Entry into the diploma in professional legal practice at strathclyde university icon

Entry into the diploma in professional legal practice at strathclyde university






ENTRY INTO THE DIPLOMA IN PROFESSIONAL LEGAL PRACTICE AT STRATHCLYDE UNIVERSITY


GUIDANCE NOTES FOR LLB STUDENTS 2012/2013


(1) In academic session 2012/13 the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice will be offered by the Universities of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde.


Applying to the University of Strathclyde


(2) (a) The University of Strathclyde will again offer both a full-time and a part-time Diploma in Professional Legal Practice Course. The part-time course will be offered in association with Central Law Training (Scotland), with whom Strathclyde Law School jointly accredit and provide CPD courses for solicitors and Registered Paralegals. For students admitted in academic session 2012/13, full-time and part-time time students will be registered with and receive their award from the University of Strathclyde. Further details about the courses and provisional timetables for both will be available from http://www.strath.ac.uk/humanities/lawschool/


(b) The first stage in the Diploma admissions process is to complete the General Diploma application form, and return this to Kirsty Stewart, School of Law, University of Strathclyde, Level 7, Graham Hills Building, 50 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1QE by Monday 16th April 2012. Late submission may well prejudice your application.

The general form must be accompanied by two colour, passport-style photographs, with your name and the name of your LL.B. graduating university clearly printed on the reverse.

You should state clearly whether you are applying for the full-time or part-time version of the course. You may apply for both the full-time and part-time courses at this stage but a separate application form must be completed for each course and you must accept or decline any offers received by the deadline of Friday 27 July 2012 (see [17] below). Failure to respond by this date will normally result in the original offer being withdrawn without further intimation to the original applicant and the place offered to another candidate.


(c) If your application is successful, you will subsequently be asked to complete the University of Strathclyde’s online application form for admittance to the course. Further details regarding completion of the online form will be sent to applicants along with the formal offer of a place. Applicants must not complete the online form until advised to do so by the Law School admissions team.


(3) If there are special circumstances which you would like to be taken account in considering whether you are admitted (for example, where performance has been affected by illness), you should attach an appropriate statement to your application. Such circumstances should normally be backed up with appropriate evidence and you may wish to augment this with a statement from an academic referee, such as your adviser of studies or your counsellor.


(4) If you have any queries, you should initially contact Kirsty Stewart, School of Law, University of Strathclyde, Level 7, Graham Hills Building, 50 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1QE. Tel: 0141 548 4945, email: law-dlpadmissions@strath.ac.uk


Glasgow Caledonian students should liaise with Mrs. Moira MacMillan of the Glasgow

Caledonian University Law School, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, G4 OBA; Telephone

Number : 0141 331 3441.


Students from other universities should liaise with their Diploma in Legal Practice

Office in the first instance with regard to the submission of their Diploma application

Forms.


Applying to another Diploma providing institution

(Aberdeen, Robert Gordon, Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow, University):


(5) (a) If you intend to apply to an institution other than Strathclyde University, you must still complete the General Diploma application form, and return it to Kirsty Stewart, [as above (2)]. Do not give the form directly to your adviser of studies.


(b) Glasgow Caledonian University students should return their forms initially to Mrs. Moira MacMillan [as above (4)] by Monday 16th April 2012.


(c) In addition two colour, passport-style photographs must accompany your application, with your name and the name of your LL.B. graduating University clearly printed on the reverse. You should also enclose a copy of your academic transcript (if complete at that time i.e. if you have already graduated) or forward it to your first choice Diploma provider immediately your results are known later in the summer.


(d) You will be contacted directly by your first choice Diploma provider in May to acknowledge receipt of your application.


