Olivia Parker is the Law Society of Scotland's Careers Development Officer. A lot of her work involves engaging with law students to make sure they're as informed as possible about their next steps towards a future career as a solicitor.

If you’re a final year LLB student, impending Diploma in Professional Legal Practice applications will already be looming large on your to-do list for the New Year.

The Law Society is here to help you navigate the Diploma application process, so you can stay on track and informed.

Overview of the application process

Diploma applications will open in mid-February and will close mid-April for those wanting to commence the course in September 2018. Applying for the Diploma is not like applying for your LLB and it is done directly through your university, rather than via UCAS.

You can read general information about the application process on our website. Please bear in mind this relates to the 2017-18 round and some of the information will be subject to change (particularly in relation to costs, funding arrangements and places available at different providers). All of this information will be updated as soon as possible in 2018, once it has been confirmed by the universities.

What is the Law Society doing to help keep you informed?

We do various activities for students during the run-up to Diploma applications opening.

Virtual Diploma Fair

Every year we open our Virtual Diploma Fair, which exists so that you can compare and contrast providers to ensure you make the best choice about where to study the Diploma. This isn’t just important for students who have studied their LLB at a university that doesn’t offer the Diploma. There are many reasons why students would choose to apply to stay at the university where they did the LLB, or opt for a change of environment. Look out for this launching at the end of January on our website.

Talks at your university: ‘Everything you need to know before applying for the Diploma’

We visit every university between late January and early February 2018, so every final year LLB student has the chance to hear from us and ask questions face to face. In the talk we will cover the application process in detail as well as covering funding, the Diploma providers and what essential regulation you need to be aware of moving towards applying to join the profession. Find out from your Law School when your talk is scheduled for.

Careers hub for student associates

There’s some great support when applying for the Diploma online in our ‘career planning as a student’ section. It can often be helpful to hear stories from past students which is why we recommend reading our collection of blogs, covering everything from the benefits of considering doing the Diploma part-time, to what to expect from teaching styles on the course. Login now to read this content, or sign up as a student associate to get access.   

Diploma information sheet and guidance

Last year we published an article to dispel some myths about the Diploma. It’s our aim to make sure students are as informed as possible when making career decisions, so make sure you read up on things like the job market and funding. Our annual guidance note is published in late January to help us be as transparent as possible about these issues.

All in all, we simply recommend that you ensure you’re as clued up as possible before applying for the Diploma, as undertaking it can represent a significant commitment. So, make sure you come along to our talks and use the resources on our website.

Diploma in Professional Legal Practice

A mandatory one-year course that makes you day one-ready to start your traineeship. The Diploma is currently offered at six universities in Scotland.