LPC Electives

Found 1st Nov 2011
I am currently studing the Law Practice Course at Manchester College of Law and I have to make a choice concerning my electives very soon; I am still unsure.

I want to pracitce in a mid sized/small firm. I do not have a Training Contract.

I am thinking:

Commercial Dispute Resolution
Advanced Criminal Law
Commercial Law

Any thoughts? are the choices too random? too niche? Or does it really matter what I choose? I am getting mixed advice/feedback from tutors and could do with some external thoughts on the matter.

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Small firms will want you to be able to show expertise across the general legal fields of "family", "commercial" "litifagation" etc...

I would say though think long and hard about criminal law. Many law firms have given up criminal public funding as there just isn't much money in it (crime doesn't pay, as they say!). Kind of limits your appeal to firms. However, there are still plenty of firms that have plenty of criminal work. Within my area there is only 2 firms out of 10 which still do criminal law.
You say you want to practice in a small/medium firm, but you don't say what you want to practice. If you're looking to be a general chamber solicitor, I would suggest family/trusts/succession, and property would stand you in good stead. Otherwise, I'd look at subjects you would specifically want to practice.

Not sure what the LPC covers as core subjects as I qualified in Scotland.

I would say it won't make a difference. Go for the ones you will get the best results in. Competition for training contracts must be immense now. Don't envy you one bit
I know, Criminal is a weird one. For a long time, I wanted to practice in it, even got work ex in a criminal practice but now I'm not so sure, mainly for the reason so many solicitor advocates warned me away from the practice.

Still I enjoy it, and I have heard its fairly easy. I would also like to keep my options open. With that in mind, I am worried of leaning too heavily toward commercial, what with the two commercial subjects there.

I wondered whether perhaps CDR, Advanced Crim and Employment might be better...
I am inclined to agree with Rory. Provided that I don't pick some very specific choices, such as acquisitions, public companies and banking and debt finance, which are focussed for large corporate firms, I cant imagine they will care a great deal if I got a decent grade...

comments are greatly appreciated people.
Bear in mind that your lpc electives are good grounding for your training seats. Again with competition rife, you will need to choose subjects you can excell in.

Smaller firms will be looking for trusts and estates, property, family and litigation.
I chose mine based on my TC so commercial litigation, employment and private client, but in general the advice that was given by tutors was do things that you have a genuine interest in and believe you can do best in - its commendation and distinction which can help set you apart.
Also I would say tutors did however say that they wouldn't recommend doing stuff like criminal and commercial electives as they don't really 'go together'. It can appear to firms that you are going for the scattergun approach and you dont really have a genuine interest in their area of law.

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