Diploma Syllabus


(6) The courses studied are:

The compulsory subjects of:

Business and Financial Awareness

Conveyancing

Civil Litigation

Criminal Litigation

Personal Injury Claim Handling

Private Client

Professional Practice and Ethics


Plus 5 from the following choice of electives*:

Advanced Criminal Advocacy

Advanced Private Client

Business Accounting for Legal Professionals

Commercial Contracts and IP

Commercial Conveyancing

Company Law

Employment Law

Family Businesses

Family Law

Mediation and Mediation Advocacy

Practical Public Administration

Work-Based Learning in a Legal Environment. Cont./


(6) cont./


*Please note that electives are subject to maximum/ minimum threshold numbers of participants, tutor availability and other logistical forces each year. Therefore although the Law School will endeavour to run a full range of electives and try and to ensure that course participants are able to take the electives of their choice, there can be no guarantee that this will prove possible each year. Some flexibility of choice by course participants may be necessary.


Criteria for Admission to the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice


Admission

(7) In order to be admitted to the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice a candidate must:

  1. have a law degree from a Scottish University or equivalent; and

  2. have passed or been exempted from the professional examinations of the Law Society of Scotland in the subjects specified in the Admission as Solicitor (Scotland) Regulations (‘the professional subjects’, listed at para 8 below).


However, a candidate lacking one of these requirements may exceptionally be admitted at the discretion of the Diploma Admissions Committee provided he or she can satisfy the requirement during the period of study for the diploma (in other words it is possible to enter the Diploma without having graduated or without having passed one of the professional subjects). In such cases the Diploma will not be awarded unless and until the missing requirement is satisfied.


Professional Subjects

(8) Each university in Scotland meets the requirements of the Law Society of Scotland Examination Syllabus in a different way. The classes taken within the LLB at Strathclyde University that satisfy these requirements are as follows:


^ STUDENTS WHO GRADUATED PRIOR TO 2012:

  • Legal Methods

  • Legal Process

  • Public Law

  • Criminal Law

  • Contract

  • Delict

  • Property

  • Domestic Relations

  • Commercial Law: Transactions

  • Commercial Law: Organisations

  • EC Law*

  • Tax Law

  • Evidence

*EC Law is not a requirement for entry to the DPLP but is required to be admitted as a Solicitor in Scotland.


^ STUDENTS WHO GRADUATE THIS YEAR WILL REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS:

  • Criminal Law

  • Legal Methods

  • Legal Process

  • Law and Society or Legal Theory

  • Public Law 1

  • Public Law 2

  • Voluntary Obligations – Contract & Promises

  • Commercial Law

  • Domestic Relations

  • EU Law

  • Property, Trusts & Succession

  • Involuntary Obligations – Delict & Unjustified Enrichment

  • Evidence


Ranking of Candidates

(9) In recent years there have always been substantially more qualified applicants to the Diploma than there are places available. Where there are more qualified applicants than places available, the primary criterion used to rank candidates for admission is performance in the classes that are required for entry into the Diploma (above at para 8) - with the exception of EC Law (though that exception may be removed in the near future). Performance is ranked in terms of an average derived by dividing the marks obtained in the professional subjects by the number of classes.


(10) At the level of the individual applicant an important consideration in relation to admission is that it is the first recorded mark in the class that is used to determine an applicant’s average, even when the first recorded mark is a fail mark and a higher (pass) mark is subsequently achieved. A fail mark that has been discounted will not be recorded.


(11) When two or more applicants have virtually the same average over all the professional classes, other factors may be used if it becomes necessary to distinguish between them. Other factors for this purpose might include, for example, performance at Honours, work experience, medical, personal or other circumstances affecting performance in the professional classes and any other circumstance which the Diploma Admissions Committee considers relevant to a determination of relative merit between applicants. Holding an offer of a traineeship may also be such a factor taken into account.


(12) If you wish individual circumstances such as illness affecting performance in professional classes or holding an offer of a traineeship to be taken into account, you must mention these at section C of the application form. Matters not listed there will not be taken into account unless they arise after submission of the application form.

^

Schedule for Admission to the Strathclyde University Diploma Course



(13) 14th March 2012, 5.30pm – Open/Information evening for all potential applicants. Please email tracy.reavey@strath.ac.uk if you wish to attend.


(14) 16th April 2012 - Deadline for submission of applications for both the full time and part time course. ^ Applicants must not make multiple Diploma applications to other Diploma providers.


(15) May 2012 – The Law School will acknowledge receipt of your application.


