Jan Lee, Law Conversion Course's affordable fees
After working as an editor for several years, Jan Lee found herself drawn to a career in law – but the astronomical price of entering the profession was a huge deterrent.
"I'd been working as an editor for several years," she recalls, "and done some casual legal work in the role – contracts and that sort of thing. When one of our manuscript authors threatened to sue my employers for a breach of contract, I started looking into it and did my research. I managed to prove that not only were my employers in the right, but that the author was actually in breach. The case against us was quickly dropped, but it had confirmed to me that a career in law was really appealing."
Unfortunately, Law Conversion Courses are often very expensive, routinely costing over £13,000. "I just felt I couldn't do it to my husband," says Jan. "He's a lawyer himself and was hugely supportive of me restarting my career, but to lose my income AND have to find thousands of pounds to study was unfair on him."
Rigorous and well-recognised
However, Jan's research led her to LSBU's Law Conversion Course, which is a considerably more affordable option for those looking to start a legal career. "I did my research properly, and looked at what the course covered," says Jan. "It was absolutely on a par with the more expensive courses – I just could not see any justification for other universities charging such high fees. The LSBU course wasn't a 'cheap and cheerful' alternative with lower academic standards – I wouldn't be here if it was. It is every bit as rigorous and well-recognised as more expensive courses at other universities – it was an absolute no brainer to spend less than £4,000 a year as opposed to almost £14,000!"
The fact that LSBU is determined to keep providing affordable opportunities for people to enter the legal profession is fantastic
Excellent work placements
Since enrolling at LSBU, Jan hasn't looked back. She has secured some excellent work placements that she feels have really given her an edge when it comes to finding future employment, and is due to embark on a training contract at Clyde & Co when she finishes her studies.
A CV that stands out
"LSBU was a big help in me securing the work placements and my training contract," says Jan, who has enjoyed placements at the in-house legal department at Associated News, K&L Gates, Nabarro, Bristows, and Bates Wells Braithwaite. "Before I started at LSBU I had been trying to secure placements at prestigious firms that would give me useful experience and perhaps open the door to a training contract, but I was getting nowhere. When I started at LSBU, I visited the Employability Service, who made lots of time for me. After a really useful 35-minute chat about the applications process I realised that my applications – which I'd thought were fine – had not been anywhere near as strong as they could have been. I changed the way I was applying, and the have been really successful ever since! The experience I have been able to gain thanks to improving my application technique has really given me an edge and helps my CV to stand out."
Solid legal grounding
Jan is looking forward to the start of her training contract, and plans to gain a solid legal grounding in a number of areas before deciding on which area of law she will specialise in. "My course – and my placements – have really opened my eyes to how many areas of law fascinate and interest me," she says. "Clyde & Co is a big litigation firm so I will be able to spend time in different areas to get a feel for what I enjoy the most – but I know that there are many different areas of law where I would be perfectly happy to end up."
Affordable opportunities to enter law
Oxford graduate Jan is in no doubt about the role LSBU has played in helping her to start her new career. "You can really sense it on the campus and as you walk around, just how committed LSBU is to keeping the door to the legal profession open to people from a wide range of backgrounds. That's absolutely invaluable because the cost is so prohibitive and that door is being slammed shut at so many institutions. The fact that LSBU is determined to keep providing affordable opportunities for people to enter the legal profession is fantastic – hats off to them!"