainee solicitor.
She kindly shared an insight into her studies, advice for others to complete the LPC course, and the steps she has taken to secure a trainee solicitor position.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal industry?
I struggled (sometimes I still do) with my mental health and one of the ways I got through my dark times was by helping others.
I saw the legal industry as another way to help people because all the work you do is for others. Clients come to you for advice and that made me feel like I had a purpose.
What path have you taken to study law?
I decided to go the most traditional way; undergraduate degree, LPC and then training contract. This was just because I felt it was the most secure for myself and it was a path many have done so I felt hopeful it would also work for me too.
Can you tell us about some classes you have taken and in what year of study?
I completed my undergraduate degree and the modules I selected over the 3 years were Law of Evidence, Criminology, Family Law, Penology and Gender and Law.
However, right now I am in my first year of the Legal Practice Course as I am doing it part-time and the core subjects I am doing are Property Law, Dispute Resolution and Business Law (not my favourite).
What advice would you give to someone completing the LPC?
Ensure you balance your workload so you can have some time to enjoy your own life too as the course is extremely intense. If you’re struggling with anything then ask your tutors/lecturers straight away as you move onto different topics very quickly.
If you ever feel stressed or worried speak to people! It is a hard course and getting the stress off your chest is the best way to relax.
Why did you choose to complete the Legal Practice Course?
I wanted to be as traditional as possible with my route to becoming a solicitor. The SQE was introduced the year before I finished my undergraduate degree so I could have chosen that instead however, I wanted security knowing that the LPC had been completed thousands of times instead of worrying about how the SQE would be.
What has been the most challenging about completing the LPC?
Definitely the workload and how different the course is to my undergraduate degree. The LPC is all about application, whereas the undergrad degree required more memory. As well as this, getting used to the workload as there is a lot you have to cover in a short space of time and that means a lot of revision.
Since I completed my undergrad degree during the pandemic I didn’t have any exams as they all changed to coursework. For me personally, knowing I am most likely going to have to do in person examinations on the LPC is scary as it has been a while and that way of assessment is different to coursework.
As a future trainee solicitor, what steps have you taken to secure this position?
I decided to join my university’s careers and employability group as they offered legal mentoring sessions and I wanted to gain as much advice as possible. This was definitely a big reason as to why I was able to gain a training contract, because I learnt so much and made sure I kept all the advice in a journal.
I also followed groups on LinkedIn and individuals who had training contracts secured as they offered a lot of help and zoom meetings on how they did it. Try to do online courses if you can, as I didn’t have any legal experience so doing whatever I could online due to the pandemic also benefited me.
I then started to apply for vacation schemes/training contracts and one bit of advice that stuck with me was making sure I applied to firms I had a genuine interest in. You can do hundreds of applications a day but the chances of you being successful are very slim because of the amount of detail you need in these