(16) Mid-July 2012 – Diploma Admissions Round 1. Applicants will receive one of the following letters:

(i) an offer of a Diploma place;

(ii) a letter indicating that the application is being held on a waiting list until Round 2 (early August) when it will be reconsidered.


(17) ^ Friday 27th July 2012 - Deadline for acceptance of July offers. If you have received an offer you MUST respond by this date. IF YOU DO NOT DO SO THE OFFER WILL BE WITHDRAWN FROM YOU WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE AND THE PLACE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER ELIGIBLE CANDIDATE. If you are planning to be out of the country or otherwise unavailable at this crucial time you must make arrangements for your mail to be forwarded or otherwise dealt with.


If you have applied for both the full time and part time course, you will be required at this point to make a decision as to which version of the course you wish to attend.


(18) Early August 2012. There will normally be a further consideration of remaining applications at this time (Round 2) resulting in additional offers of places. If, however, your application is being rejected by your first choice Diploma provider, you will be informed of this and of any alternatives available to you at this time.


(19) ^ Friday 24th August 2012 – Deadline for acceptance of August offers. If you do not respond by this date the offer will be withdrawn without further notice and the place may be transferred to another eligible candidate.


(20) Early September Applicants awaiting results from the August diet of exams will be considered. This will be on the same basis as applications determined earlier.


(21) ^ Late September/early October – There may be a final consideration of any outstanding applications with applicants being contacted accordingly.


(22) Tuesday 25th September 2012 - Course begins.

Deferral



(23) It is not possible to defer the offer of a place until a later year.


It is however always possible to delay one’s application until another year. Once qualified for entry, a student can delay application for a considerable period (assuming entry requirements do not change). It is not, however, possible to accept an offer one year and defer taking up the place secured until a subsequent year, for the level of competition between applicants changes year on year.


If you have accepted a place and then find you cannot take it up, you will be obliged to apply again, and compete again, next year. IF YOU FIND THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO TAKE UP A PLACE YOU HAVE BEEN OFFERED, YOU MUST LET THE DIPLOMA OFFICE KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE - OTHERWISE YOU RISK DENYING ANOTHER ELIGIBLE CANDIDATE A PLACE.

Fees



(24) The fee charged for the Strathclyde Diploma in 2012/13 will be approximately £6000. There will be an additional fee to cover the cost of additional essential course textbooks (approx. £250). It may be noted that the fees (excluding the cost of materials) for the corresponding course in England are generally in excess of £8,000 with some providers charging a figure nearer £10,000.


^ Post-Diploma Professional Training


(25) There are two further elements to the professional training programme which potential solicitors require to follow after the Diploma, namely a Traineeship, or Professional Education and Training Stage 2 (PEAT 2), and Trainee Continuing Professional Development (TCPD). The following general information about these elements is reproduced from the website of the Law Society of Scotland http://www.lawscot.org.uk/, ‘Training & Education’, from where further details can be obtained:

The Diploma (PEAT 1) and PEAT 2 should be viewed as a three year process with similar outcomes which are continually assessed over those three years. The vocational element links to the work-based stage and the work-based stage builds upon what is learned in the

vocational stage.


Trainees will be subject to ongoing review mechanisms including PEAT 2 Record (a bespoke area for trainees on the Society’s website, in which trainees will record progress, log

TCPD, prepare for PQPRs); informal reviews and PEAT 2 Quarterly Performance Reviews (‘PQPRs’).


TCPD consists of a minimum of 60 hours of structured learning undertaken over and above the office commitments of trainee solicitors with a view to such work assisting the achievement of the PEAT 2 Outcomes and the standard of the ‘qualifying solicitor’. TCPD activities should be identified by the trainee and supervising solicitor, either at

PEAT 2 Quarterly Performance Reviews or during the work-based training itself

including at informal reviews.


After completing the first year of training, a trainee can, subject to satisfactory progress and with the agreement of the training firm, apply to be admitted as a solicitor in order to gain valuable experience of appearing in court.


Upon completion of PEAT 2, the ‘training partner’ will certify that the trainee has

reached the standard of the ‘qualifying solicitor’.


February 2012




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