University of Law announces Bar Practice Course at Liverpool

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A barristers wig rests on a desk

It has been announced that the University of Law will be running their Bar Practice Course (BPC) at the University of Liverpool. Following approval from the Bar Standards Board (who regulate legal training for the Bar in England and Wales), applications are now open for September 2021. 

The arrangement represents an exciting new opportunity for students to continue their barrister training in Liverpool and is significant recognition of the potential and quality of the students from the University of Liverpool, and the region, looking to enter the legal profession. It also represents the strong emphasis placed on student employability by the University of Liverpool’s Law School.

The University of Law has had a long relationship with the Law School, both of which have considerable histories and expertise within legal and social justice education. Many University of Liverpool students graduate and go on to continue their professional legal training with the University of Law before entering the profession.

This relationship was strengthened further by the opening of the University of Law’s Liverpool campus, using space within the University of Liverpool’s brand-new School of Law and Social Justice building in 2018, making access to the legal profession for University of Liverpool students and those within the city more feasible than ever.

An image of the exterior of the SLSJ building

Originally offering the Legal Practice Course (LPC), and the law conversion course - the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) – when first opened, the announcement of the BPC from this September is a significant addition to the portfolio of courses available to students and professionals and will be the first time that the University of Law’s bar training course will run outside of their core campuses.

Previously, students wishing to enter the barrister profession after graduating from the University of Liverpool had to apply to study the Bar course at other campuses or with other providers around the UK. However, this new arrangement enables students to continue their journey into the legal profession whilst being able to remain in Liverpool.

Warren Barr, the Head of Law at the University of Liverpool Law School, commented:

"I am delighted that, working with the University of Law, we are now able to offer training in entry to both branches of the legal profession at the Liverpool Law School. Many of our students love Liverpool and will be delighted that they will be able to remain here to undertake the professional stages of their future, in the familiar surroundings of our excellent facilities in the Law and Social Justice building."

Nigel Booth is the Programme and Student Experience Lead for the University of Law’s Bar Practice Course at Liverpool and Manchester, and also offered comment on the news:

"This is an excellent development. There has always been a close connection between the Liverpool and Manchester Bar, with practitioners from each city often working in the other, so it makes sense for the University to offer Bar training across the cities. The Liverpool Bar is strong and vibrant. It’s a great place to be!"

Simon, a current BPC student at the University of Law and a University of Liverpool alumnus, also gave us his thoughts on the University of Law’s BPC coming to the Liverpool campus:

"It is exciting […] as there are many positives that a course in Liverpool could offer to students, such as access to great academic training and support from these two prestigious universities, world-class libraries and study space, prime location in the North-West and close ties with sets of chambers nationwide.

Likewise, the legal market on the Northern Circuit is strong and studying at Liverpool will undoubtably give future students a sizeable advantage over other candidates for pupillage applications at Liverpool sets and Northern chambers in general.

I am very thrilled for all those who are due to start the BPC in this great city and am sure you will not only enjoy the academic side of it, but the many chances to meet friends and prospective colleagues during the course."

The University of Law, previously the College of Law, has origins dating back to 1876, and is one of the eminent providers of legal education in the UK and internationally, with a long history of professional training for entry into the legal profession and a strong focus on employability. They have been providing routes to qualify as barristers and solicitors since inception.

Other courses available with the University of Law’s Liverpool campus include the Masters of Arts in Law (MA Law) – a masters level conversion course – as well as courses providing preparation for the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), expected to replace the previous solicitor training route (LPC).

Head to our dedicated pages to find out more about the opportunities for legal education within the University of Liverpool and the professional qualifications available with the University of Law at Liverpool.